The Image of Barack Obama

Do you have a conversation topic that doesn't seem to fit any of the other conversations? Here is where we discuss ANYTHING about Joseph Campbell, comparative mythology, and more!

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

User avatar
Clemsy
Working Associate
Posts: 10645
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:00 am
Location: The forest... somewhere north of Albany
Contact:

Post by Clemsy » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:42 pm

I would love to take a look at some of the figures that have driven us into the future and how art has played a part in this process. (Interesting subject matter)
Scarlett, this would be a fascinating topic. Do you have anyone in mind?

Good to see you posting, btw. We've missed you around here!

Cheers,
Clemsy
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
User avatar
bodhibliss
Working Associate
Posts: 1659
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:00 am

Post by bodhibliss » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:29 pm

]
Scarlett wrote:Bodhi – I would love to talk more about the image of a man. You also wrote, “Image – imagination – draws me into the future.”

I would love to take a look at some of the figures that have driven us into the future and how art has played a part in this process. (Interesting subject matter)
Joseph Campbell once said (and here I'm paraphrasing - I don't have the exact reference at hand), "If you really want to see something new develop, change the metaphor."

That's where Ronald Reagan succeeded in 1980, and that's where Barack Obama is succeeding today, changing the metaphor - changing our image of ourselves, and of the world.

Frankly, as noted in my post above, I think the real power isn't just in the image of himself that Obama presents to the world; what excites me more is the image he holds of the world, one very much in harmony with the image Joseph Campbell held of the world (there are times when the language Obama uses could have been lifted right out of Campbell's work).

That isn't to say Joe would agree in total with Obama's politics - in his later years he was more conservative, not thrilled with government handouts - but he would very much approve of the image Obama is broadcasting of himself and of the world. (In very much the same way, Joe was leery of the politics of California's "Governor Moonbeam," Jerry Brown - he didn't think much of Democrats - but once they met, Joe was impressed with Jerry and pleased to find they shared the same worldview).

To Campbell, image is the key to myth.

A mythic image bypasses the head and speaks directly to the heart - and/or the gut. He describes the mythic image/symbol/metaphor as "an energy-evoking and -directing sign" that stirs a specific emotion and evokes a response - an action.

On a personal level an example might be a would-be suitor presenting you with a single red rose. Words aren't required - you don't need a tutorial on the botannical properties of a rose, or a lecture on the history and customs of romance related to the roses. Heck, even if you had been born in a land that had no roses, you would still experience an "ahhh" moment, and wouldn't need the significance explained.

I imagine Joseph Campbell would be thrilled at the technology available today, which makes it easier to present images. In his books, like Masks of God, there are lots of sketches - but pictures were very expensive. As technology improved, we see images used more and more frequently in his work, starting with The Mythic Image - and in his final work, the partially completed Historical Atlas of World Mythology, image takes center stage, with the text supporting the visuals, instead of the pictures simply illustrating the text.

No surprise that Campbell believed the prevailing image of humanity shapes our present as well as our future. If we accept the prevailing "in-group" image, then we end up inhabiting a world of opposed dualities - good/evil, us/them, etc. By expanding the image of the in-group to the entire world, as Campbell suggested and Obama seems to be doing, we move beyond that dichotomy, beyond the in-group paranoia and fear, to embrace possibility and hope.

It is true that the Nazis effectively wielded mythic imagery to create a dark and sinister reality, and in my experience I've recognized a similar tendency to stage-manage reality by the powers-that-be the past eight years, though, fortunately, the folks in charge in Washington haven't proven very competent at it. For an image to work, to last more than the 12 years of the Nazi regime or the 8 years of the Bush administration, it needs to match reality. When it doesn't, catastrophe results.

They are all given here, in these volumes, with many clues besides, suggesting ways in which they might be put to use by reasonable men to reasonable ends - or by poets to poetic ends - or by madmen to nonsense and disaster.

- Joseph Campbell, on completion of The Masks of God
Obama didn't create the image of reality that he's projecting - Campbell and company 36 years ago identified this image as holding the greatest promise for the future and already emerging - and likely to continue to evolve. Obama has helped coalesce that image, bringing it to the surface - but the positive response around the world suggests this image of humanity has been gestating beneath the surface for some time.

