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June 7th, 2008
11:56 pm
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That explains so much
George W. Bush clearly grew up on a diet of endless John Wayne movies.

Then he became president, and put us in one.

Mission accomplished.


Also, on a completely unrelated note. I'd just like to say that while I am:

1) An Obama supporter;
2) a "not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual" person; and
3) a person who considers himself nonhuman in some essential way;

I still have absolutely no idea what Mark Morford is going on about in labeling Barack Obama an "attuned being ... who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet" (italics his).

I like Obama and I like his ideas, but as bradhicks rightly points out, Barack is more likely to be a closet atheist than a closet Buddha. Not that this is a bad thing; the nation (and the world) could use some sane, enlightened secular human leadership for a change.

I do think Morford nails it a little further down, where he says: "[I]t's not even about Obama, per se. There's a vast amount of positive energy swirling about that's been held back by the armies of BushCo darkness, and this energy has now found a conduit, a lightning rod, is now effortlessly self-organizing around Obama's candidacy."

It's not necessary to posit Obama as some sort of posthuman in order to explain any observed gathering of positive energy around the man.

In fact, I would argue that having the man himself be some sort of superhuman would hinder that sort of change. In my urban fantasy setting TTU, this is exactly what happens with Dennis Redwing: He unites nonhumans, focuses them as a community, stands up just long enough to make one big change -- and then promptly sees the larger part of his work undone and his personal life and credibility ripped into shreds as he starts having to deal with the consequences of his show of power. His early leadership crystallized nonhumans together in a way that addressed an early and dire threat, but the sting of the inevitable disintegration also guaranteed that nobody else would be able to do the same for a decade or more.

Focusing too much energy, too much credibility, into a single source means that if that source is disabled, the entire buildup can be wasted. Structures united around a cause have longevity far beyond those united around a person.

History may be influenced by leaders, but it is made by movements.

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(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
...I'm not even going to try to read that. What is with people dismissing the possibility of non-supernatural prowess?
[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
I know that was a rhetorical question, but: It's the result of overapplying a single frame of reference beyond its explanatory powers.

It can be hard sometimes to tell what the line is between magic and Story and consequence and plain old chance, but that doesn't mean the lines don't exist. And reality is too big and to wonderful, anyway, to be completely contained by a single set of simple narrative explanations.
[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Hm ... I suppose I can't argue with that.
[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I'd argue that any young politician is going to have to sell themselves as "my age gives me a new perspective on things contrary to an older view which is clearly not working" basically because they cannot sell themselves on experience and a long litany of past accomplishments; similarly, a minority politician will have to sell themselves on "I have a wide variety of experiences and a broader view" and so on. There just isn't much choice in the matter.

And, when your campaign is taking on an establishment which very clearly has failed to work, the "new dynamic whatever" is both the only and probably the best tactic anyone can take. This isn't posthuman whatever, this is political savvy.
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Date:June 8th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
One thing I really like about Obama is that (at least in February) his website had a video in which he discussed faith, and his desire to unite people of all faiths and lack thereof with a common morality. However, he also did call himself Christian, and whether it's true or just a statement to help him appeal to a large number of people, I don't get the impression that he and I would be on the same page in terms of worldviews - he's probably not into energy work and all that.

But I do think that belief is powerful. All of us who are believing in him so strongly as an agent of positive change, are sending lots of light his way so that he can do that, I think. Hopefully the momentum could last without the man, who knows...

I know personally that attractive and charismatic people tend to get my attention, so I know that this could affect how I feel about Obama. But anyway, he's got the nomination now, and even without the charisma I think he's a much better choice than McCain...
[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
"Focusing too much energy, too much credibility, into a single source means that if that source is disabled, the entire buildup can be wasted. Structures united around a cause have longevity far beyond those united around a person."

Ah... so that's why the Guerrilla Girls wear masks and maintain their anonymity. They said that they wanted their focus to be on their cause (exposing racist and sexist prejudices in the arts) and not on the individual members of their group. I hadn't quite understood why that defense was necessary. I think I get it now.
[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
Which also brings to mind thoughts on the power of symbols; focusing that energy on a symbol of a cause is likely to be as stable as that symbol moving onward, something that can easily outlive people. But aiming for just the target concept itself seems better, as a symbol can generally be taken and misused for an end that was not its original intent, nor what the people dumping energy into it might hope for. Consider the rather thorough religious disputes around these parts- and how many of them have overlapping and/or conflicting religious symbols. The Protestant view of anti-iconoclasm makes more sense like that- when it is more clear that the symbol is not the thing.
[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
I see a lot of The Usual Suspects on the political TV talking about how brilliantly Obama took away Clinton's nomination (or the one to which she and the political establishment assumed she was Entitled). They talk about how Obama built a movement, but ignore the fact that things were just the other way around. The movement built Obama.

The movement existed before he came on the scene. If Obama wasn't available it might even have been able to do something with corrupt, power-mad Hillary. You can never tell.

And while the people you cite have gone on about a wave of positive energy held back by the Bushies and finding its way to burst forth at last, might I also point out that there's a similar wave of science, technology, and cold, heartless, dispassionate FACTS all pent up by Bush, and every bit as ready to explode?

It seems the natrual thing for the grounded to oppose the spiritual, for Facts in their strange way to hinder Truth. Never before have I seen the spiritual, the scientific, the religious and secular philosophies, the Great Facts and the Great Truths, all pent up to such a high pressure-- and all trying with that pressure, borrowing the pressure of the other forces, all struggling to blow out in exactly the same direction. Let me tell you, Boss, something's gonna pop...
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