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Monday, April 08, 2013

Recent Days in Review - The Passing of Margaret Thatcher and Roger Ebert

Margaret Thatcher passed away today, and quite a few people--especially those of the Victorian-bend in the conservative camp--are grieving this loss. I am going to try my hand at offering my brief thoughts on the matter while also touching on the loss of another well-known figure and making a comparison of sorts between the legacies that they have left behind.

I know that Thatcher had done some good in her time and that she had a solid sense of direction and conviction in her thinking. Leadership does profit from that level of commitment and I wouldn't want to take away anything from those accomplishments, but at the same time, it's hard to overlook the massive and lasting divide that came along with some of those accomplishments.

Thatcher's legacy is largely represented by Thatcherism, which is a fancy trend that continues to stand in as a blue print for the same Victorian class judgement and disdain of the weak under a ruse that claims to understand every layer of society while simultaneously demonising a sub-population. It remains a divisive, scornful thorn in our sides and nothing can be done to avoid this awfully inconvenient malignancy that comes part and parcel with such a legacy. Clearly, this whole philosophy fails miserably at orchestrating such a ruse of public unity and understanding, which is why governments are becoming increasingly out of touch with the needs of a very diverse public that they should be serving rather than judging and demeaning. In my honest belief, I don't think this was Thatcher's aim, but her solutions involved a level of conformity and uniformity that were bound to generate exclusionary tactics and this is where some of us will see an example of good intentions turning wrong.

The Iron Lady's gone and some would even argue that she left a long time ago with her tear-drop exit from Number 10, Downing Street. However, her tin men still continue to remain as a partial reminder of why short-sighted politics and self-denial rarely ever work towards much else other than short-term gain coupled with a state of true sociological regression that leaves society as a fragmented cesspit of self-hatred headed towards civil demise. We are a far fucking cry from being in anything together, and scapegoating--thanks to such slipshod politics--is the perverse pathology at the heart of the matter. Having that said, we have learnt an invaluable amount of lessons from this lady's contributions--the good and the bad.

As it stands, I think Britain lost a very interesting, contentious and intriguing political figure who was exuberant of talent, but with those qualities came a messy and divisive mentality for which we are paying to this very day. So I'll seek pardon on the subject when I say that I am just not all that moved by this loss, but I can certainly understand why others would feel very moved.

On the other hand, when it comes to being personally moved, I am beyond shattered about the fact that the entire world lost Roger Ebert not so long ago on the 4th of April, 2013. Fortunately, his memories and words--that actually resonated with the thoughts of many around the globe--will continue to echo the makings of a profoundly meaningful legacy for an individual who truly gave the entertainment and film world a whole dimension of legitimacy and meaning through heartfelt critical commentary and passionate appreciation of artistic merit.

I am of the firm belief that keeping people divided and playing tough-love politics doesn't yield anything beneficial or pride-worthy in the bigger picture. Yet having someone appreciate art in a manner that both triggers and unites the thinking of the masses across a holistic spectrum; now that is a true accolade for the ages!

So here's to a man who used his words and sublime commentary on films to bring many minds together. You will be missed, Roger Ebert.

Eh. You too, Margaret Thatcher. Some of us might not be too fond of what you stood for--I most certainly am not--but you definitely gave us a lot to reflect upon that contributed to our eventual growth and understanding of the world as it is played through politics.