As to what Obama accomplishes in office, might not be anything to write home about - but his election suggests a major turn of the Wheel, and a re-imagining of ourselves that may not be fully realized for generations - sort of like how it has taken centuries for reality to catch up to the image of "All Men Are Created Equal": we're moving in the right direction, but aren't quite there even now.

The image humanity holds of itself isn't an exact depiction, but defines a trajectory - one that draws us into the future.

That we have finally elected someone who seems to embody that image is a very positive sign. We've seen the "nonsense and disaster" generated by madmen - now, here's hoping the creative image will "be put to use by reasonable men to reasonable ends."

Namaste,
bodhibliss
User avatar
bodhibliss
Working Associate
Posts: 1659
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:00 am

Post by bodhibliss » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:53 pm

From the newspaper The Oregonian, a relevant article - "Democracy Reborn in Hearts, related to the jubilant reaction to Obama's election.

Here's a tease:
If we are to believe Joseph Campbell, then this intense inner experience of global joy could be a transformational connection to our collective awakening of consciousness.

What's true for the individual's maturation most likely is also true for the collective. We'll not be able to sustain this satoric moment, nor able to forget it either. And what we do as a nation now will either reinforce this transformational experience, or inhibit it's return. Everyone involved on the planet will want that connection again; it's in our interest to raise the flag of humanity and resist the fear that draws us back into isolation after so much loss.
User avatar
Unikorn
Associate
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:00 am
Location: San Rafael, California

The Image of Barack Obama

Post by Unikorn » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:18 pm

My New Friends,
This discussion, with minor exceptions, serves the memory and work of Prof. Campbell well, and I thank you all for your thoughtful use of time, energy, and space. Borrowing from the language of Edgar Cayce, the tension between "the children of the law of one and the children of belial" may well have brought humankind to yet another point in its social evolution; namely, a universal recognition that we are but one race, the human race! This is not to say that the human universe has magically expunged the dissemblers and revisionists that must distort and deceive to achieve their subjective ends, but it makes the glorious suggestion that they may finally be becoming a fringe minority in number and influence, regardless of professed political or ideological persuasion.
Hope is an audacious and exclusively human phenomenon, is this not why it is said to be its own reward? Must we not all beware of those who proudly oppose or disdain the enlightenment and inspiration enscounced in hope?

"bodhibliss" - Time, presently, does not permit me to reply properly to your thoughtful and expansive correspondence, except to say that I have read it, and the attachments, and find very little to differ with.

Likewise "Scarlett", "Vissi", "nandu", "dmc", and, of course, our congenial moderator and participant "Clemsy". 8)
Image
Last edited by Unikorn on Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Although tyranny, because it needs no consent, may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people."
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:39 pm

Thanks Clemsy :) -- It has been a great pleasure for me over the years to be able to share and express my thoughts at JCF. I've always enjoyed the discussions, perspectives, and wealth of knowledge that the JCF associates offer!

Back to the Image of Barack Obama -- and my request about discussing the image of man in general. My original thinking was to study or look at many of the images of powerful or inspirational personalities who have reached and influenced a large number of people over the centuries. Well, my head started spinning thinking about all the directions I could take.

I just love analyzing and reflecting on the spiritual evolution of human beings and how certain images inspire us.

Perhaps what interests me is -- the inspiration - motivation - and more importantly the opening in time that allows the spirit of transformation to sing her song so strongly through a person.

That might be a bit abstract....

So, I decided to chew on a few of the thoughts Bodhi expressed in his recent post

Bodhibliss wrote:
No surprise that Campbell believed the prevailing image of humanity shapes our present as well as our future. If we accept the prevailing "in-group" image, then we end up inhabiting a world of opposed dualities - good/evil, us/them, etc. By expanding the image of the in-group to the entire world, as Campbell suggested and Obama seems to be doing, we move beyond that dichotomy, beyond the in-group paranoia and fear, to embrace possibility and hope.
Barack Obama has carried forth the image of unity -- an image that is working on the imagination of millions of people. It will be interesting to watch him in office.

