athelind: (Default)
Am I missing something?

Apparently, "striving for nuclear disarmament" by rattling sabres at Iran and North Korea, "supporting international bodies" like the WTO, the World Bank, and other corporate bulwarks, and "rekindling hope" by Not Being George Dubya Bush qualifies a man for the Nobel Prize, despite what Your Obedient Serpent perceives as a continuation of all of Bush's most rephrehensible policies, at home and abroad.

Okay, not all of Bush's policies. President Obama isn't actively rude to other countries.

But, ten thousand thunders! how is it that I find myself inclined to agree with Neocon Republicans and Taliban members about this?

If Reagan was Teflon, Obama is Kevlar. His opponents are so reprehensible that I wind up aligning myself with him simply to distance myself from them. It's like he generates a Godwin Deflector Field: I'm gonna stand over here, with Barry, so none of The Stupid gets on me.

Seriously, I know there are non-North Americans reading this. What's your perspective on the President and the Peace Prize?



Update: [livejournal.com profile] rodant_kapoor has his own take on what this represents, and it does make sense, from a certain point of view.



Update: [livejournal.com profile] circuit_four has another good take.

Good stuff is popping up in the comments here, as well; thanks, gang!



Update: [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi makes some good points On Obama.

And that guy in the Oval Office had was as astonished as anyone else, it seems.



Update: Meanwhile, The Washington Post puts it all in perspective by pointing out that the Peace Prize has also, historically, been awarded for "aspirations". (Of course, those who have a medical background know that if you aspirate something, you may choke on it.)


Most of these updates are for my own future reference, but also for interested readers.
athelind: (Default)
It was a Wednesday. I was 5.

This was the fourth time I'd watched one of those impossibly immense Saturn Vs lift off from Cape Kennedy. My mother insisted on watching every televised moment she could of those flights, and I was right there beside her, as much as I could. During 9 and 10, the school was dutifully notified that I was staying home, sick; I suspect that "Moon Flu" was a common strain in 1969.

I remember -- or I think I remember -- Walter Cronkite's deep, reassuring voice; I've heard it so many times since that I can't really be sure if I remember it from the broadcast, or from the LP record that CBS released and I played regularly through the '70s. I do remember, vividly, the NASA animations that played over his descriptions of the various stages of the launch and the space flight, precise and technically detailed cut-outs that would nonetheless seem crude by today's standards.

I remember the official NASA release images my father, a newspaperman, brought home, the flimsy thermal paper just off the facsimile machine, already browning. Somewhere, I may still have a notebook full of them, mostly from Apollo 13's ill-fated flight; they were in my possession as recently as my days at Cal State Monterey Bay.

I remember the excitement, the tension. I knew, even at the age of 5, that I was witnessing the single most important event of the century, the single most important event of human history.

Forty years ago today, three men leapt off the edge of the world into the Black.

I was watching.

athelind: (Default)
A year ago today, I did something I rarely do: I wrote down an explicit list of New Year's Resolutions. The other half of that tradition, of course, is to sit down at year's end and evaluate my progress.

2008 Report Card )

2009 Resolutions )
athelind: (Default)
Solstice Greetings, everyone, and peace and good will to one and all!

On this, the shortest day and longest night of the year, let us remember that it is, indeed, darkest before the dawn, and in the cold of winter, embrace each other in a spirit of love, fellowship, and joy.


"Praise be to the distant sister sun, joyful as the silver planets run."

athelind: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] toob just got married a few months ago, making him and his husband among the people that Proposition 8 most directly impacts.

I have nothing to say that he hasn't just said more clearly and truly:

Listen to what I am saying: they won nothing. All they did was briefly, temporarily revert California to the state it was in at the beginning of the year. But they are standing there with their thumb in the dike (Ha!) and new leaks are springing all around them.


They haven't lost -- but they are losing.


Sail on.

Nov. 4th, 2008 10:43 pm
athelind: (Default)

Democracy

Leonard Cohen, 1992



It's coming through a hole in the air,
From those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
That this ain't exactly real,
Or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
From the fires of the homeless,
From the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming through a crack in the wall;
On a visionary flood of alcohol;
From the staggering account
Of the Sermon on the Mount
Which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
On the dock of the bay,
From the brave, the bold, the battered heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
The holy places where the races meet;
From the homicidal bitchin'
That goes down in every kitchen
To determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
Where the women kneel to pray
For the grace of God in the desert here and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.


It's coming to America first,
The cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
That the heart has got to open in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
The river's going to weep,
And the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
Beneath the lunar sway,
Imperial, mysterious, in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.


I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean;
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right,
I'm just staying home tonight,
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
That Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on....


athelind: (Default)

Thank you.

athelind: (Default)
To my surprise, I find myself praying.

This is hard to admit, this year, this hour. Not only am I an avowed agnostic, but the Religious Right has been so soundly mocked for praying for the victory of their Chosen Candidate, as if they could command their God.

The last eight years, however...

It's not much of a prayer, as prayers go. It's just a single word, but one that keeps echoing in my soul as I read Barack Obama's speeches, or watch them on video, or see the words and images of those who have come together, having finally found someone that they can genuinely support, rather than a mere placeholder for their opposition.

It's a single word:

Please.

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] ounceofreason said, It's Christmas Eve, except that there's a decent chance that Santa will burn my house down.

That single sentence perfectly encapsulates how I feel right now.

Please.

Perhaps I'm praying to Old Man Coyote. The last election, for me, moved "Coyote Loves Us" from a wry acknowledgment of Murphy's Law to something akin to an epiphany. It staggered me that Americans could put that man back into the Oval Office even by such a slim margin after seeing what he'd done to this country in that first term; what better evidence that our little corner of the universe was in the paws of a prankster, a practical joker with a penchant toward the scatological, who'd just pulled the national-if-not-global equivalent of a banana peel?

Nice one, Coyote. But just this once...

Please.

I'm going to work now, to while away the next several hours in the ever-so-important task of unpacking and inventorying this week's shipment of comic books and pop culture trinkets.

I welcome the distraction.

When I leave the back room refuge of the comics shop, perhaps there will be good news.

Perhaps I can allow myself to hope.

Please.

athelind: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] quelonzia and I wish all of you a Joyful Solstice, and warmest tidings for the New Year.

Blessed Be!

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