• Categories

  • The Golden Rule

    “That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

    - Rabbi Hillel
  • Best Way To Subscribe Via Email

  • Lists of posts and videos

    Feedburner listing the last 25 posts

    Dandelion Salad Videos

    Dandelion Salad Posts

    Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It by Lo
    Please pass this on to anyone you know who may be considering enlisting as a soldier (mercenary).

  • Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • Disclaimer:

    The views and/or opinions posted on all the blog posts and in the comment sections are of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Dandelion Salad.

    All content has been used with permission from the copyright owners, who reserve all rights, and that for uses outside of fair use (an excerpt), permission must be obtained from the respective copyright owner.

  • US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush. Click here to learn more.

Requiem for a Dominatrix by Michael Parenti

Annette Funicello

Image by Tim F Bklyn via Flickr

by Michael Parenti
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Michael Parenti Blog
www.michaelparenti.org
April 13, 2013

On April 8, 2013, the western world lost a grand dame, an iconic figure, a woman admired by millions while dismissed by others as just another lady in a bouffant hairdo. She came from a modest social background yet she made her way to the top, a woman who could perform winningly in what is arguably the most competitive arena of life. I am, of course, speaking of Annette Funicello, singer and Hollywood actress.

Oh wait, some readers may have assumed I was pumping for Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, who also died on April 8, 2013. No, Thatcher and Funicello had nothing in common, save for the bouffant hairdo and date of death.

Annette Funicello was a child star in the late 1950s, one of the Mouseketeers, complete with enormous Mickey Mouse ears, appearing on Walt Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club.” As a teenager, she turned out hit tunes and captivated adolescent hearts in Beach Blanket movies.

How many hearts did Thatcher captivate in her teenage years? Did she even have teenage years? Or did she not vault directly from early childhood into late adulthood? In any case, she was no day at the beach.

The most memorable moment Thatcher ever provided for me was her adulatory spiel to the blood-drenched Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, as the two of them sat in a cozy room in Britain. Pinochet was resisting deportation to Spain to stand trial as a war criminal. He was rescued from justice by Prime Minister Tony Blair who regularly sucked up to reactionary war mongers especially those “friendly to the West.”

Without stint Thatcher poured out her gratitude and admiration to a smiling Pinochet for “saving Chile from the communists,” and restoring peace, liberty, and stability. She made no mention of the many thousands of Chileans whom Pinochet imprisoned, tortured, executed, or drove into exile. On that visit to Pinochet, Thatcher was wearing her fascism right under her makeup.

Would Annette Funicello ever kiss a dictator’s butt the way Thatcher did? I think not. During her stardom, Annette described herself as “the queen of teen,” and millions of fans close to her age agreed. As one critic put it, “Young audiences appreciated her sweet, forthright appeal, and parents saw her as the perfect daughter.” Here was the girl you might take home to meet and marry your son. Would you say the same about Lady Thatcher? Only if you really hated your kid.

Thatcher served for eleven years as Prime Minister, waging war upon the Irish, the Argentines, and the social democracy that existed in Britain. Be it health care, education, mining, transportation, housing, utilities or other public industries—many were privatized, deregulated, or cutback while customer rates and costs sharply increased. Corporate salaries rose to obscene heights while wages remained flat or declined. Labor unions were broken. Under Thatcher’s reign, the free market was king, producing ever greater profits and lower taxes for the superrich and ever greater hardship for the populace. A poll tax was imposed upon those who still wished to vote, an equal sum to be paid by both the dustman and the duke.

Someone once said that Margaret Thatcher satisfied the average Englishman’s longing for the perfect dominatrix. No doubt about it, she could deliver pain. The Iron Lady should best be remembered as the Leather Lady. Indeed, today Thatcherism leaves its dreary imprint not only on the Conservative Party but—thanks also to Tony Blair—on a Labor Party that accepts most of her regressive policies.

During her reign, Thatcher also pursued her “school-girl political crush for President Reagan” as one Labor MP pronounced during a parliamentary debate. Indeed, she and Reagan adored each other, politically speaking. With hands joined, as it were, they created in their respective countries more wealth for the few and more poverty for the many. They served as a free-market inspiration to one another as they advanced back into the dark ages.

President Barack Obama, who loves to grovel before rightwing leaders (note his adoring depiction of Reagan as a “transformative” president), issued a cloying statement following Thatcher’s death: “With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. . . . Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. ” Obama invites nausea.

