Friday, October 9, 2009

OK, then.

It’s 9:00 AM. I’ve gotten one hour of sleep in the last twenty-five. Living the college dream, I guess.

Being super sleep-deprived is kind of fun sometimes. But there are drawbacks. Sometimes I have audio hallucinations. This morning in class, as I struggled to keep my head off the desk, I hallucinated that Professor Veenstra was saying that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Talk about hearing things, eh? I mean, that’s just bonkers.

Apparently, the entire world press corps was also working on 15-page papers last night, and also didn’t get any sleep, because they apparently are all sharing my hallucination. Fun times.

I know it’s not true. That would make no sense. But on the off chance that it’s actually true – that Barack Hussein Obama is the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner – I will post some comments here.

The last Saturday Night Live episode opened with a mock address from the Oval Office:

“There are those on the Right who are angry. They think I’m turning this great country into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. But, that’s just not the case. Because when you look at my record, it’s very clear what I’ve done so far. And that is: nothing.”

It’s a sad day when a Saturday Night Live satire is a more accurate barometer of reality than a decision by the Nobel committee.

During the 2008 election season, Andrew Ferguson had a brilliant piece about the Obama campaign over at the Weekly Standard. In part, he wrote:

What is unmistakable is the creepy kind of solipsism and the air of self-congratulation that clings to [Obama’s] campaign. “There is something happening,” he says in stump speeches. And what’s happening? “Change is happening.” How so? “The reason our campaign has been different is about what you, the people who love this country, can do to change it.” And the way to change it is to join the campaign, which, once you join it, will change America. Because this is our moment. The time is now. Now is the time. Yes, we can. We bring change to the campaign because the campaign is about change. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Obama and his followers are perfecting postmodern reflexivity. It’s a campaign that’s about itself. The point of the campaign is the campaign.
Is it possible that, in the minds of the Nobel committee, the point of the Obama presidency is his presidency?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Barack Obama as a person. I disagree with him on some things; on other things, he’s doing a great job considering the hand he was dealt.

That said...Barack Hussein Obama has not yet accomplished a thing as President of the United States.

It’s not his fault he’s done nothing. He’s been president for nine months. He was president for TEN DAYS before the Nobel nomination deadline. The poor guy had no idea the committee was going to give him the prize. After all – why would they?

Let’s give the man a chance! Let him give his best shot at making peace in Palestine, at ending the war in Iraq, at stabilizing Afghanistan, at ending the nuclear programs in Iran or North Korea, at stopping the genocide in Darfur. THEN give him the prize. What will they give him now if he manages to accomplish any of those things? The papacy? (Just to be clear, Vatican – since you can’t tell these days, THAT’S A JOKE).

In 2007, when the Nobel committee gave Al Gore the Peace Prize for making a documentary about global warming, the Wall Street Journal printed a list of men and women around the world who were doing real work for peace and human rights, often putting their lives on the line in the process. I hope the Journal does that again this year.

Good grief. I’m going to bed. My earnest prayer this morning is this: Dear God, PLEASE let our president one day live up to the hype.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. As a still-dreaming film student, the way you presented Al Gore winning a Noble startled me. Although I'm not so sure if Al Gore really deserved the prize, I can understand why the committee would have considered him in the first place. I believe in the capacity of the media of changing people. As much as I respect and admire all those people the Wall Street Journal listed, Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" did raise awareness of global warming worldwide, and suddenly a lot more people were talking about it, journalists were writing about it, even penguins were concerned about it (like in Happy Feet. Sorry, couldn't help it).
    So even if Al Gore may not have been directly helpful to prevent global warming, he drew many other people to help do so. And as we all know, global warming is not something one person can prevent-it needs a massive collaborative effort.

    And as far as Obama goes, he has more time to "live up to the hype." So far, he has given HOPE to many...some people, and that should count for something.

  3. Hani,

    I certainly did not mean to denigrate your profession of choice. Media is indeed a powerful tool for change. What bothered me and most conservatives about Gore's win is that his work was only very indirectly related to peace (Alfred Nobel designated the award in his will for "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.")

    As for Obama, he certainly has given hope to many, and I am grateful for that. But if we don't start seeing results here pretty soon, that hope is going to dry up, and be replaced by a worse cynicism than before. And I fear that undeserved Nobel Peace Prizes will only accelerate that process. I guess we'll see.

    It snowed tonight. You must be liking California about now.

  4. It rained today here. Of course I love California :)
    I wasn't too happy with the Nobel committee's decision on Gore, as well. But again, their decisions are becoming insignificant to me as I grow a day older everyday (wow. This was profound :/) When I was younger, I used to research the winners, reading their bios, interviews, etc. But now..I can't quite remember when exactly I stopped doing that.