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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Telling Alzheimers

Each passing day finds me dropping deeper and deeper into the age range that is hardest hit by  the insidious condition called "Alzheimer's Disease."    And meanwhile, for a few hours nearly every week my wife and I  are visited by a lady who, much as Ronald Reagan had to be so constantly supported by his wife Nancy,  has to be accompanied nearly every minute of her life by her ever-dutiful husband because not long ago  at an unusually early age, 59, she fell victim to an especially virulent (if that's correct to say) form of Alzheimer's. called "Pick's Disease," though so far she is the picture of joy and cheerfulness, and seems to be unaware that she is afflicted with anything.

These two factors have  caused me to  pay extra attention to nearly every mention of Alzheimer's that I see, not at all because I'm afraid of it happening to me, but instead because it is such a curious thing for people to have to endure, no matter how they had conducted their earlier lives.   I see the disease as being like death, in that once a person is in that state, they have no idea that it has happened, so why worry in one case or the other?  They are just two more indignities of the universe that have to be borne.

The latest Alzheimer's item of interest is that a son of the late Ronald Reagan, a fellow popularly known as "Ron" and I believe is best known for having been a ballet dancer, seems to have written a book in which he claims that Alzheimer's was kicking Reagan, and thus by extension the U.S. and the world, in the butt as early as his first term in office, which began in 1981.

This contention, of course, will be bitterly and at once denied by Reagan's worshippers, and just a cursory look at the comments section to that article shows that process in action, though you have to wonder how people can so staunchly deny that that happened when, in the best of situations, it's not easy to say exactly when Alzheimer's starts   Nor how could they have been more observant of anything about Reagan than his own son?

I've been here through a number of administrations now, and I remember thinking that as a President and as a person, Reagan was definitely on the fuzzy side, in his thinking, in his speaking, and even in his facial expressions, which were even more restricted than those of the lady with "Picks" that we see so often.   At least she alternates her cheerful expression with one suggesting that she might be listening carefully, but the only one I remember Reagan using was of eternal good cheer, often with his head cocked to one side in a patented stance that he could only have perfected through years of work in mirrors.

"Ron's" contentions make me wonder now whether GWBush's many misdeeds could be chalked up not so much as before to his being a quite ordinary clunk  who was put into office by gross chichanery in high places, as it was because he may also have been a victim of Alzheimer's, at an earlier age than Reagan but comparable with that of our friend.   Bush always projected a similar fuzziness, which was usually chalked up to things he shouldn't have intaken, and with consequences as dire as Reagan's, Reagan by running up huge debts that nearly bankrupted the country while getting ready for nuclear war, and Bush because of his disastrous reactions to 9/11,  especially his illogical invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq instead of Saudi Arabia, from which most of those perpetrators had hailed.

This makes me think that with such a lack of figures of genuine intellect, human decency, and real stature among their number, the Republicans would not hesitate to put up for election even chimpanzees with names like "Bonzo," just so long as the candidate was adept at mouthing their ideology.   The ideology, that's all that matters, and they can win elections because too many of the voters can identify with those attitudes, personally.

So, in the most recent Presidential elections, the Republicans could do nothing better than to follow up Reagan and Bush by offering the country not one but a pair, of whom both could be called -- well, we don't want to call them a name as uncharitable as "knuckleheads,"  and so instead we will satisfy ourselves with saying that it was so obvious that neither person was able to distinguish a hole in the ground from one of their bodily regions that is south of and so near and dear to theii hearts.

(I offer my sincere apology to Alzheimer's for what became the main thrust of this post.)


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