Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Strange Love: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and to Love Obama
I've asked myself a few times why it is I'm not on board with Hope and Change. At times I look at his Hollywood-esque production and wonder if at my core there is some kind of darkness that prohibits me from swooning to Obamamania. Near my work is one of those old New England mills with plenty of office space. Many of the tenants are artists and the collection of sensible cars outside (a sprinkling of Prius) all sport Obama bumper stickers. Hope and Change. There's some kind of cult like aspect to it. A real love-in. Some of it I think is related to the Left's yearning to resurrect JFK and the Camelot myth. A belief that this youthful president was ready to propel the country to vaulted Utopian heights, only to be cut down by dark forces. Today's leftist has anointed Obama as the Kennedy heir apparent (remember that stage show early on in the campaign where the Kennedy's all gathered around Obama?).

This enduring need for the Left to create such hagiography and wrap themselves up in it is at the heart of Obama's appeal. Specifics are secondary. The imagery, the passion, the mythologizing, and the style of Obama's political theatre work more directly to the heart of the Obama supporter and perhaps less to the brain. Reason would suggest that electing such an inexperienced and judgmentally dubious person may not be the wisest of decisions. But in these uncertain times, and faced with such an emotionally stirring candidate, reason may prove secondary to passion as being the ultimate and final arbiter over one's electoral decision.

A funny thing about our Presidents, each attains a mythology after their holding of office. In the case of Obama, his whole campaign is geared toward manufacturing his myth before his even winning the office in the first place. I think all other politicians must be jealous to the core of such audacity of spectacle. To have at one's disposal nearly a Billion dollars ready to spend on tv spots, infomercials, stadium sound and light shows, mailings, merchandising, souvenirs, artwork, etc. The expenditures spent on manufacturing the consent of the electorate are truly staggering. But not only is the public's consent demanded of, but to a much greater degree the public's love and worship.

Are we to worship out politicians? Do our mortgage payments get any easier if we are on the floor, knees bent, supplicating ourselves to Change We Can Believe In? Frankly, I am comfortable admitting that I am not smitten. Who knows what the future will bear and who knows whether my views will change. But perhaps in the distant future, gathered with people of my age all exchanging stories of where were you the day when Obama did .... I'll be fine then as I am now that I was not there for Him the day Obama demanded of me my vote and my devotion.


At 10:03 PM, Blogger Pam said...

Actually, lately I most often see him referred to as the Democrat's Ronald Reagan.
I think the label of "judgementally dubious" applies to Senator McCain as well (if not more so.)
Perhaps what appeals to such a large majority of the electorate is the message, splashed large and loud on the website and in media ads, that this election is about us, not the candidate. Do you not read or see those messages? Or do you just chose to discount them and find solace in playing the old codger?

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Granite said...

Heh. I find it odd that any Democrat would label Obama their "Ronald Reagan". Yet another example of the left taking credit for a success (Reagan) that they did not earn and did much to oppose.

Perhaps the better analogy is to say the Obama phenomena is akin to the Roswell Incident. Indeed, you have an unknown being of murky origin coming into the public view. Half of those at witness believe the unknown being is in fact the arrival of a planet-healing higher intelligence while the other half believe the arrival portends ultimate doom. In any case the unknown entity's spectacular arrival will undoubtedly result in great wreckage that decades later people will still be trying to identify and make sense of.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Pam said...

Wow. Kinda crazy responses there. Did you have a few before you wrote that or did someone slip you the bad acid on Halloween?
Referred to as the Dem's Ronald Reagan as in leader who will revitalize the party. Analogies. They were on the SATs. Remember?
As far as the Roswell analogy you trot out-- wow again. Fear makes people see and say funny things.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Get a grip! Some people don't know when they are being messed with.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Granite said...

Pam, as I am a big believer and practicioner of our greatest of modern virtues: celebrating diversity, respecting difference, being tolerant and open-minded while also offering my own dissenting voice - as it is indeed the highest form of patriotism - I do thank you for your contributions to the comments section.

However, as I do not know you, I am at a disadvantage. It will take me a few more of your fresh insights before I can deduce whether your intention is to be merely malevolent, humorously sarcastic, or kiddingly playful.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

Democrat or Republican?

Romeo and Juliet (Act II,scene 2)
Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Democrat.
What's a Democrat? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Obama would, were he not Obama call'd Democrat,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Obama, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

*Hamlet (Act III, scene 1)
To vote for Obama, or not vote for him: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and hence support McCain,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles by supporting Obama,
And by opposing McCain end the GOP?
To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we don't vote at all
Thus retain the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.
To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of not voting what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this participation paradigm,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of winning or losing,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's victory parade,
The pangs of despised leadership, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his rejection of a democratic system make
With a bare chad?
who would put being on the losing side,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after an election,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller has seen, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those possible ills we have
Than to not know what an election makes?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. Thus instead of voting go to Krispy Kreme

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Granite said...

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is OBAMANDIAS, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

Richard The Third Act 1, scene 1,

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of Chicago;
And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2

What a piece of work is Obama, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Pam said...

Granite, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Mostly I'm just pushing your buttons because I don't think demonizing the other side does anybody any good. (Nor does idolizing one's candidate of choice, frankly.)
I consider myself a liberal, but I am related to conservatives and even live with one (who tries to convince me I'm not actually a liberal, I've just mislabeled myself.) We need a variety of opinions in this society to check and counter balance each other. I liked McCain when he was a moderate and hope that if he somehow does win this election he will throw off all the crap his campaign handlers have been feeding him and go back to who he was prior to this campaign. (and live out the term so his VP doesn't ever have to take over.)
Sorry not to respond via Shakespearean sonnet or some other such device. I'm much more schooled in Japanese ancient and medieval lit than anything British or European.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Tim said...

To whom is interested:

Marxism 101
Which one of these classes are you apart of?

proletariat:those who work but not own their business

bourgeoisie: those who own but not work at their business

petit bourgeoisie: those won own and work their business

lumpenproletariat: criminals who feed off the proletariat

landlords: those who own but don't generate capital

peasantry: disorganized unproductive member of society

Which class do you want to be apart of?

Are your views designed around what you are or what you want to be?

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Siobhan O'Bama said...

was dissent also the highest form of patriotism during the last eight years when it was against George Bush? My recollection is that the charge of being unpatriotic came very quickly from the right when Bush was criticized.

where do the organic intellectuals fit into that scheme?

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Tim said...

The intellectuals I would say are a form of petit bourgeoisie in that the product they are selling is themselves and thus the business they own is themselves. That is if they are being paid for their thinking (professor, lecturer, or pundit). If they are not being paid then it is simply a hobby. And the persons class would be from where they get income.


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