” ‘Status quo’ is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.’ ” — Ronald Reagan

May 23, 2009

RONALD REAGAN

RONALD REAGAN

Pretty soon, Americans visiting London will be able to stop by to see how Ronald Reagan is making out on his pedestal. An ten-foot bronze statue of the fortieth president of these United States will be erected on a six-foot stone plinth outside the United States Embassy in London. To make this possible, local authorities had to set aside a policy under which a person must be dead for ten years before being memorialized with a statue. Apparently there is a strain of skepticism in the British, but for this purpose they’re willing to concede that Reagan is not only merely dead, but—in the words of the Coroner of Oz—really most sincerely dead. At the very least, Reagan will provide some company for Dwight Eisenhower, whose effigy stands nearby.

THE CORONER

THE CORONER

This is the work of disciples of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who simplified modern world history for generations of students by declaring that Reagan had single-handedly toppled the Soviet Union. U.S. Ambassador Robert Tuttle, who was George W. Bush’s appointee, was said to have enthusiastically supported the idea before he left office in January, turning the embassy over to a diplomatic staff of the Obama stripe. When the current personnel were asked what would happen to Dutch when the embassy is removed to new quarters south of the Thames, they replied that they didn’t know, because “it isn’t our statue.”

There is no unanimity among the British about this development. David  Boothroyd, a Labour member of the local committee that waived the “sincerely dead” rule, voted in the affirmative, remarking that “you have to set aside your personal politics when you have a person of global importance like Ronald Reagan.” A little further to the left, the Green party chair of the local committee said, “What a ridiculous person to put on top of a monument. … It would be the same as putting up a statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Will they do that next?”

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3 Responses to “” ‘Status quo’ is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.’ ” — Ronald Reagan”

  1. Shifty Says:

    This is the work of disciples of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who simplified modern world history for generations of students by declaring that Reagan had single-handedly toppled the Soviet Union

    Nonsense! Everybody knows JP II did it!

    • charlespaolino Says:

      Actually, Richard Nixon predicted long before it happened that the Soviet Union would collapse under its own weight. The pope helped it along, but there were perennial issues of low productivity and alcoholism and government corruption and discontent in the republics that were gradually eroding the system.

  2. Bernhard Says:

    Erecting a statue at a U.S. embassy these days would be like planting a tree underground. You’d never see it. The massive concrete fortifications, the menacing characters holding assault rifles, the shifting entrances. And that’s just the scene in “Coalition of the Willing” countries… Still, gotta love the Brits’ priceless cynicism (and red tape) towards public displays of gratitude. How many public holidays have they bestowed upon their own national heroes? Nada. Not a one for Shakespeare, Churchill, Darwin, Newton. Just Guy Fawkes, an anarchist who tried to burn down Parliament. It’s a tough crowd for the ol’ Gipper.

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