Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama's Nobel Prize

When I read the news this morning that President Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, I honestly kept waiting for the punchline. I thought there must be something from Snappleface or The Onion or SNL going on. After all, nominations were due on February 1st, when Obama had been president for less than 2 weeks. But it turns out that the news is true. Although I couldn't resist the opportunity to add that little detail to my piece on Obama's similarities with Jimmy Carter, I'm really of two minds about the whole thing.

First of all, I don't want to criticize Obama. It's not like he asked for this. If there's any embarassment to be felt, it should be by the Nobel committee. And secondly, I always pull for Americans to win, whether wars, sporting events, or the World Series of Poker. To whine about this just because it's Obama strikes me as being a lot like cheering when Chicago didn't get the Olympics. If Bush had won the Nobel for his work fighting AIDS in Africa, I would have been offended had the left complained (which I'm sure they would have).

That said, this still falls into my category of "things about the modern world I hate." The other two sitting US Presidents to win this award brokered big peace treaties that stopped hot wars (Teddy Roosevelt in 1906, Woodrow Wilson in 1919). Other Nobel laureates I respect include Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Lech Walesa, just to name a few. But in recent years we've seen the "Peace" prize go to Yasser Arafat, the anti-land-mine lady (who apparently has no clue how South Korea's existence depends upon land mines in the DMZ), Jimmy Carter (who deserved a lifetime achievement award, but, like Obama, was rewarded for being hostile to Bush), and most recently Al Gore. I feel the same way about the Nobel Peace Prize that I do about the Grammys ever since Michael Jackson won more than the Beatles, or the Oscars in the last 10 or so years (come on--American Beauty vs. Gone With The Wind. Please.) While I'm at it, I also think the NBA hasn't been worth a darn since at least 1992, and even comic books aren't as good as they used to be.

So it's not about Obama. It's about us. In a world where every child gets a trophy, every rec league soccer game ends in a tie, PE classes ban dodgeball because it picks on the weak, an Boise State can be a contender for the NCAA National Championship, this is not surprising at all. Congratulations to President Obama for winning his award. Too bad the award lost its meaning long ago.


Essie said...


You summed up the situation so very well in your last two paragraphs. I am tempted to copy them (attributing them to you of course) and post as my status. This award is yet again another indication that the modern world has gone mad. I do enjoy reading your blag and so glad you are "back!" -Elizabeth

bekster said...

Wow, Larry. The next time you intend to explode back onto the Internet, why don't you give us some warning? :) (J/K)

Anyway, I'm all caught up now. I even read the health-care article, which is as good as you say. However, now you have me all depressed about the declining state of our world. I'm feeling like Solomon in Ecclesiastes. Everything is meaningless, even the Nobel Peace Prize.

So... where do we go from here? What does one do after determining that the world is all screwed up and even the "good" things in life are not as good as they used to be?

Pete said...

Larry, as usual, I wholeheartedly agree.

Becky, I absolutely relate to the Solomonic Ecclesiastes feeling... (without the glut of wisdom)... I'm just irritated that our nation sees fit to reward lethargy and becomes more & more single-sided-universalist in it's thinking.

We're teaching children to remain mediocre (average ocra?). We've become a nation so afraid to name what is right & wrong that we're painting everything grey.

It's a constant state of "Darned if ya do, darned if ya don't" mentality. Reward has been removed from industry as repercussions have been removed from indolence. There's no one right, but there's also no one wrong and success is only achieved by encouraging mediocrity among the masses with large dole out gifts.

No one wants to acknowledge that peace is kept by carrying a larger stick than the other guy. No one wants to acknowledge that our liberty is protected by our dignity & rights as citizens of a free country. We have been lulled to sleep so that those who pursue public office might become fat, rich & empowered while we remain entitled.

As the gov't increases, so will corporate corruption. We need to reintroduce moral restraint within our nations rank and file. Integrity is no longer a value taught in homes across america. It could even be said that homes in america are giving their educational responsibilities to the state.

All in all, our nation is breeding a group of people who will sway to the music that Washington DC is playing. And that music is composed & conducted within the halls of the UN. So long as we are in sync, in tune and tempo with the drone bees of the UN, we will experience a renaissance of mediocrity and entitlement like that of the 1920's.

Unfortunately, the truth is... when DC wins, we lose. I agree, Obama didn't request it. But it's bothersome when Obama's "vision" is acknowledged while Reagan's memory fades.