The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'ronald reagan'
The latest flashpoint of the culture war: whether or not a street or square in Berlin should be renamed after Ronald Reagan. Germany's conservative ruling party wants one, though the idea is not popular with Berlin's more left-leaning residents, or the city's Social Democratic local government:
That's why many in Berlin see Reagan, who would have turned 100 last Sunday, as a trailblazer for German reunification. Indeed, some would like to see the city do more to publicly honor the man. In December, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg tabled the idea on behalf of his party, the conservative Christian Social Union, of placing an official commemorative plaque honoring Reagan on Pariser Platz, the square in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Guttenberg's CSU is the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union. The Berlin branch of the CDU, for its part, is calling for the renaming of a public square or a street in Reagan's honor. But so far nothing has happened.
And is there not a slight whiff of truth to claims that the city's leftist government has trouble with Ronald Reagan as a person? The Republican, who since his death from Alzheimer's in 2004 has become the most popular US president ever, was considered by the German left during his two terms in office from 1980 to 1988 to be the personification of the Cold War. Reagan's appearance in West Berlin in 1987 was not without risks. In adddition to the Cold War aspects, his message of Reagonomics was deeply unpopular with the city's anti-capitalism movement.They could always wait a few years, until the left-wing Berliners have been gentrified out, and replaced by affluent schmicki-mickis who are a bit more fond of winner-takes-all capitalism, by virtue of being the winners. Perhaps then, with the vanquishment of Communism as an ideology, and the second ongoing vanquishment of "poor but sexy" anti-capitalist Berlin by the forces of gentrification, they could rename various streets named by the DDR after famous Communists after NATO hawks and prophets of the free market. Karl-Marx-Allee could become Milton-Friedman-Allee, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße Reaganstraße and Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz Thatcherplatz.
Via our regular correspondent Lisa, Give It Back, a US petition to give the goddamn Statue of Liberty back to the French.
It's probably a good idea; the Statue of Liberty doesn't really represent the core values of Bush's America. Though what would be a good replacement for it? I was thinking of a gigantic constructivist statue of an eagle, or perhaps something like the statue outside the Ministry of Information building in Brazil? They could call it the Statue of Total Information Awareness or something.
And here's another page, who want a statue of Ronald Reagan put in its place. (Does this remind anybody of the Colossus of Yorba Linda Society from Illuminatus!? I wonder if a misanthropic dwarf is behind all this...)
And then there are these nutjobs who object to San Francisco containing 'Franc' in its name. Though why not rename it to Norton City, after its most famous citizen (and a US imperialist to shame all others, to boot)?