He won what?

As sleepy as I am in the morning, there aren’t many reports coming out of the radio that make me stop what I’m doing and turn up the volume, convinced I’m experiencing audio hallucinations. Today was different.

I gather this was the reaction in Oslo, too, where the assembled reporters were said to “gasp.” I’ll say. Talk about a story that writes itself:

The committee’s choice of Obama from among 205 nominees appears in part to be a continued rebuke to the Bush administration’s go-it-alone approach to world bodies and alliances, including its decision to go to war in Iraq without U.N. approval.

No! Really?

It’s hard to know what to think. You don’t ask for a Nobel for yourself, and the WashPost story points out the deadline for nominations was February 1, not even two weeks after he took office. On the other hand, the Cairo speech was extraordinary, and just as necessary. I won’t say this was the right thing to do, but it’s at least somewhat defensible. Besides, it’s the Nobel committee’s award, not ours. They can give it to anyone they want.

That said, I look forward to February, when Barack Obama will be given an Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

And if Limbaugh, Beck et al stroke out over this, I say we put him on Mount Rushmore.

Let’s look elsewhere for commentary. Ah, Twitter. Trending topic: Noble Peace Prize. Comedy gold: RT: @tienmao: When awoken shortly before 6 a.m. with the news that he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama responded, “What? Shut the fuck up.”

That’s appropriate. The blowback from this could potentially be a bitch.

Is there anything else to discuss? Discuss!

I’m off to do the crossword and make it to my Friday morning meeting. Chilly, dreary rain today, so I won’t be getting there on the bike. Maybe the president will look in my direction and blow a gentle puff from his cheeks, parting the clouds and making the sun shine upon the land.

See you Monday.

Posted at 8:49 am in Current events |
 

77 responses to “He won what?”

  1. coozledad said on October 9, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Woot!!!

  2. moe99 said on October 9, 2009 at 9:11 am

    crossposted over at Balloon juice, but take a look at the Wa Po graph on whether Obama deserves it.

    http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2009/10/obamas-nobel-prize.html?hpid=topnews

    These guys could not graph their way out of a paper bag. But, of course, they probably meant the 50% who voted for Obama to look more like 25% contrasted with those 50% who say Obama did not deserve the award.

    Oh where is the Post ombudsmen to wring his/her white gloves now?

  3. Jason T. said on October 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I share Tom Lehrer’s feeling that satire died when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The fact that Yassir Arafat also has one leads me to believe that Nobel Peace Prizes ain’t what they used to be.

    Still, I agree with you, Nance … if this makes Sean Hannity’s underpants get into a bunch, it’s hard to see a downside.

  4. coozledad said on October 9, 2009 at 9:23 am

    From the No Shit, Sherlock department: K-Lo wails, “Bibi Netanyahu will never get a Nobel prize!”
    Let the Taliban and the wingers hold hands and have a good cry.

  5. Peter said on October 9, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I have to get on my soapbox on this one. I mean seriously, WTF? Was it his olmypic pitch that put him over the top? Is it similar to a first round draft pick – give the award out based on potential?

    I mean, c’mon, Jimmy Carter’s been working on getting one for almost thirty freaking years – sure, sometimes he’s seems desperate for it, but can ANYONE say that Obama deserves it more than Jimmy C? Cripes, Bill Clinton has done more to deserve the award – notice I’m up to two and I even haven’t gone past US Presidents!

  6. Jolene said on October 9, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Peter: Jimmy Carter won the priae in 2006.

  7. Peter said on October 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Jolene, I really need to read more. Thanks for the obvious correction.

  8. brian stouder said on October 9, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Say – if you missed it the other day, Jolene posted this very cool link to a Washington Post pundit contest:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/pundit-contest/index.html

    and the Nobel folks have shoveled loads of fodder our way way… so it’s time to jump in there!

    the funny thing is, the contest has a 400 word limit, and when you write your submission into the box, there’s a countdown that shows how many words you have left; and after you hit zero, you get bonged!

