In Honor of the American Version of the Neoliberal Madonna: The English Beat

by Scott Creighton

(lyrics from Stand Down Margaret, the English Beat video at bottom of page)

I said I see no joy, I see only sorrow
I see no chance of your bright new tomorrow

The Washington Consensus is beside itself, stumbling over each other in a pathetic display of gaggling geese wiping away tears of remorse for the passage of the last of the neoliberal Reagan icons, Nancy Reagan, who passed away yesterday at the age of 94. Chris Mathews of the fake left, the corporate left, the neocon left, spent the entire day yesterday slobbering praise on the woman as if she were Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Florence Nightingale all rolled into one. The MSNBC stagehands had to work overtime wiping his drool pools off the desk between breaks while Chris practically dug up the remains of Ronnie Raygun and fellated him on live TV in honor of the other half of the Reagan Revolution duo who taught us all to fuck the little guy and give big to our gods of Big Business.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever get the chance
Just to sing to my children in a holiday jam 

No. Nixon refused to drop the Milton Friedman bomb of Chicago School of Economics ideology on us, but Reagan didn’t. At least he didn’t after Bush’s family friend shot him.

Nancy’s claim to fame was “Just Say No” to drugs. Of course, she made that her signature campaign while the CIA was bringing in crack cocaine to decimate Californian black neighborhoods and pay for Ronnie’s Contra terrorists “freedom fighters”

Our lives seem petty in your cold gray hands
Would you give a second thought, would you ever give a damn?

That’s not a controversial statement anymore. It’s just a fact. Go look it up. I wont even bother with a link like I wont bother with one to show you the earth isn’t flat. It’s just a fact.

I doubt it
Stand down Margaret

As is the FACT that telling addicts suffering from addition to “Just Say No” is now widely understood to be about as productive as telling women “Just Say No to Forcible Violent Gang Rape” or anyone to “Just Say No To Clinical Depression”. It’s a worthless “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” fantasy solution where we used to blame the victims for the violence committed against them or blame them for their illness. It reminds me of the VA doctors who told my mother who was suffering horrible pain from Crohn’s Disease back before it had a name that all she needed was to get off her ass and go out and get a job.

In that case it was more the belligerence of ignorance, the lack of empathy and more than a little misogyny tossed in for good measure. In Nancy’s case, I don’t think you can make two of those arguments.

So stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down
I say stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down 

Much like back in the day when the Catholic church decided to tell all those people in Africa to avoid using condoms while AIDS was raging across the continent, we now understand just how short-sighted and damaging her “contribution” really was to the fight against addiction. The Catholics knew what they were doing. The numbers were not a secret. And in the case of “Just Say No” most industrialized nations were already treating drug addiction as a medical condition, not a lack of character or a criminal lack of character to be more specific, so Queen Nancy doesn’t even have that excuse.

The fact that her husband’s CIA was providing the crack, I guess we can understand her campaign in a little better light now a days, now can’t we?

So stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down
I say stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down 

Of course, Nancy was just a figurehead. Like Ronnie. Everyone says she was a courageous defended of her husband in the White House, especially after he was shot. Kinda makes sense when you think about it. The former head of the CIA, George H. W. Bush, lost to Ronnie in the primaries and Rockefeller forced him on the ticket and 60 days after being sworn in, the son of a Bush family friend and business partner of the Bushs shot Ronald, leaving “Poppy” Bush to run the country for the most part.

Yeah, I guess she did defend the man from the Washington insiders after that. She simply had to.

But she should have spoken out about what happened. Never did. She did what she could, defended him from within and spent the last days of their lives together as devoted as anyone could be to their spouse under the worst kinds of conditions, his suffering from a cruel and horrible disease. And for that, you have to give her credit, her politics aside.

Of course, the irony is, she may just as well as made her signature campaign “Just Say No to Alzheimer’s Disease”. It would have displayed the same kind of ignorance but I guess her friends at the CIA couldn’t make as much money on that one for their black ops, so…

So stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down
I say stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down 

In the end, she was dedicated to her husband, the true love of her life, through thick and thin, good times and bad… and that is rare thing… especially for a Mammon worshiping neoliberal.

Saint Nancy is gone and the Washington Consensus is flying their corporatist flag at half mast today. Not so much in honor of her but instead, in memory of those early Friedman neoliberal pioneers who made it possible for the wealthy to ascend to the heights they have achieved ever since.

And though she wasn’t Margaret Thatcher, I thought it appropriate to honor Nancy’s passage with a little diddy from a favorite group of mine back in the day. 1982 in fact.

Stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down Margaret
I say stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down Margaret 

Stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down Margaret
I say stand down Margaret, stand down please, stand down Margaret 


9 Responses

  1. Great post. I love the English Beat too. Very clever use of one of their great songs.

  2. They were known simply as “The Beat” here in the UK. One of the first 7″ singles I bought was “Stand Down Margaret”, in 1980. I still have it.

    Thatcher hadn’t been in power all that long and was hated by many until the Falklands war. The majority of Brits at that time couldn’t point to the Falkland Islands on a map.

    Don’t get me started on her “Right to Buy” council houses policy…

  3. Rayguns was President in an era where the vast majority of Americans were engaged in the political process to some degree.
    Now voter apathy and cynicism with the entire process has reached a point where it is almost impossible to maintain the illusion.

    Making a big deal about Nancy is an attempt to bring people back to a point where they care about the big fake show. Yawn.

    Just say no to taxes.

  4. Thanks Scott 1982 eh Sinead O’Connor said no to the Catholic church abuses and tore up a picture of the pope. Just say no indeed what a croc! (and it was just that at the time). I just say no to reading crap these days and pouring out grief over dead doting wives of people who did less than nothing and turned back clocks when they had power and funds to achieve something more brilliant than being Thatchers (and Pinochet’s) best mate.

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