Friday, October 9, 2009

I'll Take a Nobel, Too, Since They Are Just Handing Them Out

I'm glad the whole wide Earth prefers Obama to Bush, what with double digit gains in global polls. But who elected him? Everybody? I swore it was just the U.S. International approval polls make a Nobel Peace Prize winner? There was no one else more worthy?

Look, he's not achieved anything substantial--yet. No nuclear arms reductions, no pollution reductions, no peace initiatives (and nothing much locally, either).

This simply lets every one of my half-assed students know that if you try, that is a goal in and of itself. If you hope to succeed, well shoot, that's good enough. If you simply seem to exude hope or any positive attribute, that's also good enough. Great. "A"s for everybody because you put on your sweatpants and showed up to class smelling of Corn Flakes and eggs, which implied you at least had a decent breakfast and have some level of public decorum.

(On the other hand, it teaches students the value of rhetoric and good presentations, but they won't get that.)

Feel free to disagree, but you're wrong.


our friend Ben said...

Maybe now I can finally pull off my dual Nobel peace/poetry win.

Barry said...

I was hoping that you would post on this topic. Pop culture seems to be permeating into areas better left alone. Perhaps he will be up for an Oscar next.....
I would have voted for him had I been a US citizen, but enough already. Let him actually perform his tasks, and then rank their overall effectiveness. I do have to agree with Ben though..... a double win would look nice on the mantle!

Amanda said...

I agree. It's a lovely thought, but a little too soon. Next year? Maybe more feasible. Maybe he'll get one for every year of his presidency!!

mr_subjunctive said...

I agree that there have to be people who have accomplished more, w/r/t peace, but that's apparently not quite how the Peace Prize works:

Myth: The prize is awarded to recognize efforts for peace, human rights and democracy only after they have proven successful.

More often, the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.


Even so, there are still likely more deserving people, but it's a less absurd decision than it first appears.

Also, keep in mind that it could have been George W. Bush. And might still be in the future.

Susan Tomlinson said...

Well, they contacted me first, but I turned them down. I explained--politely, mind you--that I'm just not that into prizes.

Unless they come in a Crackerjack box.

rebecca said...

Its probably directly related to the increase in troops and the 'mission' in Afghanistan. Not to be too cynical, but I feel bad for all the families of troops that voted for him hoping to get their sons and daughters home soon. I guess 'soon' is a relative term.

Victoria Summerley said...

I agree. (And I'm an Obama fan.) I think it rather diminishes the cred of the Nobel prize if you dish it out to someone who's only been around for five minutes. However, it could have been worse. It could have gone to Tony Blair.

our friend Ben said...

Well, I just saw an anonymous comment on another blog saying that s/he was sure this year's Peace Prize would go to Michael Jackson. I guess that's cynical enough even for me.

Benjamin Vogt said...

OFB--You and me both!
TEza--Yea, separation of church and state is good, and so is one for pop culture and politics. OR something.
Amanda--Oh goody.....
Mr. S--How coul dit have ever gone to Bush???
Susan--I think Nobels now do com in CJ boxes.
Becca--it is hard to bring home the troops when we aren't winning!
Victoria--I love Tony Blair. LOVE him. :)

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Should have gone posthumously to Harry Patch and any remaining WW1 veterans.

They'll tell you and I about the futility of war.

My great uncle Arthur was one of those that liberated Belsen in WW2His hair turned white overnight. He'll only ever talked about peace.

mr_subjunctive said...

Whatdya mean, how could it have gone to Bush? They can give them to whoever they want.

Also, apparently, for the Peace Prize you only have to be waging fewer than three simultaneous wars. For most of 2001, Bush wasn't fighting any wars, and for 2002, it was only one war. So by my reckoning, Bush was robbed.

(I don't believe this. But I will not be surprised when somebody says it on Fox News and means it.)

Anonymous said...

I thought that this was a gardening blog. It would be nice to think of this as a refuge from the political rant du jour. I come here for enjoyment, not what the self-named pundits purvey.

Will we be discussing Jon and Kate here next? you have me virtually gagging on having written that last bit...

Benjamin Vogt said...

Anon--I think we both know discussing Jon and Kate is a bit silly, esp as compared to a Nobel. The Nobel Prize in Literature is something I aspire to and greatly respect in my profession and field, so to see one of the Nobels handed out in this way denegrates it, and all those who work toward the goals underlying the spirit of the various awards.

If this were strictly a gardening blog I'd also be bored out of my mind. I'd like to think of this space as a nexus of diverse topics I am interested in at the moment. I write for me. I'm glad you stop by, I hope you enjoy this space, and I'm having fun replying to your comment. Besides, my garden has snow on it today--who wants to talk about that? Cheerio.

Craig @ Ellis Hollow said...

My first reaction was, "A tad early."

But Rachel put it in context:

Anonymous said...

Benjamin, good luck with your dreams.

In my take on this, Jon and Kate is relevant as a counter-point to political punditry which America suffers under lately.

I would rather hear a discussion of all the seeds, dried stalks and stems, and seed-pods covered in snow, than musings on what has already been covered in "Faux" News. And I wouldn't mind a passing reference to the leaves covering the earth like a blanket, while it sleeps and dreams of Spring....or what-ever submerged simile (is that possible in English?) you select.

--enormous grin--

In all fairness, keep up the good work with the writing and photography. Your blog is one of my favorite respites from the rest of my day!