Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Holy Obama

Against the odds I have striven to ignore the American presidential election, yet I have been lured from my mental cave by all those “eloquent voices of hope and expectation” raised in honour of a “magnificent human being” who has been elected “[t]he first President of the World”. It is said that now “the grown-ups have celebrating to do”, and that the news has already brought hope “to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world”, news of a man who will lead us all “from some dark and terrible place”. No longer need we “cry over all the horrible things that have been done in our name . . . Now for tears of joy!”. Yet after this “moment of greatness for all humanity” [1], after “the justified euphoria” has died down, let us soberly “fly with hope, with . . . eyes wide open” and “let Obama . . . get on with healing the planet” — let him “[r]ide the wind and soar . . . for all our sakes”. Nevertheless, and if “the world” does not mind, I shall be watching from my cave, whither I shall soon be crawling back.

[1] Wangari Maathai, “The US has truly overcome. And the world is joining in”, Comment is Free (The Guardian’s weblog), 6th November 2008. (All other quotations are of sundry dolts commenting on Maathai’s article, or on the transcript of Barack Obama’s speech, “Obama acceptance speech in full”, Ibid., 5th November 2008.)

5 comments:

James Higham said...

“eloquent voices of hope and expectation” raised in honour of a “magnificent human being”

Not from me there haven't been. Quite the opposite. Good take, Deogolwulf.

dearieme said...

Ho hum: I can't bear all the quasi-religious stuff. But we can give O credit for (i) seeing off the Clintons, and (ii) not being a Kennedy. I would be interested to know how he feels about being elected President carrying the banner of the party of slavery - do you suppose that his remark about Lincoln in his victory speech means that he finds it paradoxical too? There's also the thought that the only successful Democratic President since God-knows-when was Harry Truman, and he came from the background of corrupt big city machine politics. Or am I grasping at straws?

Deogolwulf said...

I am quite ignorant about the history of American party-politics. It is interesting, however, that both H. Clinton and B. Obama were or still are Alinskyists, but I regret even the acquisition of that knowledge: that few hours of my life spent reading Ms Clinton's hagiography-dissertation could have been spent cleaning the lavatory.

The Scylding said...

The fact that white folks elected a black man - good - I'm saying this as somebody who grew up in Apartheid South Africa, and who knows the ugliness of racism.

But no politician can really be taken as presented - Ive coined my own term:

They're all silver-bullet merchants.

And as we know - silver bullets just don't exist. Ergo....

The fact that somebody in the US got elected, partly due to oratorical skills, is quite good, especially given the recent past. Oratory can still triumph over Glitz, it seems. Mind you, I'm talking about style, not content. For content, see my comment above... At the same time, one would hope for the best outcome possible. Schadenfreude is ugly.

Malcolm Pollack said...

Well, the new fellow is well-spoken, which will be nice after what we have had to put up with over here. My teeth are worn down from eight years of listening to the person currently in charge.

He is also intelligent, and intellectually curious, which will likewise make for an enjoyable contrast.

I will add that there is a moment's relief to be savored, as well, simply in not being detested by the rest of the world. I'm sure that will pass.

Agreed, of course, about all the silly swooning. It is most unseemly indeed.