I am now #1822 on the list of most powerful people with my last name.
You may not always see the ripples left by the death of an important man. You may not even notice their absence. The flags will fly at half-staff for the next few days, in a constant limbo of moving upwards and downwards for the unending memorializing our society seems to have accepted. You’ll visit a Wikipedia page, be reminded of the H.W. presidency, and then lightly contemplate the fact that he’s dead now, joining 39 others as deceased ex-leaders of the free world. You may have broccoli sometime within the next few days and be like “huh, yeah, I remember HW Bush didn’t like that”.
But those ripples seem to get smaller and smaller, more and more subjective. The death of George HW Bush means something different to the person who grew up having lost a family member to AIDS, to the veteran who spent time in the Gulf War, to the Iraqi person forced to grow up in a society they’ve never known without American military intervention, to the dude who rode around in a tank and looked like a dumbass that one time and lost the 1988 election. It’s incredible, really, how the death of even the most inconsequential president, one whose face will never be on currency, whose likeness will never appear on a monument, whose name will never be etched on to commemorative knives in Papyrus font for sale at truck stops in the Great Plains, will still awaken feelings in people that they’ve long-since forgotten.
And that is all well and good, but it’s time to point out that, thanks to the death of Mr. Bush, on the List of Most Powerful People With My Last Name, I have moved precisely one spot up! Goodbye placement #1823, and hellllooooo placement #1822! I remain placed between these two:
But, baby, I’m 23 and things are only looking up for me! I expect to break the 1700s hopefully by the time my first book launches and hopefully break triple digits after I stage a hostile coup and take over Zappos.com. Thanks for everything, HW!