  9. Deborah said on October 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I went to the Nobel museum in Stockholm this summer. It was interesting. Lots of exhibits about current topics. The main exhibit was about censorship around the world. The museum was packed with people and the visitors seemed to be spending a lot of time watching and reading the information that was displayed. I went because I’m working on an exhibit space in Des Moines about Norman Borlaug (who died a few weeks ago). He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in agriculture. Earlier in the year I was in correspondence with some Nobel people in Oslo to get thier permission because we wanted to reproduce Borlaug’s Nobel medal at a larger scale in one of the exhibits. They were very concerned that it could be badly done and denigrate the award. We had to send photos of it during fabrication and completion so they could be assured that it would be accurate and well crafted. It was cast in bronze by a foundry in Cincinnati. I was impressed that the Nobel people would be that concerned about it.

  10. John said on October 9, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Brian, after you get bonged, does Jaye P. Morgan appear?

  11. brian stouder said on October 9, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I always liked her! and Gene, Gene, the dancing machine! The Unknown Comic was OK, too….who knew just how ahead of his time Chucky’s proto-American Idol show was, eh?

  12. ac jones said on October 9, 2009 at 10:24 am

  13. Lex said on October 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I heard this when the radio woke me up this morning and immediately thought The Onion had branched out into radio.

    By any serious standard, does he deserve it? Of course not. But I’m with Nance/Jason: If it makes the Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter/Malkin Axis of Stoopid’s head explode, I say we do it twice.

  14. Holly said on October 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

    It would make my day to see Coulters head explode.

  15. MarkH said on October 9, 2009 at 11:05 am

    “An undeserved Nobel Peace Prize in the name of bashing those we hate is no vice”??? Or some such thing, people? Sheesh….

    On the other hand, what Jason T. said. BTW, Carter won in 2002, to pick a nit.

  16. Hexdecimal said on October 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

    There’s a Wiki already….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Nobel_Peace_Prize

  17. adrianne said on October 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

    please, please, please, let the early-morning news from oslo induce the long-overdue heart attack for beck, limbaugh and other overweight white guys with substance abuse problems rooting for obama’s downfall.

    please?

  18. brian stouder said on October 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    and we have the opening bid in the head-exploding contest:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33240807/ns/politics-capitol_hill/

    Steele, who took over the reins of the party earlier this year, said he thought it was “unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights.”

    translation: I HATE that guy!

  19. Jolene said on October 9, 2009 at 11:54 am

    MarkH, thanks for the correction re Carter’s prize. Came back to the site to correct myself, but you were quicker On the draw.

    Best line I’ve heard so far is from Ezra Klein on the WaPo web site: If you think the right-wingers are mad about Obama winning the Nobel Prize, wait until he donates his winnings to ACORN.

  20. Sue said on October 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Good post title from First Draft: “Well, There’ll Be No Living With Him Now”, along with this imagined conversation, from the comment section:

    ‘BHO: hey baby, come give some sugar to your nobel laureate president husband! /holds out arms with smug look on face/
    MO: well, don’t go thinking you can leave your underwear on the floor and the toilet seat up just because of it. /crosses attractively muscled arms and makes That Face/’

    You know, I can totally see that happening.

  21. Jim Wetzel said on October 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Myself, I enjoyed IOZ’s take on Prizewinning Pres. O-bomb-a:

    Giving a “peace prize” to a sitting head of state is in any case faintly absurd, like giving a Gruber Prize to Roman Polanski, but giving it to a sitting American head of state while his country is engaged in two major conflicts resulting from its occupation of supposedly sovereign foreign countries because of “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people” is like giving me the Nobel Prize in Medicine because I promise all my bareback partners that I am going to cure AIDS. Well, it’s fine then! The White House reports that The Obama is humbled by the news.

  22. Danny said on October 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Attractively muscled arms? Hmmph…

    I heard about this caption for a picture of BO, Carla Bruni and MO standing together: The Rookie, the Cookie and the Wookie. Not extremely accurate, but pretty funny.

