Fake Apocalypse Slap Fight: Ronald Reagan vs. Australia's Julia Gillard

Categories: Random Ephemera
The Preaching: Here there can be no contest. Gillard does perfectly fine for a politician trying to be funny. She delivers her sermon with a dry authority that undercuts the subtly of the humor. It's the same kind all-or-nothing performance that made old Cold War sci fi flicks so wonderful.

But Reagan? C'mon. Reagan's ability's as a speaker may never come again. Sure, he was known for jokes and anecdotes, but he was also known for the fact that he could talk like a damn Cobra villain if he needed to. That lent balls to any and every pronouncement he made because even his jokes had the weight of Hollywood spellbinding.

The Legacy: Even though I can't name a single person who seriously believes that the 21st of December means the end of the world, in ten years our teenagers are going to look back and say we were all running around preparing to meet Jesus. Gillard cashed in on a fad. She did it well, but it will not be remembered.

Reagan's apocalypse was tied into a period of American history that is actually important, and was even released as a single by one pissed off American who thought he glibness when it came to death by mushroom cloud was obscene. I have a feeling bands will still be sapling that sound bite for years to come.

The Winner: Australia beats us in a lot of things. Beer, rugby, the ability of the local fauna to murder you, but no one tops Reagan and the apocalypse. Nice try, Gillard, but a try is all it was.

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Reagan has a legacy so distorted by the Conservative idolization of him that we may never have a clear picture of the real man behind the television set beyond the elaborate myth now concocted around him. Did he really rid the world of commie scum? Did destroy or save our economy? Check out my portrait of The Gipper and help me figure it out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-100th-gipper.html with some Cold War Hollywood!

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