By Nathan Barton
Aretha Franklin was a talented, gifted, popular and influential musician. She is missed.
McCain also seems to be missed by a whole lot of people.
Since they both died recently, we got a double serving of the modern American cult of death this last week. It was, all told, a disgusting meal.
Americans have politicized and commercialized death – perhaps to a degree not seen since Ancient Egypt.
Those men who officiated at the funeral of Gaius Julius Caesar were pikers (or amateurs) at making political hay from the death of a politician. American politicians and media figures of 2017 could teach them how to really do it.
And I dare say a lot of money was made by the workers and promoters and hangers-on for both Mz. Franklin’s and Mr. McCain’s incredibly elaborate death rituals. Indeed, perhaps the only things missing were the massive funeral processions given to kings and queens (and unfortunately, presidents) and the huge mausoleum built for the like of Alexander the Great or Augustus, or the temple built over the ashes of the “deified” Julius. (And for American presidents: Grant’s Tomb, anyone? Or the chapel at Abilene, Kansas, for Ike?) Oh, and the paid mourners with painted faces that featured in many ancient cultures.
And we know that the Taxpayers got soaked for McCain’s spectacular, spanning most of the nation. Just as he helped soak them for billions and billions over his years of “service.”
To say nothing of the profits, monetary (in the case of Mz. Franklin) and political (for the late Senator of Arizona), to made from exploiting their memories and legacy in the next months and years. The Mainstream Media is great at that: Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and many, many others.
Several observers have noted that McCain spent months in planning and choreographing, the actions to be taken when he croaked. Much of that was intended to poke Trump in his nose and to influence politics in Arizona and DC after his death.
I did not watch any of these extravaganzas, but from reports, it appears that Franklin’s funeral (admittedly, just one, unlike McCain’s multiple events) had more in common with a major concert event or some sort of music awards festival than a “real” funeral. Admittedly, it all centered around that gold coffin and, of course, popular music and its industry. All paid for by the fans.
McCain’s sequence of ceremonies and all the rest are more reminiscent of the elaborate state funerals of monarchs – or of god-kings – than that expected of a pathetic military and political figure who should be known for his corruption and warmongering. His burial at Annapolis, no doubt with the interred bodies of at least a few who died from his stupid arrogance as a naval officer and his warmongering in the past 2+ decades, was relatively simple, mercifully.
I’m not being kind, to either, I realize.
It is not just them, of course. The entire American cult of death is also to blame for the insane and wasteful excesses of the past week for these two people, and millions more. We as a people, as a nation, have made death something even more to be feared than in past centuries, and more costly and agonizing than ever. I dare say their mortal remains will decay about as quickly in golden caskets and special vaults as the poor Rosebud or Navajo enrolled member in their pine boxes and rough box.
People who complain about the commercialization of Christmas (and other holidays) should consider what the death industry has done today. With the eager and willing participation both of those dying AND their surviving family members and friends. Tens of thousands of dollars spent for caskets, for elaborate funerals, for memorial dinners, for transportation of mourners, and other things. Flowers, monuments, mementos, elaborate services provided by mortuaries, and more. “Money is no object.”
When it comes to the “elites” that is even more obvious. Especially of Hollywood and other media, and of course, politics and government. A big part? The elaborate rituals of death for people who died in combat. (But ONLY if they are in American uniform: who hears about the civilians, much less the “enemies” (in uniform or not) who are killed.) Likewise, and growing, the highly public and organized honors and mourning for police and firefighters who died in the line of duty.
Besides the fear of death, why do we do these things? I suspect that part of it is an ever-increasing effort to glorify government, and to create the same sort of awe that the Pharaohs of Egypt or the deified Emperors of Rome (or of China or India or elsewhere) did in the eyes of their subjects and the nations around them. That is certainly a large part of the effect of the ever-more-customary “honors” rendered by their fellows, politicians, and civilians, to dead police: if you do not “support your police,” so the unspoken assumption goes, you are dishonoring the dead. We all know, from history and sometimes personal experience, that martyrs make causes. Especially when we, like Romans and Egyptians, deify them. And deified media figures generate revenue. Lots and lots of revenue.
The elaborate rituals of the cult of death rendered to the castoff body of John McCain certainly seek to make him a martyr of the cause of Progressivism, Statism, warmongering – oh, and the Anti-Trump campaign of the Democratic Socialists and other parts of the Democratic Party and the worldwide Tranzi movement.