Maggie, I wish I’d never seen your face…

It has been a week or so, but all of the world is still chattering about Maggie Thatcher’s death. It feels a bit surreal, like Reagan’s death a few years ago — especially since people in the public sphere are falling over themselves to memorialize a woman many of them hated while she was alive. And, perhaps because she seemed to thrive on controversy and appeared to relish a good fight, ‘hating’ Maggie might be a better tribute to her than getting all misty eyed and sentimental.

About the best thing I saw about ‘Maggs’ wasthis Steve Bell cartoon in The Guardian. I think Bell is an underappreciated artist; a modern day Hogarth with the whimsy of Herriman.

I don’t live in the UK, so much of the debate on Thatcher’s reign doesn’t resonate with me because I doubt I understand all of the issues. But the breast beating and the discussion of ‘legacies’ and the eulogizing make me sick, much like the sight of all of the ‘war hero’ pomp and eulogizing of President Reagan in 2004 seemed fairly ridiculous since Ronald Reagan had spent his WW2 military service in Hollywood making training films. And now I hear that Maggie is getting the Hero’s funeral with carriages and guards and gold braid and the whole nine yards — giving ‘military honors’  to people who stuck pins in a map and signed the orders that sent others to die without ever bleeding themselves just does not sit right with me. John McCain IS both a politician and a war hero — I’m glad every morning that he isn’t my president, but I won’t deny that he earned his medals. Give him the military honors when he passes and I’ll have no complaints.

Maggie never bled, but she certainly liked to fight.  She was the scrapper to Ronald Reagan’s more avuncular and telegenic cold warrior (In addition to being fellow ideologues,  Maggie and Ronnie both shared an affection for extremely sculptural hair care). Maggie’s “any enemy of my enemy must be my friend” mentality found her cozying up to stone cold killers like General Pinochet simply because he was anti-Castro. Never mind that Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected president of Chile and herded his political opponents into a stadium to be tortured and executed.

Any who dare to ‘speak ill of the dead’ can count on being treated as a pariah by a certain demographic. But Maggie didn’t pull any punches in life, disenfranchising those who didn’t vote for her and even relishing the media ‘he said she said’ dustups. I don’t know if she truly believed all her Ayn-Rand, social-Darwinist free market capitalism claptrap or not –  but she acted (and ruled) as if she did. Maggie didn’t pull any punches or ever concede that her opponents might have had a good point while she was alive; she described ‘compromise’ as ‘failure.’ Given how intractable and vicious she was in life, I see no reason to suddenly treat her with velvet gloves in death. The ‘Iron Lady’ is dead. I won’t miss her.

6 Comments on “Maggie, I wish I’d never seen your face…”

  1. Kelvin Green says:

    Agreed. About Thatcher and Bell both.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your title makes no sense. And who cares what you think about Thatcher?

  3. Stefan Poag says:

    Your title makes no sense.
    It's a quote from Rod Stewart's song, “Maggie May.” If I understand the lyrics correctly, the song is about a younger man who has a romantic relationship with an abusive older woman.

    And who cares what you think about Thatcher?
    Well, since you cared enough to comment, I suppose you do.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts on Thatcher's death are pretty much summed up by a certain song from the beginning of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. You know which one.

  5. ERIC! says:

    Hey thanks, best goodbye to Maggie yet.

    No need to be vitriolic.


  6. satyre says:

    Nice analysis of Steve Bell and a refreshingly honest appraisal of the recently-deceased Baroness.

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