Thursday, March 12, 2009

Does Obama really hope?

Has a deep-rooted Western nihilism, only masquerading as hope and change, in a perhaps final delusion, found its president?

Belmont Club » Beginnings and endings
One of the tell-tales of a growing dysfunction within a system is the collapse of priorities. When small things begin to loom large and truly momentous events are regarded with a dispassionate, almost distinterested attention, it is often a sign that leadership culture has lost its way. The Week describes the strange narratives being emitted by the Obama administration: talking up fiscal packages that they know are ineffectual; making fatalistic references to Depression Era history and Happy Talk in place of real plans.
It almost seems like one of those movies where paratroopers are telling jokes before jumping into certain death; almost as if the main issues are foregone and so the conversation must turn to something else. Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist caught the obsession with trivia in the midst of an existential crisis perfectly. When Fagin is sentenced to death, he can think of nothing but unimportant things on the brink of his own execution.
Dickens might almost be describing the Obama administration. Maybe BHO’s grand speeches aren’t really promises to save the world. Perhaps he’s really saying the precise opposite. Here the illusion ends. There is no cake, as one reader wrote to me, “the cake is a lie.” You know when a man really has hope because he’s full of fight; bursting with defiance. In Obama’s case, it is like watching a man go through the motions while the world prepares to go on, almost without him.
The British newspapers say the President can’t even fake an interest in foreign affairs. Maybe at the end of the rainbow, the one he’s been chasing all his life, was the thing that had been pursuing him.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

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