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Friday, October 23, 2009

Makes Me Smile Just to Look

10 comments:

The Mathmos said...

Ookay, a bit creepy.

It should take more than a new (charming and symbol-laden) faceplate for Empire to make you smile.

Dale Carrico said...

I'm glad I'm not you.

Jackie said...

Is it not amazing enough that just 60 years ago a family like this would have had to take a different seat on the bus and be forced to attend a different school than their 'fellow' Americans?

I worked at an elementary school today in Oakland and it made be pretty damn happy to hear that every one of the students knew who their president was and, what's more, could identify with him and say - "That could be me someday."

The Mathmos said...

Yeah well, you should also be glad that you’re not some innocent Afghani peasant who’s being scrutinized and brutalized daily by means of science-fictional weaponry, all in the name of the most vacuous and unrealistic plan for building the entire country into one vast police state. I can guarantee that those people aren’t smiling at America baby-stepping its way out of moral bankruptcy by upping the melanin of its main figurehead.

Dale Carrico said...

There isn't a single fact that drives you to these idiotically sweeping pronouncements that I don't already know, there is not a single calorie of energy spent more ferociously in the service of equity, diversity, democracy, or consent due to your narcissistic "hard-core" sermonizing in this vein.

Are you really such a simpleton that you fancy only somebody oblivious to the horrors you describe could nonetheless grasp something truly great and promising about our President and our moment and the chances for our actual work, a work made easier by Obama's Presidency?

Go ahead, hate Obama, deride those who are proud of his Presidency as deluded or evil collaborators, cynically disdain the hopeful and resourceful in the midst of our real distress, go ahead and rise to your Olympian heights from which Bush Obama and McCain are as good as one and the same, where the day by day fights of actually informed activists and representatives struggling to hack together unsatisfying compromises that nudge us in the direction of saner healthcare, more workplace democracy, more multilateral foreign policy in the face of flabbergasting entrenched interests are all just equally debauched measured against your stainless steel metaphysical pronouncements, whatever the complexities of history, stakeholders, logistics that beset them.

Congratulations! Despite the fact that you are obviously a bright enough and well-meaning enough person to do some real good in the world so far as it goes you prefer to squander it all, electing (at least in the version of yourself you are so proud to publish here) to render yourself as irrelevant to the actual real-world work toward the ends with which you presumably identify (as do I) as Fox News hacks bloviating about Obama being a stealth islamofascist -- and for no good reason but, I suppose, an easier analytic vantage and the cheap-won ease of conscience all zealots enjoy.

Do please spare me the likely response about how I'm a washed out assimilationist corporate-militarist academic pawn -- surely coming next if past performance is any indication -- despite my being a secular feminist anti-racist anti-militarist queer green social democrat who teaches like one, and at some risk to a legible career path: posts like that from you will get deleted from here on out without a qualm precisely as you deserve.

The Mathmos said...

“idiotically sweeping pronouncements”

“Go ahead, hate Obama, deride those who are proud of his Presidency as deluded or evil collaborators, cynically disdain the hopeful and resourceful in the midst of our real distress, go ahead and rise to your Olympian heights from which Bush Obama and McCain are as good as one and the same, where the day by day fights of actually informed activists and representatives struggling to hack together unsatisfying compromises that nudge us in the direction of saner healthcare, more workplace democracy, more multilateral foreign policy in the face of flabbergasting entrenched interests are all just equally debauched measured against your stainless steel metaphysical pronouncements, whatever the complexities of history, stakeholders, logistics that beset them.”

Pot, kettle, etc. Your Purist charge against me doesn’t register. I encourage you to read on.

Seriously, I get what you’re saying and weren’t about to call you a pawn of any sort. But none of your appeal to political economy and realism entail my agreeing with your granting legitimacy to one of the most pervading myth out there, that of the “historic” (picture this word being repeated ad nauseam through every media the mainstream is made of) or symbolic quality of a black man’s presidency somewhat making up for the utterly unremarkable (to put it mildly) pattern of his actual decisions and actions : worse than that, his presiding over a significant worsening of the living conditions of black people around the country, and his ‘tough-love’ refusal to even acknowledge the social inequalities that persist to this day.

Apart from being an object of pride for the black community, Obama hasn’t been a boon to them in any significant way. It’s your focusing on the symbolism of the Black President that is metaphysical, not my comparing it to the reality of only one of the social groups still brutalized under his rule.

And if you can’t admit that fawning over the family picture of an individual presiding over violent conflicts all over the globe (there I go again, purist me) can be seen as a bit creepy… well, we don’t view that Empire thing in quite same way.

The Mathmos said...

Welcome to the Internet, Dale.

Dale Carrico said...

I don't think there is anything the least bit wrong with liking the President despite having a critical and sensible awareness of his role and our own in the world as it is, nor feeling a critical and sensible measure of hope and happiness in liking him in the midst of distress and taking some pleasure in that.

Where do you get off, by the way, implying that it is only the fact that Obama is black of all things that makes me pleased and proud of him as my President? Where do you get off, by the way, claiming that only the "black community" stands to gain from his "symbolic" position?

I think Obama is very likely to be a President whose stature can and will equal FDR's -- he is the first President in twenty five years of voting that I have truly felt any kin with or pride in -- I think his policies are contributing substantially to real-world democratization when just a year ago we were on the brink of authoritarian catastrophe.

It is perfectly easy to be aware of US corporate-militarism domestically and internationally and still feel the way I do about Obama and his position as a force for progress toward a better world. I'm to the left of Obama in my own politics, I'm to the left of most Americans, frankly, but I assess political possibilities in the direction of my aspirations and substantial accomplishments of the Obama Administration as someone who can actually walk and chew gum at the same time, as someone who distinguishes guiding ideals from the left wing of the possible (and grasp their complex, sometimes heartbreaking inter-dependencies as well).

I notice that while you step back from claiming I am a "pawn" at the beginning of your latest response you are unable to restrain yourself for more than a few seconds, declaring within a few sentences that my hopes amount to "fawning" again, declaring yourself more true in your abhorrence of Empire just because you can throw spitballs from the cheap seats again.

Quite apart from knowing you to be wrong in your assessments of my politics, I actually think it is just a straightforwardly terrible thing that you chose to respond from out of the blue to a simple expression of cheer by taking a dump on my smile and then going into a self-righteous huff as if I'm an arch-imperialist or naif for having anything good to say about our President.

Honestly, you are the limit. I'd almost prefer to listen to those mouthbreathing morons of Fox hilariously casting Obama in the role of Islamo-Hitler than hear such lame looniness spewing from folks who actually share my wider aspirations for social justice, or claim to do. If you are in reality anything like this mean ugly self-righteous character you are publishing yourself as you are little likely to contribute anything of use to the progress you claim to desire, or even modest happiness in the world you inhabit.

I don't know you and I don't feel the least bit inclined to get to know you after all this. I won't feed your need for attention by posting any more of your surreally mis-targeted, egregiously mean-spirited, utterly useless finger-wagging. You've made your "point," good luck to you, now go find somebody else to harangue for no reason to no purpose.

Dale Carrico said...

"Welcome to the Internet, Dale."

The internet can be better than you, and you are not welcome, nameless asshole.

Dagon said...

The battle isn't over Dale. The'll fight tooth and nail and will be willing to run your country in the ground just to say 'told you so'.

You need to double your efforts working for a sane, progressive america.

Sometimes I think - did all the rich elites declare america their private stomping ground just after bretton woods? "IT'S OURS" (angry muttering)