Friday, October 09, 2009
He had scarcely gone a short league, when Fortune, that was conducting his affairs from good to better, discovered to him the road, where he also espied an Inn. Sancho positively maintained it was an Inn, and his master that it was a castle; and the dispute lasted so long that they arrived there before it was determined. --Don Quixote (pt. I, ch. XV)
Perhaps even more amazing than Obama winning the Nobel Prize is the fact that he was ever nominated for one in the first place. The nomination could have occurred sometime prior to the election, during his Office of the President Elect days, or in the in first few weeks after he was sworn into office.
His college years are a cipher to us. Later he had been a State and Federal Senator for a number of years, serving at both levels with no distinction. He had written no bills and had frequently ducked voting on other bills. He wrote a couple of memoirs. In perhaps his most visible position he -- if you'll pardon my French -- pissed away 140 million dollars of the Annenberg Foundation and with it accomplished nothing of measurable value in the process.
Oh, and he gave some speeches and campaigned.
That is to say, when he was nominated for the Nobel Prize he had done little more than write books and give speeches. He accomplished nothing of substance. Instead he just talked. Obviously what he said, rather than what he did, is what mattered to the Nobel jurists.
Pacifism in a parlor is not a brave thing. After all, there are brutish men with guns and greed loose in the world. What of the real peace makers? Mother Theresa stared down the slums of Calcutta, and Ghandi, who never received a Noble Prize, led a revolution he tried his best to keep bloodless. What has Obama done?
I listen to Obama and I don't hear much but mush. I hear John Lennon singing 'Give Peace a Chance', or I hear a 'war never solved anything' bumper sticker read aloud in baritone, or perhaps a petition to Free Tibet touted. All admirable sentiments to be sure, but nothing more than sentiments none the less. How will those platitudes lead us from blood to peace in the real world?
Today, upon hearing the news of Obama's ascension into the exalted rank of Peacemaker Supreme, I thought of Alonso Quixano who reinvented himself as Don Quixote de la Mancha. I thought of the foolish old man who was so enamored by the fiction of the chivalric romances that he imagined himself surrounded by giants, kings, castles and fair damsels when the reality was something else altogether.
To the Don Quixotes of the world, and probably to Obama himself, it matters not that all he has done is waste other people's money and vote 'present' when the going gets tough. All that matters is that he talks the talk, that he spins the romantic fictions they want to hear. They are not people to be taken seriously. Don Quixote's earnest obliviousness was funny, theirs is not.
Helloooo visitors from Maggie's Farm. Thanks for dropping by.