If only for a brief moment, let us get back to our girl Annette Funicello, the only laudable personage in this sorry parade. While Thatcher was cutting health services, Annette was championing the campaign against multiple sclerosis, a disease she herself grappled with for more than 25 years, until death took her at age 70.

Speaking of disease: long after they left office, both Reagan and Thatcher were inundated with honors; their material lives groaned with abundance. But their respective mental lives ended in dismal poverty, that is, in dementia. Their brains had turned to porridge.

There must be many reasons why people suffer dementia. But in regard to Reagan and Thatcher, I suspect it was a self-generated condition. When one tirelessly confects so many fictional representations and twisty untruths—all in the cause of callous plunder and greater social inequality—it must put an inordinate strain on one’s brain.

Meanwhile the anti-Thatcher theme song, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” now enjoys a massive revival in Britain and retains a top slot on the charts. The people are dancing in the streets.

All I can say is “May she rest in peace.” (I’m talking about Annette.)


Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Culture Struggle (2006), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2011), and The Face of Imperialism (2011) and the forthcoming Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life (a memoir of his early life). For further information about his work, visit his website: www.michaelparenti.org.

[DS added the video.]

Hundreds ‘celebrate’ Thatcher’s death

AlJazeeraEnglish – Apr 13, 2013

Hundreds of protesters have turned out in London’s Trafalgar Square to celebrate the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The Iron Lady, who died on Monday, was one of Britain’s most divisive political figures.
Her funeral next week is likely to draw opponents and mourners alike.

Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from London.

see

Margaret Thatcher’s Criminal Legacy by Finian Cunningham

Mrs. Thatcher’s Mean Legacy by Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers + Thatcher Gave More Power to Finance

from the archives:

Adam Curtis: The Living Dead Part 3: The Attic (1995)

About these ads

12 Responses

  1. [...] Requiem for a Dominatrix by Michael Parenti [...]

  2. “When one tirelessly confects so many fictional representations and twisty untruths…it must put an inordinate strain on one’s brain.” Spoken with authority. How true that living in a web of lies –whether a powerful head of state, or an otherwise influential public figure — causes the gradual erosion and destruction of one’s cerebral cortex, making recall difficult.

    This applies not only to the sociopaths at the top of the structure, but to many living amongst us, purporting to adhere to otherwise lofty ideals while their personal lives are teeming with pathological lies and deceit.

    Although in the case of Thatcher, it is possible her dementia was exacerbated by the prolonged use of heavy duty hair enamel in the maintenance of her rather enormous helmet head. Another great article.

  3. “Obama invites nausea.”

    Perfectly phrased Michael. Who the hell does this big-headed slick operator really think he is fooling?

    That particularly cynical branded child of the Thatcher/Reagan coitus is also a tyrannical brat, a blatant liar and a traitor to his professed ideals.

    Glenda Jackson got it right in the UK Commons and spoke for most us with any capacity for ethical truths, when she epitomized those ignominious years as a time of “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

    It has only got worse. The world estate is sick, the disease is self-delusion and the only cure is morally inspired ecological intelligence.

  4. In these days I have learnt a lot from Rocket’s comments here and on my blog, and I should say, he is onto something. Even though I am convinced we should all walk away from all abuses, we should forgive and pray for our “enemies”, or whoever appears as such. In this sense I do hope and wish that Margaret would rest in peace as well.

    In fact, with each day I feel more and more sorrow for all of them who are in a leading position within this system. When I look in their eyes all I see is fear of unprecedented magnitude. And I wish they would all be free from that fear.

    We aren’t enemies of one another. The only enemies we ever had or have is our own opportunism, convenience-seeking world-view, our compromises towards this fatally flawed and inhuman system and each and every thought that keeps us from coming together and start working on a new, functional way to live with one another.

  5. Thank you Mr. Parenti,
    Yes, you first had me fooled, I thought he has to be kidding, pffft,
    Glad you were not talking about the Iron Lady, the buddy of Reagan, that’s why he could so cold hearted fire all the air traffic controllers, how easy people forget about that too. Deregulation of the banks, worked out so well too.pfffft.
    Obama should have registered for the Republican Party.
    He is NO democrat. Throwing the people under the bus, while buttering up with the GOP.

  6. Ding dong, the witch is dead. (Hope that’s short enough.)

Please add to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s