Your Obligatory Nobel Prize Discussion

Friday, October 09, 2009

Well this fucking sucks. I was all primed to kick off my tenure here at ATK with a delightfully irreverent piece about NASA’s moon bombing scheme complete with a photoshopped image of Charlton Heston kneeling before an exploded moon screaming “you maniacs! You blew it up!”, and then what happens? Thorbjorn Jagland and his fellow Norse lunatics in Oslow go and award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama. Well, shit. You Maniacs! You blew it up! You blew up Rickey's post! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

And so I am now compelled to engage in the vacant beard stroking and quasi knowledgeable wankery that has become the hallmark trait of Around the Keg (by the way, thanks for having me guys!).

Now I live in an area about an hour north of NYC, and while you’d suspect that proximity to that bastion of liberal decadence would yield a more forwardthinking populace in my neck of the woods, this unfortunately is not the case. No less than ten times already today I’ve been subjected to the “what has he done to deserve this?” query about the Nobel Prize story. And my answer is this: when’s the last time you were elected to be the first black President of the Harvard Law review? (Hell, the only one of us who’s got a decent shot at it is Bob, and he’d still need a flux capacitor to pull it off).

They may claim otherwise, but the Norwegian Nobel Committee obviously isn’t awarding Obama the prize for his accomplishments as President. This has been coming for a year now. This award was already signed, sealed, and postmarked in November of 2008. Is the award premature? No, it’s overdue. What Obama’s Presidential victory symbolized to the U.S. and the world at large is too great to gloss over, even a year after the fact.

Yes, it’s a big splashy political statement, and as any naysayer will gleefully point out, it’s coming from an institution that awarded the same prize to Henry Kissinger, Yassir Arafat, and Jimmy Carter (oh how the right loves to demonize Jimmy Carter).

I, for one, welcome the conclusions of our Norwegian overlords and look forward to the shot in the arm this will hopefully provide the Obama Administration. And on one thing I think we can all agree: Michelle Obama will be receiving a deep dicking tonight. Discuss amongst yourselves.

15 comments:

Bob 7:54 AM  

Smitty: You sure about this guy?

Seriously, I never laughed so hard when being made fun of:

"...quasi knowledgeable wankery"

That is so us. It also happens to describe every blogger in the universe, but I think we here at ATK hold ourselves to a higher level of wankness and faux expertise. (Although Smitty is likely a true beer expert.)

As far as the Nobel peace prize:

Is it premature? Maybe, but as they said, its for the policy, not the accomplishment. I like to think that the prize was for all of us who rejected the new world order of preemptive war when we elected Obama.

I am pretty sure the right is coming unglued now and will call the Noble peace prize the Order of Lenin or the Order of Socialist Labour or some other commie award.

Welcome to ATK Rickey.

Rickey Henderson 8:04 AM  

as they said, its for the policy, not the accomplishment.

Yeah, but Gitmo is still open, climate change hasn't been tackled yet, and we're still occupying Iraq and Afhgahnistan. If the award is for his policy, it's got to be for what Obama potentially represents, right? Or perhaps it's just a massive fuck you to the Bush presidency.

Rickey's still of the mind that its a symbolic gesture harkening back to the 2008 election.

Bob Melonosky 8:33 AM  

Your description of Mr. Obama's accomplishments make him more than qualified for BET's Man of the Year.

Of course he'll lose to Will Smith.

steves 9:04 AM  

Add to that rendition and lack of habeas corpus. He is a step up from the previous president, but he has continued some of the more onerous policies of the Bush administration.

I agree that the symbolic angle can't be ignored and I can't even think off the top of my head if there is someone else more deserving, so I am not too upset.

oh how the right loves to demonize Jimmy Carter

Jimmy is a genuinely decent man, but he just makes it so easy to rag on him. He was a shitty president.

Bob 9:06 AM  

"Jagland (Noble Committee) said the decision was "unanimous" and came with ease.

He rejected the notion that Obama had been recognized prematurely for his efforts and said the committee wanted to promote the president just it had Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 in his efforts to open up the Soviet Union."