Bodhibliss wrote
Frankly, as noted in my post above, I think the real power isn't just in the image of himself that Obama presents to the world; what excites me more is the image he holds of the world,
I agree. The image he has represented -- expressed in his speeches -- is one of hope and unity. I hope he carries this energy into his years at the White House.

It has been great discussing and sharing my thoughts during this historical time.

Thanks everyone!

--Scarlett
User avatar
nandu
Associate
Posts: 3395
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:45 am
Location: Kerala, the green country
Contact:

Post by nandu » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:08 pm

Ned Kelly wrote: This, from a fellow JCF commenter whom I have repeatedly addressed as "my friend" despite our disagreements, and in my recent responses to you, Nandu, I have expressed (ver batim) how I "agree 60 percent" with much of what you have said.

And I still do. But your above comment falls into the other 40 percent, for its unfairness.
I apologise unconditionally for any personal hurt. You must have seen the wink, that "troll" remark was tongue-in-cheek.

I should have said: "I am not responding to your remarks in this thread, Ned, because they contain only sheer personal antipathy towards Obama."

Consider what I've said withdrawn, and let's shake on it and be friends again.

Nandu.
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu
User avatar
Clemsy
Working Associate
Posts: 10645
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:00 am
Location: The forest... somewhere north of Albany
Contact:

Post by Clemsy » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:41 pm

And now a message from the Dark Side of the Force....

As I discussed in my recent blog entry, that demographic known as the Republican base has a much different image of Obama. Indeed, to even a moderately informed individual, the nature of that image crosses the border into delusion land.
They consider Barack Obama the enemy and really resent him undoing their little coup. They'll start undermining his presidency just as rabidly as they did Clinton's in the hope that something like an illicit blow job will shake out.

Because he's not legitimate, just like anyone else who doesn't believe in their well ordered, narrow minded, positively medieval little world.
This image of Obama: he's a Muslim, a Marxist, a socialist, a terrorist and wasn't born in the U.S. therefore he can't be president.

Data:
...But rumors about Obama's religion persist. In the new NEWSWEEK Poll, 12 percent of voters incorrectly believe he's Muslim; more than a quarter believe he was raised in a Muslim home. Newsweek
Now, I'm of the mind that 'fair and balanced' is a deceptive lens through which to view current events. Consider, would Rush Limbaugh demand that Josef Goebell's be given a forum to present his side of the story?

You get my point.

There's the truth, then there are lies, plain and simple. There's the tolerance that's really demanded by American principles, then there's chauvinism.

I wouldn't be talking about this here if recent events hadn't brought it rather concretely front and center. Mrs. Clemsy teaches at the middle school I recently left for the more sophisticated literature and astronomically more planning and grading of the high school. However, I worked at the middle school for nineteen years and know the faculty as well as may be. Watching the uninformed moderates switch gears from "support the president at all costs" to "what the hell have we done" has been rather interesting. These folks all voted for Obama... even one individual in particular who once said to me in reference to Iraqi civilian casualties, "They should kill them all!"

This group is like a microcosm of the general population, indicating that the very demographic the Republicans have depended on to maintain power, the under informed moderates, could only take so much before their eyes were forced open. McCain lost because the strategy of repeating the same lies over and over, whether right out loud as in Obama "pals around with terrorists." or through surrogates who claim he's a Muslim mole, no longer worked.

Yet, for that group of true believers who need to believe whatever it takes to maintain their world view, that strategy continues to work.

So, one colleague rails against another, "You're one of those assholes who voted for that Muslim!" loudly in a faculty room. Another, a fundamentalist Christian who is the kindest, sweetest person you'd ever want to meet, says with absolute confidence, "He's going to have all of us wearing burkas. They're going to start killing Americans." (Ironically, the one who told me we should kill all the Iraqis responded, "Yeah? What's George Bush's body count up to?")

Consider for a moment what the reaction would have been if someone had reacted in a similar manner when George Bush was elected.

The response to this image so far has been one of disdain. I believe that as long as the Republican Party grants this particular demographic legitimate status, dismissing them as irrelevant is dangerous.

