More history – less spite!

So where were you when Kennedy was assassinated? I can’t rightly say – beyond noting that i was not long out of nappies, and probably just a bit pissed off that my daily dose of “Andy Pandy” had just been replaced by some boring newsreel of a geezer in a big car.

As for Thatcher, I was just sticking some hair curlers in, which, given the latter days Spitting Image depiction of her is sort of appropriate.

Inserting hair curlers, that is, while getting ready for a do tonight which will see the launch of Gaze, which bills itself as a “Modern Review”, with content proclaimed to be “gay(ish), political, cultural, diverse and above all serious”.

Huh? I jibbed a bit at that last one.

Moi, serious? You must be joking. Or not, i guess, if you consider yourself serious. But still, the curlers complete a neat circle. For the do is hosted by the magazine’s two editors – Julie Bindel and Paul Burston – and as the news of Thatcher’s death slipped out, i found myself mostly in agreement with Ms Bindel on the subject.

Which is just as well, since it’s probably a good thing to find yourself approximately on the same page as your editor on topical things.

And her point, which i like, is pretty simple: “she (Thatcher) was a total bastard who ruined thousands of lives. But I hate the spite.”

Yep. I’ll go with that, while ever so slightly passing on Julie’s condemnation of the “Ding! Dong!” trope already half way round the world.

Whatever you think of Thatcher is now a matter for historical debate. There are some, inevitably, who love her, think her one step down from a latter day saint.

And there are those who hate everything she did: her attacks on the working class; her jingoism; her lack of empathy.

But…but…those are all over. Gone. Departed.

So by all means loathe her and all her DEEDS. But puh-lease (I know its not fashionable nowadays): let’s have a little less glee at her death. Because one death, every death, diminishes us all, slightly. A human, for whom some other human beings did feel love, is now parted. Let’s not celebrate that inhumanely.

Wizard prang

I sort of agree, too, with the sentiment that its a bit harsh to tar any woman with being a “witch”. Harsh, but inevitable. There are individuals for whom some association with some chunk of popular culture seems inevitable. Thatcher is one of them.

Its not nice to characterise her as a witch…but the Music Hall association is so strong, so superficially apt, that i suspect that even if it is not yet trending, we’ll see dingdongthewitchisdead emerging on twitter at some point today.

And now i must sort out my nails.



About janefae

On my way from here to there
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4 Responses to More history – less spite!

  1. I think it’s naive to interpet all the celebration of her death in simple terms. For some it’s exactly that – for others, it’s a means of saying “Not in my name” to the eulogists, and that needs to be said very loudly, because every effort will be made to silence it.

    • janefae says:

      Or vice-versa. I guess i am aware of symbols…and in the end, Thatcher came to symbolise something that went way beyond her own thoughts and deeds.

      So in that sense, i’ll agree with you.

      Still, though: you’ll find me always VERY wary of celebrating death. ANY death.

      There are ways of saying things about her legacy that can make the point without descending to what feels like glee at her departure.


      P.S. And disrupting a funeral used, in its turn, by Cameron to score political points is fair game.

      • alexkingsley says:

        Would it be fair to say Thatcher started a oneupmanship philosophy in our society, which I totally abhore, but no gloating isn’t nice either.

        P.S. I had just returned to my classroom from the playground after lunch, and the teacher broke the news of JFK’s death – 3rd year primary. Remember like yesterday. Definitely one of my main childhood memories.

  2. bobette says:

    Was this Julie ‘trans cabal’ Bindel?

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