    And as a rule, I never make fun of peoples’ looks (including those who were the subject of yesterday’s thread), but with all of the folks who have been slobbering for months now over MO’s supposed good looks, geesh! Get some perspective or get a room… She ain’t all that.

  23. crinoidgirl said on October 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Brief derailment to thank Jeff Borden for his words of advice to me a couple of days ago.

    Carry on.

  24. nancy said on October 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t see Michelle Obama as a Wookie, and Googling, I see that caption appeared at Free Republic. Oh. You don’t have to find her sexually appealing to admit she’s a stylish woman who rocks what she has pretty damn hard. Plus, like the Peace Prize, she makes people who oppose her say funny things. The fainting couch over at the Corner was in non-stop use over her going sleeveless during the campaign. I had no idea there were so many rules about arms.

  25. Sue said on October 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Danny, may I direct you to a comment by Brian Stouder from a couple of days ago:
    ‘I think women with poise and vigor have an irre­press­ible beauty all their own; very much more than they realize.’
    and Jeff Borden’s reply:
    ‘Brian, agreed 100%.’
    I have neither poise nor vigor, and this allows me to give you a rude but good-natured razzberry, since flipping you the bird (also good-naturedly) would show my flabby upper arms.

  26. coozledad said on October 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    The Nobel is pretty much a nod from the international community recognizing the difficulty of being a successful politician and a public intellectual simultaneously, and noting, as well a step toward political maturity for the nation. Wole Soyinka says it better:
    “Obama simply asked questions that others preferred to brush aside. His ruminations on race issues are an endless revelation. Sometimes they read as though he has internalized his legal training-a flurry of Obama vs. Obama encounters, cross examinations, one Obama appearing for the plaintiffs and yet another for the defendants.Bringing this habit of mind to issues has left commentators in no doubt, that in Obama, the White House is restored, after a near decade long hiatus, to a ‘thinking’ president.”
    John Bolton says Obama should refuse the award, and that’s no surprise, given the contempt the right has for the people of this country.I remember when millions of people turned out on the streets to protest Bush’s war of opportunity, the chandelier jockey just dropped his pants and mooned everybody. All that military hardware was his, and he was gonna fuck some shit up. The DC Pundit corps responded pretty much the way David Gergen did, which was to drop to its knees and commence tossing his salad. Heady days those, when we all got to taste Bush’s farts vicariously via everyone from Gordon Liddy to David Gregory. Well they all just got another slap in the face. Idiots.

  27. Jolene said on October 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Jeff Goldberg’ reaction: Obama would likely rather have gotten the Olympics.

    However odd this award is, Obama hit exactly the right note in his remarks this AM.

  28. Danny said on October 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Yeah, Nance, I remember now that the person who told me about the caption mentioned the Free Republic. Never been to the site myself.

    Listen, I too am pretty tired of the constant rain of naysaying bull coming from those who oppose President Obama. I’m just saying that I’ve also had enough of the breathy comparisons to Camelot and the ubiquitous, gushing beauty and style references to Michelle.

  29. Danny said on October 9, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Sue, what do Brian’s and Jeff’s comments have to do with anything? My dad could beat both of their dads up. QED

  30. Sue said on October 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    OMG, breaking news:
    http://open.salon.com/blog/con_chapman/2009/10/09/nhl_awards_lady_byng_trophy_to_obama/

  31. Joe Kobiela said on October 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Nancy,
    We have waited all week. How did the chaperoning of the dance go????
    Pilot Joe

  32. nancy said on October 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Joe, it went great. Because my Mondays are so busy now, I’m always looking for something I can write on Sunday and get a jump on things. I’ll save the full report for then.

