The right to an obituary
: Ronald Reagan is eulogized and memoralized and buried. And some around the world don’t understand how we do this here. Some don’t understand why we — his political friends and foes — can remember only the good at a time like this and nevermind the “buts.”
But that is how we do it in America. We believe in a right to an obituary that pays tribute and remembers the good and says a fond farwell. So that is what we gave Ronald Reagan, (almost) all of us.
That is what I want. I always said when I worked on newspapers that the only fringe benefit I will ever get for having worked there is a nice obit. When I go, I expect obits to run wherever I worked: in Chicago and San Francisco and New York and Detroit and even Burlington, Iowa (perhaps that’s why I worked so many places, to get so many obits). I hope for the courtesy of an obit in even The Times. And I expect that when they briefly run through my checkered career, they leave out the black squares and omit the customary word “troubled” before the phrase “launch of Entertainment Weekly,” for example. I wish for a few nice words from family and friend.
That is how we say good-bye in America. I’m shocked when I read British obits that rehash the nasty bits in a life. I’m surprised when people expect us to dredge a life as we say farewell. That’s how others do it. That’s not how we do it.
Farewell, Mr. President, and rest in peace. Thank you for your service.
God and the White House
: Ron Reagan had a message as he talked about his father at his burial tonight. He said his father was an unabashedly religious man who did not make the mistake of other politicians: wearing his religion on his sleeve to win votes. When he was shot and almost killed, Ron said, his father saw it as God’s wish that he stay and do good. “He accepted that as a responsibility and not as a mandate — and there is a big difference.”
Blogs ‘n’ brats
: Yup, we’re definitely doing this weblog get-together thing all wrong. We have conferences. Iranians have festivals. And Germans grill wursts.
: When Americans go to Germany, the big cultural difference that hits them in the face is store hours. It’s a very inconvenient place. And a high German court just ruled it’s a matter of constitutionality to keep it that way.
: Heiko’s unhappy.
Celebrating weblogs in Iran
: Hoder, who started the weblog revolution in Iran, couldn’t go to the Weblog Fesitval just held there — imagine how hard that must be — but he summarized some Persian reports on some remarkable quotes from officials on blogs:
In Weblog Festival’s closing ceremony, deputy of IT ministery and head research institute raised some important things about blogs in Iran.
The former, Nassrollah Jahangard, wished that every Iranian could have a blog one day and expressed the government’s support for persian blogs which, in his mind, are defining the presence of Iran on the Net and make an identity for the Iranian community on the Internet. He also added that blogs are sort of cultureal heritage for Iran and they will make the future of it.
The latter, Sohrab Razeghi, said that blogs and the values they carry with themseves are the begining of a modern society in Iran. He said that the openness, subversiveness, and a sense of individualism which are visible among Iranian weblogs are completely new things in the society. he then rejected the idea of government support and said that they should leave the persian blogoshpere alone and let it go in whatever direction it wants.
I’m actually surprised by mr. Razaghi’s comments and believe that he is one the few officials who has really understood the nature of blogging and how it’s been evolving in the Iranian online commuinity.
What’s also amazing about this is that the government is taking a prideful role in weblogs in Iran — a country that has arrested bloggers for what they’ve blogged — while here, the government could care less about this new trend. Come to think of it, I probably like the latter course better.
See Hoder’s post for links to photos that look like no blog confab here.