Saturday, June 06, 2009

Thought leader finds God for children.

Put away the gas oven, bury the chain saw in the yard, dump out the coffee pot of Drano: no more suicidal thoughts from you, it's all OK now. Life is finally worth living.

By Kyle Drennen, "Newsweek’s Evan Thomas: Obama Is ‘Sort of God’." 5 June 2009

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obama’s Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC:

"I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."


"He's going to bring all different sides together...Obama is trying to sort of tamper everything down. He doesn't even use the word terror. He uses extremism. He's all about let us reason together...He's the teacher. He is going to say, ‘now, children, stop fighting and quarreling with each other.’ And he has a kind of a moral authority that he – he can – he can do that." In response, Matthews wondered: "If there's a world election between him and Osama Bin Laden, he's running a good campaign." Thomas agreed: "Yes, he is."

Dear reader, you might think that's the gushing nonsense of a fool, but let me hasten to explain that the speaker above is Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. Now you understand. And in case you don't, here's a bit more to clarify it all, this in case you are not one of Modernity's elite, not a thought leader.

Newsweek is an American weekly newsmagazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence'....

Recently, the magazine's owner The Washington Post Company has stated the publication has been losing profit. The company overhauled the magazine in May, 2009, refocusing its content and using higher-quality paper, to target a smaller and more "elite audience" and to identify itself as a "thought leader". To sustain its level of journalism with a reduced guaranteed circulation, Newsweek plans to eventually increase prices.

You slap my forehead, dear reader, and say, "But Dag, who is Evan Thomas?" Well, are you ever in luck. Evan Thomas (1951- ), Newsweek editor, is:

"[T]he grandson of the late Norman Thomas, a six-time Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America...."

So now you know. And I know. And we know. Grandpa's ghost finally made it into the White House, and he's a sort of God.


Eowyn said...

Isn't being "sort of God" kind of like being "sort of pregnant"?

Just askin' ... ;)

Dag said...

Now that you mention it, I think Obama can manage being sort of pregnant, he being some metro-sexual sorta something guy. "Hope and Sex Change." Right before your eyes.

I'm just sayin'....


(I love making that face!)

Eowyn said...

We got yer hope-n-change right here, only a dime.

Eowyn said...

UGH ...

WHEN will we realize that jettisoning old ideas lead us to better ones, alas.

~waving to my Dag friend~

~but also waving to truepeers, who has a grip on reality; and to Charles Henry, who alone, of all THREE of you, sees life as a progression toward happiness....

Being social-oriented, I accept that stuff I say might be scripted.

But, well .... I think the time is long past that "script" works.

We are moving into new territory. The only "ammunition" we have is our own beliefs. They must stand the test. Mine do, but they are predicated on very strange and disparate sources.

Ah, well. We shall see.

Charles Henry said...

From what I've read of him as a marginal character in Presidential biographies over the years, I'm not sure what to make of Evan's socialist grandfather Norman Thomas. I don't perceive him as a villain, just misguided.

As I recall, in his younger days he worked for someone who later became president; he was part of Warren Harding's newspaper staff, before (or during?) Harding's rise from editor to senator. He and Harding got along great, even though they had little, politically, in common. This we can presume from the many times he eventually visited President Harding for friendly, nostalgic conversations and after-dinner cigars in the White House... as close as Thomas ever got to running the place, Thank God.

Norman Thomas comes across like an American Ed Broadbent, the former Canadian head of Canada's socialist party, the NDP; not too many people agreed with him on politics, but most everyone felt his heart was in the right place, and he appeared as the kind of guy you'd enjoy inviting over for a beer at your backyard barbecue.

Off the top of my head I can't think of an American equivalent, a politician that people disagreed with on policy while still liking the fellow as a person.

Regardless, from what I've read about him I think Norman Thomas was a normal enough human being that he would be appalled at his silly grandson for what he said last week.

Dag said...

I look back at old socialists and see many fine and decent people, some of whom I would have been proud to befriend, like Walter Rauschenbusch, leading "theorist" of American Social Gospel. The man had a good heart,and that's worth a lot. Henry Mathew is a great guy from Britain, crusading reformer in London in the 19th century. History of that period is filled with decent men and women who were drawn to socialism because they were decent to begin with and wanted to do good for others less fortunate; and fortune played its large part. Obviously I don't condemn people for being decent. I don't condemn people who try to do good and fail. My complain with socialists is that they are anti-social. Today's socialists are neo-feudalists. They are totalitarian communitarians. This is not the underdeveloped 19th century. Socialists today are fasces-clinging. They are a menace in ways yet to be fully explored, though we'll see that first-hand, no doubt. Those who think of socialists as good people mistake socialists of yore with those povertarian reactionaries of today who are little better than outright monsters and criminal psychopaths like... well, we'll skip the one I have in mind to spare our readers my further fury.

To leave on a litter note, I think it's Alan Watt who came up with the story of the socialist monkey who climbed a tree in the midst of a flood. Being a good-hearted monkey who wanted to save the world, he reached down and saved a fish, holding it up out of the water so it wouldn't drown.

Yalla, yalla.

Dag said...

In looking for something else I came across this:

Norman Thomas, Socialism and the Social Gospel

by Elizabeth Balanoff

"Six times the Socialist Party’s candidate for president, Thomas is sometimes seen as a disaster in terms of his political leadership. Certainly he presided over a continuously dwindling membership. He lacked interest in -- perhaps even skill for -- the organizational work required for party-building. He distrusted even that part of the labor movement closest to him, denouncing Walter Reuther and the United Auto Workers, among others, for supporting the arms buildup."