  33. mark said on October 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Sure, I’ll weigh in on the Nobel award thing:

    1. Nancy already caught the bottom line- it’s the Nobel Committe’s award to give so what I think doesn’t matter.

    2. Those who think this is giving the Beck, Limbaugh crowd indigestion are, I think, wrong. I think they are downright gleeful because this plays right into the stereotype they are building against Obama and becomes just another bit to use in their schtick. I mean they will play this forever. Next month, when we try to blow up some bad guys in Pakistan, the report will be” Local authorities claim 11 women and children died in the drone-missile attack, authorized by Nobel peace prize recipient President Obama, after intelligence confirmed a meeting of high-value targets in the mountainous region of Pakistan.”

    3. I actually feel a little sorry for Obama. He’s trying to shake the slowly developing “empty suit” criticism, and he gets the “most likely to be over-estimated” award.

    4. Bill Clinton should be pissed. The guy has done a lot post-presidency.

  34. Danny said on October 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    4. Bill Clin­ton should be pissed. The guy has done a lot post-presidency.

    Yeah, he has really touched a lot of people…

  35. moe99 said on October 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Rather, mark, I think the people of this country, first seeing the glee when Chicago lost the Olympic bid, and now the brickbats thrown when Obama received the Nobel Peace prize, will become more disgusted with the right wing. Oh, there will always be that 27% of true believers, but I hope the rest of the country is innoculated against this stuff.

  36. mark said on October 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Well moe, that’s a possibility. The other possibilty is that “the rest of the country” is getting a little tired of the “citizen of the world”, “US is just one among many”, stuff. Personally, I’d like a little more emphasis on keeping us the strongest, wealthiest, most free country on the face of the planet. Even if that doesn’t play well on the Left Bank.

    Time will tell.

  37. brian stouder said on October 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Those who think this is giv­ing the Beck, Lim­baugh crowd indi­ges­tion are, I think, wrong. I think they are down­right glee­ful because this plays right into the stereo­type they are build­ing against Obama

    Dunno; I broke the rule at lunchtime and tuned over to Uncle Rush, and he was on a riff about how “the whole world is laughing” and “Obama is a laughing stock”, etc.

    Except Uncle Rush wasn’t laughing, and wasn’t full of mirth and glee. He sounded more than a little stressed, like the kid who sits at a table at the high school dance, and bitterly critiques the ‘undeserving’ Homecoming King

  38. Joe Kobiela said on October 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I think I would be a little more impressed if it wouldn’t have been voted on 11DAYS, after he took office. That’s like making someone all pro after 1 play.
    Pilot Joe

  39. basset said on October 9, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I followed a Nobel winner around northern Michigan for a couple of days back in about 1978… Mairead Corrigan, she won it for her work in northern Ireland. The medal was about as big around as a good-sized coaster and appeared to be made of solid gold; she kept it wrapped in a hanky in the back pocket of her jeans and pulled it out often to show everyone, including several times on the ferryboat over to Beaver Island. It’d been me, I would have kept the medal-showing on dry land.

  40. Jason T. said on October 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Mark:

    Being the biggest, toughest guy on the block requires having a little bit of humility once in a while. Otherwise, you’re just a smart-ass jerk who pushes around people smaller than you.

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick” — remember that? A quote from Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, another winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, come to think of it.

    We have five percent of the world’s population and use 25 percent of its resources. You think that’s fair? You don’t think it breeds resentment?

    I wouldn’t trade my life in the United States for any other place, but from 2001-2008, we set a pretty lousy example for the rest of the world, and some course correction is in order.

  41. mark said on October 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Maybe the Nobel people should follow the lead of the NFL, and start giving out giant, gaudy, jewel-encrusted rings instead of medals. They can be flaunted more inconspicuously.

    And Brian, I’ll defer to your greater expertise in determining Limbaugh’s mood from the tenor of his rants. But it seems to me that what he sells (very successfully) is outrage at Obama and some other lefties. Having the inventory replenished would be a good thing, and handy when you are shopping for pro sports teams.

