WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 — Two famous women left us on April 8. Annette Funicello, the Mousketeer, was the first crush I remember. I was four; she was an exotic twelve-year-old. When she sang, “Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company,” I’m told I’d kiss the TV screen.
I never saw her in any of the “Beach” movies; my parents thought they were age-inappropriate. Still, I loved Annette forever.
It broke my heart when I saw her selling electric mobility chairs. The smile was there, but the soul was constrained.
And then, it was yesterday, and I heard “70-year-old former Mousketeer Annette Funicello has succumbed to a long battle with multiple sclerosis.” The wish, the dream my heart made, never came to fruition.
Annette, I’ll always carry that crush.
Things were very different, surrounding the death of Margaret Thatcher, who passed away at the Ritz, aged 87. The “Iron Lady” (so tagged, it was said, by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev – a nickname used by admirers and attackers alike) had a stroke.
All day, NPR played others’ impressions, emphasizing the negatives, as that network invariably does for non-socialist leaders. “Madam Medusa” themed one entire segment, about how terrible she was, how heartless when she “put all those coal miners out of work.”
Great Britain was in terrible shape when she took over 10 Downing Street in the late 1970s. The expected feminist support evaporated almost immediately when “she governed like a man.” She was left only with admiration of men who feared her (in the Soviet bloc) and who admired her (in the White House, notably President Ronald Reagan).
The aforementioned coal miners help point out the consistency in NPR’s writing. In the USA, when coal miners are put out of work, that’s a good thing, since they’re enemies of the environment. When coal miners in Britain were put out of work (temporarily, since they went on strike), that was terrible. That cold-hearted Thatcher woman didn’t care who got hurt; all she wanted to do was break the union.
Thus becomes obvious the example of NPR’s duplicity: When it serves their philosophical agenda, it’s a good thing for President Obama to destroy the coal industry in the USA, no matter how much it costs. When it goes against their blind support of all things union (in England), it’s a bad thing, no matter how much it saves.
In Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s case, it was a microcosm of how she saved the country. Even, as NPR grudgingly pointed out, the hateful clique of song-writers that mercilessly harangued her administration were self-made, entrepreneurial types, “who took her message of self-reliance to heart.”
They have both gone to a better place. Annette Funicello no longer feels the pain that wracked and crippled her body for these last 25 years; Margaret Thatcher finally gets a reprieve from the nasty little socialists who won’t even let her die in peace.
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