Sunday, October 11, 2009

Snowball Prize and Changing Subjects

What does a person have to "do" to win a Nobel Prize? I didn't realize how many people knew the answer to that question, especially news blog authors and radio sycophants, left and right. The reactions ranged crazy: some with apoplexy and others with those oversize foam hands with the index finger raised on high, waving, "We're number one." A new media obsession begins. Can we live on earth for a couple of weeks without a loss of news composure? Folks I work with are very happy about Norway's decision. Maybe I should be too. I mean, the Pres. is from Chicago. So am I. He taught at University of Chicago. So did I way back when (a neuroanatomy lab). He's terrible at bowling. Me too. People think he's Muslim. Wow. People think I'm Muslim (correctly). He's tall, thin,and really good at basketball and dancing ....

But ... getting to my point: Are we mistranslating the Norwegian word for "distraction" into "prize"? Why is Obama getting so much time-wasting flack for "winning" (actually he was "awarded") the prize? Unlike the sham Olympic choice of Rio over Chicago and Obama's flight to Copenhagen, what did the man do other than have a pulse to get a long distance call from a country with a high suicide rate? What volition was involved on his part to have created so many critics and so much vitriol?

The powers that be in our land are so overwhelmed with partisan politics, it is beyond commentary. And they're rewarded with puerile news judgment and silly globs of space. Meanwhile, the problems that can use serious adult attention get worse and those who profit from them are all too pleased, along with the devil, with the distractions.

Frank Rich, of the NYT, to his credit, pounds the hawks who "now" clamor to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan, which in real terms is infinitely more important to debate than the Nobel Prize. It is about the Afghan "war" that people should censure Obama, who should have included Afghanistan in his anti-war stance. Too bad he didn't. What a major lapse in judgment.


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