  42. basset said on October 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    >>start giv­ing out giant, gaudy, jewel-encrusted rings instead of medals

    they should do it like rodeo – giant, gaudy, jewel-encrusted belt buckles.

    btw, rodeo groupies are sometimes known as “buckle bunnies”…

  43. Danny said on October 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    As I said before about those who are criticizing President Obama for being post-American or for not being a proponent of the doctrine of American Exceptionalism. So what?

    We should be humble. Far more people in the world have far less and it ain’t because we’re so much more deserving.

  44. adrianne said on October 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Karma, karma, karma – on the day Obama gets his Nobel Peace prize, Rush gets…to judge the 2010 Miss America Pageant! ‘Nuff said.

  45. mark said on October 9, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Jason T.- I agree with your comments on how the “biggest, toughest guy” ought to behave and I would probably agree with much of your criticism of the Bush years. I still want us to be the biggest, toughest guy on the block.

    The 5/25 thing always baffles me. What percentage do you think is “fair?” To me, what you (or we) have is fair so long as we obtained it without force or fraud. And there will always be resentment by those who envy what others have.

    If Nancy’s blog becomes a huge financial success because her writing is interesting and well-done and she works hard at it, will you declare it unfair if her share of the bucks is grossly dispropotionate to the percentage obtained by the average blogger? What would you be willing to do to take from her to make things fair? And if you do take from her to make things fair to others, is it possible that she will be less inclined to work so hard?

    Edit- A “Nobel belt buckle” would be cool.

  46. brian stouder said on October 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    To me, what you (or we) have is fair so long as we obtained it with­out force or fraud

    So when do we give Texas (etc) back?

  47. mark said on October 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    brian-

    We can give Texas back, and consider reparations for slavery, and a host of other things anytime we want to, I guess. Our past use of force or fraud doesn’t change the appropriateness of using force now to make people equal. What I’m suggesting is that simply saying it’s “unfair” that somebody has more than somebody else doesn’t work. If it were possible to somehow spread all wealth equally among all people everywhere, 5 minutes after we did so somebody like me would offer to flip a coin on a double or nothing bet, violating all that carefully constructed fairness.

    I don’t much care about professional sports, so the salaries are hard for me to justify. But they get them through a series of voluntary exchanges in which all parties seem to think they are getting fair value, so who am I to say they don’t deserve to make 50 times what a heart surgeon makes or 5000 times what a school teacher makes.

  48. Danny said on October 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I was just in Texas this week. I don’t know if anyone would want it back.

  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Deborah, a hat tip, and a deep bow to you for getting to help salute Norman Borlaug. There’s an award we can all agree on.

    Still no comment from Bill Clinton . . . i hope the dosage on his bp meds was upped, maybe doubled. Ouch.

    Fascinated by the chatter about “Cherubim,” the possible webonym for Elizabeth Edwards. The anonymity of the internet is a curved two-edged sword. Spent the last two days discussing cyber-bullying and internet inappropriateness with juvenile court staff from around Ohio, and it does create new opportunities to offend (cell phone pics down your own shirt, for the love of mike), but it also means dumb stunts that once were untraceable (scratching ex-girlfriend’s phone number on stall door) are now easy to tack to said juvenile’s forehead (creating an e-mail account and sending messages to someone, when contact w/ them is barred by court order, is harder to do without traceability than you might think).

    Big new craze — creating a MySpace or Facebook page for a school staffer you’re mad at, and making it, um, embarrassing. Again, easier to trace back than is generally understood. “But my name isn’t on it!” Uh-huh.

  50. mark said on October 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Danny-

    American exceptionalism isn’t and never has been about how much we have or what our pedigree looks like. American exceptionalism is that here, more than anywhere else in the world, those things don’t matter. The laws apply equally and opportunities are available without government regard for your heritage, your religion, your family, etc.

  51. nancy said on October 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Speaking of American exceptionalism, I was struck by the photos accompanying this story in today’s DetNews. It’s about the team of Bigbrains who are using their math-fu skills to help Ford maximize profit and fine-tune plant operations, etc. It’s overwhelmingly Asian and at least one-third women. Note the comparison with the same group from 60 years ago — white men, all.

