Muffled Drums

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Okay, I get it — you don’t approve of him. You got sick to your stomach when you heard the speech where he talked about believing in absolute separation of Church and state. You break out in hives whenever you think about how he let Bobby bother those poor Southerners, the salt of the earth. The memory of him winning accolades in Europe for pretending to be a donut makes your hair fall out in clumps. The last time the terrorist manning the counter at Quik-Trip handed you a half-dollar bearing his profile, you checked yourself into the hospital, reporting symptoms of edema, epilepsy, and melanoma, whereupon the doctor nodded sympathetically and said, “Sounds like JFK fatigue. Just hearing a Boston accent is enough to make my bad knee start throbbing — and I had it replaced with a plastic one ten years ago.”

Yes, conservative reader, you have been heard from. Hang in there. Watch the clip, and take comfort in the sheer decorousness of the ritual — the sailors formed up in perfect ranks, the flags snapping in the autumn breeze, the reverent hush of the black-draped crowds, the women with covered heads and no tattoos who, you can tell at a glance, never talked like Sara Silverman.

Then flip ahead to (07:34) and listen to the muffled drums. You can almost hear them beating out sic-transit-gloria-mundi. Over the great march of time, 50 years of nostalgia isn’t that much.

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