Smitty 9:45 AM  

Or perhaps it's just a massive fuck you to the Bush presidency.

Actually, the Nobel chief said as much in his interview on NPR this morning.

I tend to agree that this award is also as much about race and equality in America as it is actually encouragement. A few times, the Peace Prize has been awarded to someone who hasn't finished what they've started yet. It is a boost, and a bit of a carrot-and-stick; here's the Nobel Peace Prize, so go finish making peace in the Mid-East or you'll look like a schmuck.

We are thrilled with your joining the beard-stroking, quasi-knowledgeable den of wankery that is Around the Keg, Rickey.

George 10:58 AM  

I'm completely with Josh Marshall from TPM on this one. He wrote: "This is an odd award. You'd expect it to come later in Obama's presidency and tied to some particular event or accomplishment. But the unmistakable message of the award is one of the consequences of a period in which the most powerful country in the world, the 'hyper-power' as the French have it, became the focus of destabilization and in real if limited ways lawlessness. A harsh judgment, yes. But a dark period. And Obama has begun, if fitfully and very imperfectly to many of his supporters, to steer the ship of state in a different direction. If that seems like a meager accomplishment to many of the usual Washington types it's a profound reflection of their own enablement of the Bush era and how compromised they are by it, how much they perpetuated the belief that it was 'normal history' rather than dark aberration."

Smitty 12:08 PM  

I hadn't read TPM yet, George. But I absolutely agree with the sentiment. This is as much a nod to America for collectively unfucking itself internally and getting back on the international cooperative course.

That said, I don't think President Hillary would have gotten it. I think part of the award is related to race; that America not only steered itself back towards international sanity, but also saw fit to elect an until-40-years-ago-unequal-citizen as its leader.

steves 5:37 PM  

I guess I am still kind of torn. On one hand, he is "steering us in the right direction," but is more that just imperfect, it hasn't made much progress. I just wonder if this is a year or two premature.

I also understand that this is also an award to our country for making some decent steps. I just talked to my Dad and he thought it also may be to motivate Obama to continue with promises.

That being said, I like Obama. While I am sure that there may be some more deserving person out there, I am not really all that disappointed.

As much as I like the Tao of Beer tagline, can we change it to "quasi knowledgeable wankery ." BTW, welcome RH.

Ms. Henderson 5:56 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rickey Henderson 5:59 PM  

This is as much a nod to America for collectively unfucking itself internally and getting back on the international cooperative course.

Word. That's pretty much what Rickey was driving at. We all deserve a Nobel Prize. Even Steves.

Thanks for the warm welcome folks! Rickey likes this blog, it's exciting here!

steves 2:42 PM  

We all deserve a Nobel Prize. Even Steves.

My cup runneth over.

Monk-in-Training 9:29 PM  

While I may not be quite as.. eloquent as the beard stroking Mr Henderson, I concur with his point that this is more about the United States and its position in the world than any particular feat of our Current President.

Steves also has an important point about Mr. Obama foot dragging over removing some of the previous administration's more onerous failures of justice.

Oh, and one last thing, may the Obama's continue to enjoy the blessings of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Off to say my evening prayers. :)

Br. James Patrick

B Mac 8:04 AM  

Welcome, Rickey!

I agree with what has already been said. The Nobel Peace Prize is partially about what an individual has done, and partially about how the committee sees the role of certain people in creating a more peaceful world.

IMHO, this was the Nobel Committee saying three things:
1) Obama has done some good stuff thus far (nuclear non-proliferation, restarting diplomatic relation with Iran, etc.);
2) Obama's election reflects a shift towards peace and reconciliation in a country that has experienced significant racial strife in the past; and
3) We (the international community) NEED the United States to carry some significant water for the 'peace' team, because "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Steve,  2:23 PM  

Bit late to this, but just read a great article about the nobel peace prize winners, have a look: http://raemie.blogspot.com/2009/11/nobel-peace-prize.html

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