The Last Laugh

James Rogers jamesr at
Mon Apr 21 13:16:00 PDT 2003

From: Jeff Bone [mailto:jbone at] 
> > In the long run, he'll
> > be one of those many unmemorable Presidents that we've had.
> Yeah, well, we'll see.  It's comments like this, James, that despite 
> your protestations make it clear that you're the Secret Dittohead in 
> the group, here.  Clinton will be remembered if for no other reason 
> than he occupied the office during the unprecedented, 
> remarkable 90s.  
> To believe otherwise betrays some desperate animosity towards the man.

No, it betrays that you have a severe case of historical myopia.  There were
other equally "memorable" decades in American history, but since you and I
weren't there, they weren't all that memorable to us.  Very few people and
events actual withstand the "memorability" test of history.  People born in
the 21st century will fail to see what was so "remarkable" about the 1990's,
though you'll swear it was the greatest thing since sliced bread because you
lived through it.

Historical myopia.  "Most of the important things that ever happened,
happened in my lifetime."  One of the great diseases of humanity, and one of
the reasons we screw up so often.

I understand the difference between "memorable because I remember it" and
"memorable in a historical context".  Who cares what you or I think of
Clinton; you and I won't be the ones writing history in a hundred years.
When you say Clinton will be historically memorable, it sounds like wishful
thinking on your part because a realistic look at who and what actually
becomes historically memorable doesn't support your contention.

Perhaps it is less that I am a closet "Clinton-hater" but more a case that
you are a closet "Clinton-lover".  It sounds like you are projecting.  I was
merely making a fairly rational observation about the historical durability
of people and events in the public consciousness.  I would hazard a guess
that in future history, Reagan will overshadow Clinton for this period of

We've had 40+ Presidents in the colorful escapades of American history. How
many of those do you or the average person actually know anything about?

-James Rogers
 jamesr at

More information about the FoRK mailing list