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Godot's Page: January 2009

Godot's Page

Gatekeeper to the Theater of the Absurd

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Obama: The Apotheosis

Last night, I watched with great anticipation the inauguration of Barrack Obama. Like many, I am hopeful that this President will change the landscape of global socio-politics and maybe build some goodwill following the epic goat-fuck of a presidency Bush left behind.

With that said, and with the risk of sounding like a cynic in mind, I am surprised at the jaunty overjoy exhibited on the streets; Obama banners on windows, paraphernalia of all shapes and sizes, Obama-fied ads in the paper, and of course, you cant leave out the unfortunate self-promotional facebook minute-by-minute status updates. The surprise comes in light of the usual prevailing skepticism that accompanies any political virgin onto the scene. I quietly supported Obama’s rise to power, but this apparent cult of personality is something to be wary of. In the interest of avoiding hyperbole, I will not draw comparison to the cult of personality that a certain Joseph had around him…

Let’s hope the enthusiasm is merely a manifestation of the public’s desire to move forward. Otherwise, history has repeatedly shown us that the deification of a leader can prove to be calamitous sooner or later. It is prudent however to wait and see if this man will deliver on the ideas that won him this monumental election. I am rooting for Obama, but all Americans must keep him in check especially due to his over-powering charisma...Finally, I leave you with a few of Marx’s words quoted by Khrushchev in 1956:

“Comrades, the cult of the individual acquired such monstrous size chiefly because Stalin himself, using all conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own person. . . . One of the most characteristic examples of Stalin's self-glorification and of his lack of even elementary modesty is the edition of his Short Biography, which was published in 1948.

This book is an expression of the most dissolute flattery, an example of making a man into a godhead, of transforming him into an infallible sage, "the greatest leader," "sublime strategist of all times and nations." Finally no other words could be found with which to lift Stalin up to the heavens.”

Source: "The Cult of the Individual".

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Thursday, 8 January 2009

On the Am/Isreali Cost Benefit Analysis

The Sandmonkey poses an interesting debate, one which ought to be revisited more often than not by any American citizen. In the heart of both arguments is a cathartic 'emotional driver', whereby two nations are connected by some sentimental notion, biblical or otherwise...or something along those lines. When analyzing national ties that rarely involve tangible interests, the 'soft benefits' cannot be fully understood on a national level without being broken down into simpler arguments.

In this specific case, these 'constituents' are voter sentiments, or electoral sentiments in the case of the US. Statistics needn't be regurgitated in this spot to prove the strength of AIPAC and other pro-Israeli lobbies in swaying elections and policies. On a more granular level, by checking the 'Support' box on that friendly email circular (that no one really has the time to read) received from a friendly Jewish neighbor down the lane , American individuals are implicitly supporting the Israeli cause and putting it high in the electoral agenda. Perhaps a pop-up in the form of an Arab man reciting the contents of the cost-benefit analysis debate would move the pendulum. But until then, the incumbent support will remain static, and as far as the entire world in concerned, the population of the US will believe in the Israeli cause, whether they've read the email or not.