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Thursday, January 13, 2011

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Good stuff, John. You're right that Nichols doesn't quite reach those Ezran heights -- but here's another contender: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/more-like-this-please.html. Again, not quite there, but pretty good all the same. And dig the return of the 11th-dimensional political superpowers of the Master!

I watched the ceremony last night on tv. It looked to me as if Daniel Hernandez, the tall, heavy, dark-complected young homosexual man who was recognized for having administered first aid to Congresswoman Giffords, could smell the bullshit being shoveled. If so, good for him. The student body president, on the other hand, was obviously delighted to roll in it. So it goes.

As Wavy Gravy said, "As I told my mirror this morning, it's all done with people."

And speaking of people, if you've already read G.I. Gurdjieff's Beelezebub's Tales to His Grandson: An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man, then you've encountered

The Five Being-Parktolg-Duties, the Obligolnian Strivings, which should be pursued in order to be able to perceive objective Conscience:

First Striving: "To have in our ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for our planetary body."

Second Striving: "To have a constant and unflagging instinctive need for self-perfection in the sense of being."

Third Striving: "The conscious striving to know ever more and more concerning the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance."

Fourth Striving: "The striving from the beginning of our existence to pay for our arising and our individuality as quickly as possible, in order afterwards to be free to lighten as much as possible the Sorrow of our Common Father."

Fifth Striving: "The striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to ourselves and those of other forms, up to the degree of the sacred Martfotai, that is, up to the degree of self-individuality."

A.R. Orage points out that (1) and (2) are relatively obvious, while (3) makes the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom a duty, rather than a pastime. The fourth striving, the discovery and discharge of one's function, depends upon achieving (1), (2), and (3), and the fifth striving is to help others with strivings one through four.

"We are a better nation when we are undimmed by cynicism and vitriol."

I don't think so. Undimmed by cynicism? I think the Obamaniacs are crippled by vapid credulity.

The Nation would be far better with some cynicism and vitriol. What's sad is that I was staring stupidly at a newsstand rack a couple of weeks ago while stuck at an airport, and I realized that The Nation was the only liberal or leftie rag available. Thus it struck me that the tragedy of its dumb faux liberalism isn't so much for any limits it places on people like this blog's readers, but for the limits it places on the debate spectrum as the sole representative of anything left-ish in large parts of the country where a newsstand isn't going to carry anything more obscure than The Nation.

Oh, and this sort of piggybacks on my earlier posts this week on identity politics. Does anyone think for a second that if Obama were 100% instead of 50% genetically white that the Hallmark crap his speechwriters puke out would be mistaken for great wisdom with moral weight attached by the PC liberal crowd?

I agree with much of what you said about identity politics but I don't think it has much bearing in this case, since I'm sure these same people would be just as impressed if it were Bill Clinton saying it rather than Obama; Clinton could (and did) snow liberals just as easily, if not more so.

If it were George (W.) Bush saying it, though, it'd be another story entirely. Which is why I recommend that susceptible liberals read Obama's speeches rather than listening to them live, and when they read them, try hearing them in Bush's voice.

Not that that advice is going to do any good, because these people want to be gulled. And Obama's more than happy to give them what they want.

QuizmasterChris, re: "identity politics" -- you keep using tha' word. I do no' think it means what you think it means.

Hell, if you think Ezra Klein was bad, you obviously don't remember Alice Walker's love letter to Obama from around March or April of '08. Here's a little chunk of it...

"If Obama were in any sense mediocre, he would be forgotten by now. He is, in fact, a remarkable human being, not perfect but humanly stunning, like King was and like Mandela is..."

Yeah, that's right: King and Mandela. Even more, if you can stand it now, at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/01/barackobama.uselections2008

Duncan -

What do you think it means?

Could the post following yours from the Guardian make my point any more for me?

Would Obama be placed by liberals in the same category as King and Mandela (?!) by Alice Walker if it weren't for his (partial) genetic background? I would put him more in the Herbert Hoover/ George W. Bush category.

Obama would have had King arrested and Mandela airstriked.

It's at least mildly amusing to consider that for all the heavy breathing, six months from now 90% of the country will have forgotten he gave this speech and the other 10% will be hard put to tell you what it was about.

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