But, tonight, I’ve been moved. Not beyond words. But by words. Not by deeds and accomplishments. But by rhetoric. (There will be bamboozling, of course, but not to worry!)
I’ve been touched by the “bluesman from Chicago.” I’ve been inspired by the “new synthetic mythology for a new kind of knowledge culture” which, the author writes, “may be the most powerful remobilization of historical and contemporary perspectives since the Popular Front movement of the 1930’s.”
Deeds and accomplishments — like hard work — are so yesterday. It is time to believe. Because, these great minds tell us, that is all we NEED TO DO!
You see, before tonight, I did not know this:
In many ways, [Obama’s] language recalls that of Walt Whitman whose Leaves of Grass sought to develop a synthetic construction of what America was like as a nation, linking together a range of individual experiences, memories, perspectives, sense impressions, to create a vision of the nation as one big organism. . .
A GIANT ORGANISM! That’s what I’ve really been yearning for! And that was written by an M.I.T. professor (and that’s his photo, and he looks very intellectual!), so it must be true.
This is Harry Jenkins, that brilliant professor at M.I.T., who moved me so tonight with his words — words that match, in their clarity and detailed outline for the future of the United States government, foreign affairs, health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Department of the Interior, Department of Labor, Justice Department, military services, Pentagon, Congress, 50 governors in 50 states, hundreds of countries with billions of people, two wars, terrorism, the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts, the countries buying up United States companies, the massive credit card debt, the housing crisis, the infrastructure collapse (including, yech, sewers), the Department of Education and all those special needs kids, the college-age kids who can’t afford to go to college, the moms and dads working two minimum-wage jobs, my friend Cheryl and her 700 fellow mill workers who’ve lost their jobs — all that will be swept away, taken care of, CURED I TELL YOU!, by words like these:
In many ways, [Obama’s] language recalls that of Walt Whitman whose Leaves of Grass sought to develop a synthetic construction of what America was like as a nation, linking together a range of individual experiences, memories, perspectives, sense impressions, to create a vision of the nation as one big organism. . . .
Obama is charting a map of the future by mobilizing what is most valuable, most precious in the nation’s past. In doing so, he is constructing a shared mythology which speaks to us across historic divides in our national consciousness. Nothing could be further removed, say, than Edward’s talk of ‘Two Americas.’ In Obama’s version, there are at once many Americas, each self contradictory and refusing to be reduced to stereotypes, and one America, a collective intelligence ready to process all of that diversity and arrive at shared solutions to shared problems. . . .
Think of the speech as a mash-up of JFK, RFK, Ceasar Chavez, and Walt Whitman, delivered with the candences of Martin Luther King. Think of it as thus a new synthetic mythology for a new kind of knowledge culture. [It shows that I haven’t been back to college in a while that I haven’t got a f–king clue what that is, ignorant me.] It may be the most powerful remobilization of historical and contemporary perspectives since the Popular Front movement of the 1930’s. . . . My hope is that Obama’s rhetoric may evoke a similar response in future generations and in that sense, it will be, to use a word Obama likes to talk about, ‘transformative.’
Harry Jenkins, MIT “Obama and the ‘We’ Generation February 18, 2008.
For you naysayers, I give you Stanley Crouch, who won a Genius Award, so it has to be true:
“Out of One, Many Rise to Believe Again”
Opponents want to dismiss that optimism as “false hope” because they think – or pretend to think – that Barack Obama represents no more than a charismatic political slogan that has even less value than one of the worthless products brilliantly hawked around the clock throughout our media.
Barack Obama is actually a bluesman from Chicago whose big stage is not in a nightclub or a concert hall but the huge national podium on which politics are argued. Obama knows that the blues always present the unvarnished problem and provide a solution through the rhythms and tones of engagement. It is, as the writer Albert Murray has observed, a music of confrontation, and it is presented in what amounts to a purification ritual.
Stanley Crouch, NY Daily News February 18, 2008
Obama is a bluesman! He’s creating a “music of confrontation.” And that’s a “purification ritual.”
I get it now!
Hillary Clinton talks about being Commander in Chief!
Gawd, that’s so yesterday!
(And do you think that Harry Jenkins and Stanley Crouch give a shit about those generals, colonels, and privates in the military? They’re all SO 20th century. The Pentagon? We oughta turn it into a museum! We’ll just talk to people, even our enemies, because that’s all that’s need NOW.)
COME ON, PEOPLE. Reach out and touch him! Touch his words! He’ll cure all that ails you and, wow, the entire world!
Credit must go to the “Is Barack Obama the Messiah?” blog site.
And just ignore these party poopers:
Audiology of Hope 360: Special Topics in Health Care Reform
by RonK Seattle
Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 06:34:51 PM PST
Hounds and FOXes come running in from right field when Obama’s bandwagon cranks up its 120dB dog whistle Wurlitzer. His policy point man is an ivory tower free marketeer (and DLC’s Senior Economist). His Social Security wingman is an avid privatizer.
The third horse in BO’s domestic policy troika is health care maven David Cutler — a technology optimist, of American Exceptionalist bent.
Do other countries do health care better? Irrelevant — we’re different. Expensive? We ought to spend a lot more. Patients Bill of Rights? Dead issue. Single payer? Dissed and dismissed in a single paragraph of his book. Insure the uninsured? Sure, but don’t let that distract us from the real issues. Negotiate drug prices? Careful, you’ll kill the Golden Goose!
Our review of Cutler’s eccentric frame for health care reform not only decrypts Obama’s call to the Right – it unearths the audacious belief system that animates our New Politickers’ across-the-board hope of finessing every clash of interest, and “turning the page” on every hard choice.
Cutler, RonK writes, offers this free-enterprise system:
[Cutler:] “The real reason health-care reform has not succeeded is that it is rooted in a misconception of what health-care reform should accomplish.” … He envisions a system in which everyone could get insurance while free-market incentives would motivate health-care providers to be more effective as well as more efficient. Instead of suppressing the market by rationing care, restraining prices or regulating doctors, he wants to liberate it. … Vouchers are a leap for a Democrat, but the idea is popular with conservatives. … Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation prefers Cutler’s universal model. … Cutler’s idea is to preserve the diversity of America’s system while subsidizing people’s access to it — to let the G.E.’s and the HealthPartners of the world, and also the Mercks, continue to innovate.
Read all of RonK’s “Audiology of Hope 360: Special Topics in Health Care Reform.”
We shouldn’t have to worry about his advisers and the specificity of his plans because we can all become one, and solve this all together, happily. The rancour and interest of each group will fall away easily. Everyone will love those plans from those conservative advisers because we’re “all one” now and that is all it takes.
And do forgive RonK. He’s just one of those wonky lefties. So yesterday. Details, details, details.
RonK hasn’t been bamboozled. And, you know, in a way that’s really sad. Come on, man! This is a movement! ‘course, movements used to be about voters’ rights, workers’ rights, decent working conditions, and the end to racial and sexual discrimination. BUT NOW OUR MOVEMENT IS ABOUT ELECTING A GUY WHO WANTS TO BE PREZ! Cuz he’s the cool, bluesy guy. I’m on so on board.