  52. Jeff Borden said on October 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    On Texas, I would happily see it become a separate country. I found it to be the most overrated state I’ve ever visited. There are some nice spots –the music scene in Austin qualifies– but overall it didn’t look, sound or smell much different than Oklahoma.

    On Rush Limbaugh and the NFL, I think it would be both fascinating and hilarious, given the near unanimous hatred black people feel for the big fellow, to have the Marquis de Microphone owning a franchise in a sport where the overwhelming number of players are African Americans. Several black former and current NFL players already are saying it would be bad for football and that some players might just walk away rather than play for El Rushbo.

    I have no idea how the NFL goes about approving or disapproving of team sales. I guess a league where Al Davis can own a team could probably handle Limbaugh. Then again, I don’t recall Al Davis ever suggesting a black caller ring him back after taking the bone out of his nose.

  53. Scout said on October 9, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Trust the pearl clutchers on the right to react in the most inappropriate way possible to news that is nothing but good for America. Just last week they cheered because we lost the Olympics bid. Seriously WTF is wrong with these people? Aren’t these the very same yahoos who annointed themselves Mostest Patriotic Evah?

  54. Rana said on October 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    For me, it isn’t so much that we have more proportionately than other countries do; it’s that we’re consistently reluctant to take responsibility for the means we use to get it, or the effects of that unequal distribution. A lot of what’s involved isn’t mere possession of resources; it’s consumption of them – as in, once used, they’re gone and no longer available to anyone else. And when that consumption results in an equally disproportionate amount of waste – waste which is a burden on more than ourselves (indeed, many of the damaging effects of our consumption are aggressively off-shored) – and we as a nation act as if it has little to do with us (as in our foot-dragging on climate issues)… well, it starts looking less like someone who has more because they earned it fairly, and more like someone who gets a lion’s share of the goodies and shoves the resulting crap back on the rest of the group. It may be that they earned their share of the goodies fairly, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the group agreed to pick up their shit too.

    If you have 5% of the population, consuming 25% of the resources, and producing 25% of the waste and pollution – then you need to man up and accept at minimum 25% of the responsibility for dealing with the problems caused by the systems producing your disproportionate share of the goodies and by your disproportionate share of waste and resource exhaustion. Right now we’re insisting on our right to an outsized share of the benefits, while at the same time demanding that we bear an undersized burden when it comes to the costs. That’s simply not fair, and it’s not reasonable to expect that such behavior should be ignored or condoned by the people picking up our slack while we continue to go on our blithe and merry way. Nor is it reasonable for us to get all huffy and indignant when other nations point this out.

    Yet that’s what’s going on, and it’s not surprising that the rest of the world is rather tired of it.

  55. coozledad said on October 9, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Scout: Here’s a neat encapsulation of the world view that makes this possible. It’s equal parts David Lynch, Ernest Angley, and Claudio Bravo, if he’d been in a freak construction accident and had his brain impaled by a section of rebar:
    http://www.mcnaughtonart.com/artwork/view_zoom/?artpiece_id=353
    H/T actor212.

  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Update — Cooze, you’ll like my link better:

    Really shouldn’t give y’all this kind of catnip —
    http://www.shortpacked.com/McNaughton%20Fine%20Art.htm

    Watch the box on the right as you mouse over. But here’s the problem — why is it that this is so viscerally creepy to many of us, and warmly appealling to many others? Is it just that those who are moved by this are ignorant and uninformed or victims of demagoguery, or is there an element worth considering?

    I’m torn: this is dreck, kitsch, and apocalyptical smarm, but it also neatly echoes what i see in Crucifixion tableaus of the late 1500s, with Martin Luther and other “good guys” on one side of the cross, and pig-nosed renditions of Catholic princes and preachers (Tetzel) on the other. That we see as simply political commentary. This is Thomas Kinkade crossed with Tim LaHaye, but it’s also inspirational material that taps into a vein of idealism and hope that we don’t seem to have access to in any other art form.