David Brooks believes they'll will actually gain power in the Republican party over the short term. LINK
Traditionalists own the conservative mythology. Members of the conservative Old Guard see themselves as members of a small, heroic movement marching bravely from the Heartland into belly of the liberal elite. In this narrative, anybody who deviates toward the center, who departs from established doctrine, is a coward, and a sellout.

This narrative happens to be mostly bogus at this point.
They are already beginning their campaign against Obama:

This from Sean Hannity's website:
"I've been racking my brain to find methods of openly, actively, and legally opposing this tyrant in the making. Any suggestions?"
"The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen," Limbaugh told his radio audience of 15 million to 20 million last Thursday. "Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression."
Millions listen to this man.

The militant right, and most especially the Christian Nationalists, won't give up. They will attempt to undermine Obama's administration as relentlessly as they did Bill Clinton's. We need to stay vigilant. To quote myself once again:
This is the demographic of any culture that's always more than ready to don their brown shirts and start making the kind of history we say "Will Never Happen Again" when the fires are finally out.
Symptom:
(Sarah Palin's) attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.

But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks. LINK
Enjoy the moment, but keep your eyes open. This shadow's nature and impulse is one and the same with that of the ethnic monotheism which divides us into a black and white, dualistic world.

Its remedy is the bright light of reasoned awareness.
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
User avatar
bodhibliss
Working Associate
Posts: 1659
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:00 am

Post by bodhibliss » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:26 pm

Clemsy wrote:And now a message from the Dark Side of the Force....

Enjoy the moment, but keep your eyes open. This shadow's nature and impulse is one and the same with that of the ethnic monotheism which divides us into a black and white, dualistic world.

Its remedy is the bright light of reasoned awareness.
Speaking of the Darker Image ... Obama the Antichrist.

No surprise that rabid religionists, impervious to reason, are beside themselves with excitement over the elevation of Barack Obama to the most powerful position in the world, not to mention the joyous global response.

Not that they share the joy, but receive the news as a sign the End is imminent:

Apocalypse Now.

Obama's election eerily corresponds to the scenario laid out in the apocalyptic Left Behind series, where a charismatic liberal leader - one Nicholas Carpathian - preaching peace and widely recognized as one who can heal divisions and transcend religion, is elected president, then takes advantage of social and economic crises to establish a unified world order, with himself as dictator. No surprise this leader turns out to be the Beast of Revelation (or even the "Image of the Beast") who persecutes Christians and precipitates Armageddon,

before the Mother of all deum ex machina, as Christ returns in the nick of time.

I've been expecting this shadow manifestation of our collective psyche to surface for some time.

As I pointed out in "The Times, They Are A-changing,"
"Images” do not fare well in apocalyptic visions – Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a “great image” of gold, silver, bronze and iron, and feet of clay, in the book of Daniel (chapter 2), which many Christians believe the Old Testament parallel to Revelations. The dream image, while consistent with representations of the four ages of man - a motif often found in mythologies where time is thought of as cyclical rather than linear – is interpreted in Christian eschatology as representing four successive kingdoms of man (the Babylonian of Nebuchadnezzar, the Persian of Cyrus the Great, the Greek of Alexander, and Rome of the Caesars); this image, representing man’s achievement, is smashed by an unhewn stone that stands in for the Kingdom of God ...

Again, it only takes an imagination of a certain kind to make the leap from this “great image” of man’s achievement to the “image of man” in the SRI study, and assume secular humanists are setting up the quintessential false idol in these end times.

Hence the built-in resistance, among those who read the scriptures literally, to ideas aired [by Joseph Campbell and colleagues] in Changing Images of Man.
The Great Image in the Old Testament book of Daniel is often conflated with the Image of the Beast in Revelations:
And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and his voice was like that of a dragon. And he makes use of all the authority of the first beast before his eyes. And he makes the earth and those who are in it give worship to the first beast, whose death-wound was made well. And he does great signs, even making fire come down from heaven on the earth before the eyes of men. And those who are on the earth are turned from the true way by him through the signs which he was given power to do before the beast; giving orders to those who are on the earth to make an image to the beast, who was wounded by the sword, and came to life. And he had power to give breath to the image of the beast, so that words might come from the image of the beast, and that he might have all those who did not give worship to the image of the beast put to death. And he gives to all, small and great, the poor and those who have wealth, the free and those who are not free, a mark on their right hand or on their brows; So that no man might be able to do trade but he who has the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He who has knowledge let him get the number of the beast; because it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty-six.
Though I expect most of the readers of the Left Behind series will stop this side of insanity, a significant number of fundamentalists will be claiming Barack Hussein Obama is the Beast of Revelations - and something tells me CNN's new hologram will factor in to interpretations of the Image of the Beast (as does internet technology - the Mark of the Beast equated with a universal credit card or bar code on implanted chips).

