Friday, October 9, 2009

The Ultimate Silliness

For the past few hours I've been trying to think of anything sillier than this. Alas, I haven't found it.

Of course, it may be that it's not silly at all. It may be dead earnest. When language loses its anchor in reality, this is what you may get. When one of Man's noblest aspirations becomes so jaded by familiarity for the lucky ones who already have it, so debased by over-usage that it loses any meaning, this is what we're left with. Not silly: grotesque.


Anonymous said...

1st black president gets Nobel Peace prize- not silly at all. I know you young people don't always remember, and I'm really OK with that.

Lefties in Norwegian parliament appoint committee that gives head of Democratic Party spoils system a nice doo-dad- that's silly all right.

On balance, not silly. First black president is a big deal.

4infidels said...

In addition to the ridiculousness of the award...

I find it interesting--and telling--that the New York Times felt compelled to quote both a Hamas spokesman and a "politically independent" Gazan, but not an Israeli, not an Iranian opponent of the current government in Tehran, not an East European. Pathetic.

Yaacov said...

I can see the significance of electing a black president. Seems to me, the American electorate should get the prize for that, not the black man.

Anonymous said...

BO did not ask for the award, nor did he feel he deserved it. So why the harsh criticism of BO rather than the Nobel committee whose award only places higher expectations on him? Of course he could have turned it down. But the right wing in the US would have heaped scorn on him . The many (not by Yakov) premature criticism of BO so early in his presidency reminds me of similar criticism of black graduate students when they first entered graduate school in my department in the late '60s and 70s.

Many Americans like Obama for his intelligence and sophistication. Yes, he has made some mistakes and some errors of historical knowledge. But he has sufficient insight to see those errors, and overall he has put the US on the right track internally, and hopefully externally too. Time will tell.

Ron from Portland, OR.

Geoff said...

1. As far as I can tell almost all of the criticism has been directed towards the Nobel committee (and those who agree with this choice) and not Obama. It's merely just another data point to support that the Left is so starstruck by Obama that they can no longer think rationally.

2. Criticism of Obama has neither been premature nor underserved. Between the ballooning of the federal deficit, an ineffective stimulus, the half-assed approach to health-care reform, and basing his foreign policy approach of sticking it to our friends while kissing up to our enemies, he deserves every bit of criticism he gets. Nobody expects him to have solved every major problem that the US (and the world) is facing, but he hasn't even started down the right track. And frankly, your not so subtle insinuation that criticism of Obama is based on racism, merely demonstrates that you've lost the argument. The American Left has become the mirror image of the Right immediately after 9/11. Too bad they're so blinded by devotion to Obmama to see the irony.

Anonymous said...

Obama's reaction to the prize was something,to me, and it shows the power of what he might achieve.Yes- might. For he's just one person, and it's all dependant on how people react,and what they do.But if they are all busy judging:who will? The structure of the world has not merely changed, it has become a very different place, compared to, let's say, about 20 or even 10 years ago.New ways of communication, new jobs possible that people may not even have dreamt of before.Thus, the prizes may refer to the world we live in.This one asks for a human that confesses his humanity, doesn't judge or stick to the old "good" and "bad"- thinking.A new approch, and a peaceful one.Not silly at all.Just different, and really demanding.

Yaacov said...

I spend most of my professionally active hours doing things that were not dreamt up 20 years ago. I know from very close up how much the world has changed, and is changing.

But I don't think the "structure" of it has changed, whatever that might mean. And if the word is to designate that human nature has changed - well, it hasn't. Part of the point of the Daf Yomi thread I ocasionally weave into this blog is to demonstrate how the issues that face us today are the same as the issues that faced those folks 1,800 years ago.

Obama hasn't changed this, the Nobel committee hasn't, and no-one will, either. Human nature is human nature is human nature.

Gavin said...

Agreed Yaacov. It's times like this when all those science-fiction stories don't look like fiction after all. We are surely caught in a wormhole to a parallel universe created out of a Lewis Carrol novel. Surely. Nothing else can explain the bizarreness of this award and the subsequent justifications for it.

Obama has achieved nothing in the realm of peace making. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nominations for the Nobel prize closed in February, he'd barely warmed up his presidential seat then. The Nobel Committee are the modern day Mad Hatters tea party.

The world has truly gone mad. Will someone please close that wormhole.


Anonymous said...

Norman Geras has a good piece on the award to Barack Obama

Ron from Portland

Anonymous said...

Maybe human nature hasn't changed, but human nature has changed the world.And human needs.And the whole scenario that structures our lives.Sure human nature hasn't changed a bit; it#s all about love and hate,birth and death and living a life as good as possible.It's but also about hope and tikkun olam.
How, do you think, it should look like? Really, Yaacov,what's your definition of tikkun olam?I would really like to know.