    Are the only choices kitsch or irony? A Nobel Prize for the first person who can help me spot a solid patch of middle ground between those two in the world today (Norman Rockwell doesn’t count.)

    Update postscript: i hadn’t read Coozledad’s post when i wrote the above, it’s just a rumination, not a reaction.

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Speaking of creepy, the college student on the left hand side, next to the Marine, is holding a copy of the Skousen book that Glenn Beck relentlessly flacks on his shows . . . i’m told, haven’t seen the show, but that’s the book.

  58. brian stouder said on October 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    First, anything that merges David Lynch with anything else, I like.

    Second – regarding ‘middle ground’ – I almost reflexively recoil from terms like “American Exceptionalism”; I prefer the marvelously earthy description of Americans (from some other Illinos politician): “God’s almost chosen people”

    http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1977/5/1977_5_4.shtml

    When the arrival of religious freedom brought the possibility of freedom from religion two centuries ago, few citizens lost faith and many gained it. With the onset of modernity, whatever it was supposed to mean, prophets predicted the death of God and the demise of religion. Not all believers try to account for God’s ways, but religion itself did not die. It was simply relocated, sometimes disguised, busy seeking to fill society’s many nooks and crannies that offer growth to both old and new religious organizations and private emphases. If the polls are correct, few are trying to evade religion’s claims or appeals. So long as citizens seek freedom and justice, hunger to be whole, want to be saved, and wish to know who they are and to whom they belong, many are likely to find new ways to give support to the Court’s claim that “we are a religious people.” The American majority, for all their secular styles and worldly concerns, are likely to see in such expressions what Jonathan Edwards perceived in the 1730’s, “the Surprizing Work of God.” And they will gladly say so to Dr. Gallup or anyone else who asks.

    by way of saying, we’re all human; and it’s hard to revere the ‘founding fathers’ of 1776 as much as our “re-birth”ers of 1865….although it WAS an exceptionally bloody second revolution, even by modern standards of cruelty

  59. Jean S said on October 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    …I’m just wondering what he’s gonna do with the money. I wish he’d donate it to the Southern Poverty Law Center–they’re a deserving and worthy group, and as a bonus: explodo-Rush!

  60. joodyb said on October 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    forgive me if i missed mention of this, but i’d put al gore right in there with arafat and kissinger, to jason t’s original point. and yeah, it’s their prize, they can give it to whomever. crazy norwegians. culturally speaking, the whole nobel thing has kind of a cartoony image in modern times.
    witness al’s per-usual lukewarm comment today. that right there would prevent a lot of folk from actually giving a rip.
    did anybody parse/see how much the peace prize is worth?

  61. MarkH said on October 9, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    What joodyb said. After sampling opinion of Obama’s Nobel award from around the world today, I think it’s clear that more people than (most of) you care to admit will be leaning the way of your reviled right. All Rush, et.al. have to do is sit back and tally those who agree that this is wholly premature.

    In any case, it’s clear the Nobel committee in Norway missed or are not fans of SNL:

    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/clips/obama-address/1163263/

  62. moe99 said on October 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    The committee and its advisors prepare a short list in March, and review things from March to late September. Then they vote. The idea that Obama was awarded the prize based on his first two weeks in office is cute, funny and wrong.

    Obama is giving the money away.

    Here is an email an American friend living in Australia received from the Obama camp today. She was impressed enough with it that she sent it to a bunch of her friends:


    Virginia —

    This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

    To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

    But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

    That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

    This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

    So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

    Thank you,

    President Barack Obama

  63. Jolene said on October 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    joodyb, the award is worth $1.5 million, which, as others have noted, Obama has said that he will give the entire award to charity.

  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    You mean he sent that same message to her, too?

  65. Deborah said on October 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Moe, Thanks for including Obama’s response. I hadn’t read it and it makes me proud once more that he’s our pres.