The global economic meltdown reinforces a literal reading of the apocalyptic mythology - you'll notice " ... no man might be able to do trade but he who has the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name" (good old 666); currently leaders like Gordon Brown of Great Britain are calling on Obama to forge "a world order" to address this crisis.

These are exciting days for those who believe in the End Time.

No surprise that Snopes.com has had to address this rumor, and there's even a refutation on Barack Obama's campaign website!


Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

The Shadow knows ...


Bliss On,
bodhibliss
User avatar
Ned Kelly
Associate
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 12:35 pm

Post by Ned Kelly » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:41 pm

nandu wrote:
Ned Kelly wrote: This, from a fellow JCF commenter whom I have repeatedly addressed as "my friend" despite our disagreements, and in my recent responses to you, Nandu, I have expressed (ver batim) how I "agree 60 percent" with much of what you have said.

And I still do. But your above comment falls into the other 40 percent, for its unfairness.
I apologise unconditionally for any personal hurt. You must have seen the wink, that "troll" remark was tongue-in-cheek.

I should have said: "I am not responding to your remarks in this thread, Ned, because they contain only sheer personal antipathy towards Obama."

Consider what I've said withdrawn, and let's shake on it and be friends again.

Nandu.
I accept my friend Nandu's apology, and in turn I offer Nandu an "English" dish of my own ethnic cuisine: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=huSP7PtctC4

8) :lol:
dmc
Associate
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2003 6:00 am
Location: Gold Coast. Queensland.

Post by dmc » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:18 am

I've just been skimming through the contributions from one and all, it seems, on the seemingly contentious issue of the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States of America.
I'm just a possibly "laid-back" Australian, but I see an enormous amount of emotion being expressed on either side.
And I well recall Jung, in saying, that when this occurs, an archetype is stirring.
I see this election in Jungian terms , as the emergence of the "shadow" from the collective unconscious of the American people.
For this man, Barack Obama, for me, again in Jungian terms, epitomises "the shadow" suppressed for so many generations of Caucasian Americans with their "white" , "Christian", elected presidents.
My hope for your country, is that this historical event is seen for what it is, in the light of the collective psyche , and gain hope that , at long last, the world may witness a harmony of consciousness in the acceptance and embracing of the shadow which has forever been a blot on your history, and a promulgation of fear in the hearts of those you call "foreigners". (Like myself!).
dmc.[/b]
We shall not cease from exploration<br>And the end of all our exploring<br>Will be to arrive where we started<br>And know the place for the first time.<br>T.S.Eliot.
User avatar
bodhibliss
Working Associate
Posts: 1659
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:00 am

Post by bodhibliss » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:01 am

Well expressed indeed, dmc!

Though I voted based on political reasons, what I find most fascinating is watching this movement of the collective psyche - clearly something intense and highly charged is emerging from the unconscious.

Apart from a few rigid cultists, I'm not finding evidence of post-election conflict over politics among the people I know, whether Democrat or Republican (plenty of vociferous debate, but that played out before the election). Indeed, there is a surprising degree of unity (a recent survey suggests that 77 percent of the public - including Republicans who supported Senator McCain - express confidence in the President-elect - and even here in the forums it's intriguing that cynicism in the wake of the election has been expressed not by people who voted for McCain, but by individuals who live outside the United States).

I believe the results of the election sparked a collective catharsis in the U.S. among liberals € conservatives alike - a response to the emergence of those shadow contents.

A fleeting moment perhaps, but there is healing in catharsis.

Namaste,
bodhibliss
Last edited by bodhibliss on Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
dmc
Associate
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2003 6:00 am
Location: Gold Coast. Queensland.

