I’m taken back by all of the pomp and circumstance regarding John McCain’s funeral services. The whole thing stretched out for almost a week. John McCain spent a large part of the past year planning this extravagant display of self aggrandizement. In my opinion, the level of ceremonial splendor, far exceeded what the man achieved in life. What he achieved and experienced in his life is not unlike thousands of others that passed before him. Being a career Navy Officer is not a particularly exclusive club. Thousands of United States servicemen were held captive as prisoners of war in our Nation’s history, and untold numbers suffered greatly at the hands of our enemies. He served in Congress for 36 years, again not particularly special. He wasn’t a great Republican, He wasn’t a great Democrat, he was something of an oddball that resided between the two. He drew major criticism from the staunch Republicans over the years for being far too friendly with the other side of the aisle, often being referred to as a “Rino”.
When I watched the lavish ceremonies of McCain’s funeral I couldn’t help but think of the men that perished in Normandy in 1944. 37,000 ground force troops, and 16,714 air force personnel. I also thought about the Americans that suffered untold horrors at the hands of the Japanese on the Bataan Death March, and later at Camp O’Donnell in the Philippine Islands. These courageous people all deserved far greater recognition than John McCain. Then you must consider the brave men that perished taking back every Japanese held island in the Pacific during World War Two. When you think of the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women that gave their lives in the defense of our glorious freedom, John McCain is pretty much a grain of sand on Omaha Beach. Sorry John, your greatness resided in your own mind. What’s really frustrating, we the taxpayers weren’t included in making the plans for your funeral, if we were, it would have been much smaller, taking no more than one day. Sorry, but the whole thing was an obscene display of money and narcissism.
Another lavish funeral, but this one’s different. This one is completely funded by the estate of the deceased which just happens to the ” The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin. The ceremonies are entirely the families’ business. However, there were some eyebrow raising occurrences. Over the past years, I have heard very little about Ms. Franklin, she apparently led a quiet life. She certainly wasn’t doing the TV show circuits getting involved in the ongoing political circus, or hawking her latest book. This leads me to wonder about Louis Farrakhan’s presence on stage. This man is full of hate and anger. How is he in any way synonymous with Ms. Franklin’s life? Then of course the infamous Al Sharpton, another man consumed with hate and anger, and it was on full display. Ah, good ‘ol Jesse Jackson; Jesse never impressed me as a hate monger, just an “out in the open” con man, that shook down large corporations for money in the name of race relations. All three, self serving individuals that seemed a little out of place on the stage to celebrate the life of a fabulous singer that all people loved. no matter their skin color.
No surprise to see Bill Clinton there, he always claimed that he was the first black President. Barrack was at the white guys funeral. As the speakers took their turn at the podium, it became unclear if this was a funeral or a political rally. It seems everyone wanted to take a shot at Trump. That’s confusing, because I’m pretty sure Trump had nothing to do with Aretha’s death, pretty sure she died from pancreatic cancer. I’ve been to a lot of funerals and the speakers always seem eager to portray the deceased as a Saint, no matter what kind of scoundrel they were in real life. I have never heard anyone make a political statement at a funeral.
Never heard of the deceased changing clothes during the funeral either. Ms. Franklin’s clothing was changed three times during the ceremonies? That sounds kind of macabre to me, not sure how you feel about it. I wonder if anyone floated the idea of wiring her up like a marionette and have her lip synch one of her old songs? Then there was the young Bishop that thought is was his time to debut as a stand up comedian, and make light of Arianna Grande’s name as a possible Taco Bell menu item. That was indeed a really bad idea. Another bad idea was the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. who thought it was time to chastise the black folks for the decline of their culture, calling a household without a father ” abortion after birth”. Needless to say not too many folks agreed with his sermon, which was spot on in my opinion. The truth is always hard to face for those folks that enable and perpetuate an ongoing problem.
In my opinion, both funerals were over the top for different reasons. John McCain was an exercise in self glorification. Aretha’s funeral should have been more about the woman and who she was, not about the dopes on the stage and their self promotion. There is a very wise saying, which is absolutely true if you want to preserve dignity and class, “keep it simple”. Show humility in death, you are after all, about to meet God face to face. It would probably be good not to arrive with an attitude.