    I’m off to Abiquiu tomorrow for our annual fall trip. Looking forward to some time off. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends since they laid off everyone else in my department.

    Hope to have internet access this coming week but you never know in remote northern New Mexico.

  66. moe99 said on October 9, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Jeff tmmo: you will note I said the Obama camp. I know that was a broadcast email and so did she, but it still was nice and you can’t make me believe he didn’t have a hand in drafting it.

  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I kid, i kid. My wife read it over my shoulder, and said “what is that?” I pointed out that like going to a college, you give ’em a little money, and they never leave you alone.

    But are you sure Bill Ayers didn’t help draft the letter?

    😉

  68. Ricardo said on October 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    1 Obama will grow into the award. He will end up earning it.

    2 Now I want to go to the Nobel Prize museum.

    3 Waaaaay off subject: I got my package from UPS which contained all of the Beatles albums and singles remastered. I’m very familiar with all of the recordings, having bought my first LP in 1963 about this time of year. I didn’t get the MONO version, the Beatles primary mix, I got the Stereo version. I was very curious about how it would sound, I couldn’t imagine the advertised “noticeable improvement”. Every cut is dynamically improved, the old ones as well as the later, spacey tracks. I hear little parts that were more obscured by vinyl masering, now as they were intended. Little guitar parts, percussion instruments, and strings are dramatically enhanced, and the nuances of Lennon’s voice have wonderful intimacies. Additionally, there is a computer-playable video on each disk along with a master version video, plenty of artwork, and a nice box for storage.

    I made working copies of each of the 18 audio disks (2 for the White Album, and 2 for the singles and EP disks), and put the originals back in the box. The CDs are the British releases, each album in the original order rather than the jumble of songs on the American Releases. That exposes the only part I don’t like about Beatles stereo releases, that is the original stereo mix. Sometimes it is vocals mixed on the right and instruments on the left, or Paul on one side and the string section on the other, like in ‘Eleanor Rigby’. But I have a pretty good playback system and I can always mix it back to MONO. If you have the means, you should get a set for your music collection.

  69. Dexter said on October 10, 2009 at 1:37 am

    I downloaded a video player to watch “Red Dawn”. I made it through 20 minutes and I bailed out. Geez.

  70. coozledad said on October 10, 2009 at 7:37 am

    The life of the Party, really. The engine of its doddering, cankerous superfluousness. The robe visible through its open closet door.
    http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2009/10/oh-hes-just-jealous-and-not-only-of.html

  71. alex said on October 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Pity the pageant contestant who wants world peace with her diamond tiara.

  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 10, 2009 at 10:32 am

    And sweet vermouth, with a twist.

  73. Jeff Borden said on October 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Dexter,

    You must view “Red Dawn” as a comedy. Once you start laughing at the absurdly heavy hand of director John Milius –ie., a Commie pulling a pistol from the hands of a dead man in the street, who lies next to a car with a bumper sticker reading “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hand”– you’ll never stop.

    Only the silly people on the far right fringe take this film seriously. I believe they see themselves as Wolverines, who would take to the hills in the event of an invasion and bravely fight on. My guess is that most of them would act as the mayor in the film and collaborate to get along with the invaders, but then, I have an extremely low opinion of loud-mouthed chickenhawks.

  74. Crabby said on October 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    This is pretty cool, Antwerp Central Station flash mob:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UE3CNu_rtY

  75. Deborah said on October 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Greetings from Abiquiu, New Mexico. Internet access is just fine.

    Crabby, that was an amazing flash mob link, made me cry it was so sweet. I love those flash mob events, I’ve seen some very creative ones and then some not so great on You-tube. It’s a great concept. I’d love to be present when one is happening someday.

  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 11, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Deborah, are the aspens in the Chama valley yellow yet?

  77. Deborah said on October 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Jeff (tmmo), Aspens are golden and the cottonwoods are turning. Before we leave next weekend the cottonwoods should be at their peak. My favorite time of year here. The Chama is gorgeous right now, and getting better every minute.