Post by dmc » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:20 am

Well, Bodhi, I pray the catharsis is prolonged and deep.
I would like to see your countrymen/women awash with it.
Then, perhaps, we could all begin to hope for the same quantum leap to spread worldwide, with peoples of every culture embracing the sanctity of our common humanity.
dmc.
We shall not cease from exploration<br>And the end of all our exploring<br>Will be to arrive where we started<br>And know the place for the first time.<br>T.S.Eliot.
dmc
Associate
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2003 6:00 am
Location: Gold Coast. Queensland.

Post by dmc » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:36 am

Bodhi, it's always a bit off-putting for me when there's a dead silence after one of my posts.
It happens too often for comfort!
BTW, I love your hair!
What I want to add, is that American thinking must go beyond this Republican v Democrat political emphasis on what has just , and is just, happening.
I would like you to behold this dynamic as , say, Joseph Campbell might.
He wouldn't talk about who he voted for and why, or what percentage thought this or that.
I would like him to have a sense of Bliss , at what could be a paradigm shift in the thinking of his people .
I would like to fancy his saying - "Yes. This is the beginning of our Myth of the 21st. Century. Forget Star Wars and cosmic consequences. Myth, like Charity, begins at home.
And, boy, let's face it! This couldn't be closer to home if we had organised it!"
This event in your history, has the potential to bring about "peace in our time", if properly handled and evaluated across all divides.
I apologise if you think I may be flogging a dead horse.
Regards, as always - dmc.
We shall not cease from exploration<br>And the end of all our exploring<br>Will be to arrive where we started<br>And know the place for the first time.<br>T.S.Eliot.
User avatar
Ned Kelly
Associate
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 12:35 pm

Post by Ned Kelly » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:45 am

Bodhi wrote:
I believe the results of the election sparked a collective catharsis in the U.S. among liberals and conservatives alike - a response to the emergence of those shadow contents.
I agree. However, the American Civil War was ALSO supposed to be a national catharsis - yet it did not resolve America's "original sin" of slavery, because the nature of "original sin" is to be a flaw which cannot be resolved in the dimensions of time and space - it can only be resolved in transcendent eternity.

And that is why - although I do share SOME joy in Obama's election - I believe that Obama's election was NOT any kind of "final" resolution of America's original sins, and I do not repose much hope (a bit, but not much) in the Obama Administration to heal America's wounds.

And the Buddha (and/or all Buddhas) would agree with me about that.
SteveC
Associate
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 4:41 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Post by SteveC » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:26 pm

Ned Kelly wrote: Just one bit of food for thought: As I lived in Communist China for many years - and my wife is Chinese - I am all too familiar with icons of Chairman Mao, which usually depicted him with rays of light around his head, very similar (no, I mean IDENTICAL!) to how Obama is represented in many of his own campaign's propaganda images.

I am NOT saying Obama is like Mao. But what I AM saying, is that all, ALL personality cults are dangerous, in all countries and all times.
Obama captured my attention at the DNC convention, in particular because of his use of the phrase 'willful ignorance." I had used the same phrase in a discussion/argument with my brother.

Since then, however, as a candidate, he has pretty much taken advantage of and perpetuated people's willful ignorance. He has skillfully played on people's hopes and fears without saying anything. (Whereas McCain was terrible at it.)

My name for him now is 'Obama the Timid.'

Of course I am glad it is him and not McCain, but the handwriting is already on the wall. He has been swallowed up by the sea of inertia that makes Washington D.C. what it is. He will undo some of what Bush did, and redo what Clinton tried to do. He has not positioned himself in such a way that he can launch any truly meaningful reforms. Sadly, his greatest promise will be in a total collapse of the economy, but if he were leading properly, then he could prevent the collapse. His stimulus package is just the same old same old.

The next few years should be interesting, if only to watch the flash of a well-oiled propaganda machine.

Oh when the True-Believers, come marching in
I don't want to be in that number
oh no
when the True-Believers come marching in.
You can only see the height of a mountain from its valley.


The radical myth towards which the helix aspires is beyond the desire for money or power, yet which has greater returns than all the power and money in the world could not achieve.
Locked