Friday, 30 January 2009

Obama in Fayetteville

“Socialist! Socialist! Get out of here!” she screamed,
As Obama enters the Cape Fear Barbeque restaurant.
The demons of Ravana howl their hatred.
At the same time, a short distance away,
12,000 Shabaris wait for the arrival of Rama
Like the long-suffering low caste devotee
Their darshan was promised by the King
More than two score years ago
A prophet standing before
The marbled emancipator.
Shabari’s guru died before Rama arrived;
The emancipator’s prophet was martyred
In a southern city much like Fayetteville.

Obama arrives with several Secret Service Laxmans
These Laxmans would also reluctantly eat Shabari’s taste-tested fruit.
Obama mounts the podium
His strength, his baracka, flows out over the crowd
Where is Siva’s bow?
Obama can surely bend,
Yes, even break it!
---Uskala Hidayat

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1 comment:

agitprop said...

There's an old saying, that "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

While I don't necessarily subscribe to that chestnut in any absolute sense, my ears do perk up when I hear right wing reactionary conservatives go into hysterical attack mode against someone like Obama.

It naturally makes me think that this person must have something going for them, if the right hates and fears them so much, heh.

When they started calling Obama "the most liberal Senator in the Congress", it piqued my interest in him substantially, even knowing that it wasn't really true,

As absurd as it may be, for them to call Obama some kind of flaming commie, or "socialist", for consorting with "terrorists" like Bill Ayers, and "anti-American ideologues" like Rev. Wright, I think such reactions are really a good opening for further discussion of the real implications of the right wing line, and pressing the contradictions of that line and practice, in so many ways.

Polarization is good, if we don't let the opposition use it to beat us over the head, but wield it as our own powerful weapon to clearly delineate and define the issues.

My main disappointment with Obama during the campaign was how he avoided that deeper conversation, by backing away from Ayers and throwing Wright "under the bus", instead of meeting the charges head on.

Instead of discussing in any detail what Ayers was really all about, back in the day, and especially now, or providing any real analysis of the completely out of context and misrepresentative sound bite loops of Wright's "Goddamn America" remarks, Obama evaded those very real and substantial issues, and merely tried to distance himself from the totally contrived, bogus media hype.

I think it indicated both a lack of confidence in the ability of the general public to understand and deal with those issues, and also a more practical understanding that the commercial bourgeois media would never allow such an addressment to occur without merely selectively manipulating any such attempt at rational dialog, to just further stoke the contrived, bogus hype.

It was like John Kerry, when he got "swift-boated", and retreated from the principled stand he had taken against the war upon his return from Viet Nam.

Instead of proudly standing up and contending, and confirming that he was against the war, and why, he avoided that deep subject altogether, and chose instead to emphasize his "service" in the military.

While the fact that he had, indeed, fought in Viet Nam was a very good point to raise, in the context of an opponent who had chosen to exercise his rich white privilege and dodge the draft to avoid "service", Kerry did not even press that point, taking the "high ground" by just bragging about his own "service", and leaving it to others to draw attention to the contrast.

He never once, that I saw, spoke to or defended his subsequent opposition to the war, or his regrets over having been suckered into participation in the war. This only lent credence to the right wing assertions that he had something to be ashamed of, and that his big mistake was not his participation in the war, but his opposition to it.

When politicians assume that the public is not ready to deal with the deeper aspects of such issues and seek to merely gloss over or avoid them, they only allow such deep wounds in our social fabric to fester.

We need to lance the infection, release the puss, and allow the healing process to ensue. As nasty and repulsive as the puss may be, covering it up with bandaids and ignoring it only prolongs and tends to spread the infection.

Now, those who choose to take the most extreme absolutist idealistic ultra-left dogmatic doctrinaire oppositionalist stance can point to this phenomenon as a confirmation that all liberal bourgeois politicians are nothing but disgusting half-stepping, back-stabbing wimps with no backbone, and thus unworthy of any support whatsoever, let alone a vote.

And they won't be entirely, absolutely "wrong", in that regard, sigh...

But to my mind there is still a qualitative difference, between, say, a Bush, or a freakin' Palin, and someone who, on the other hand, opposed the war in Viet Nam, or who is willing to listen to what Bill Ayers has to say and work with him on some common goals, or who goes to Rev. Wright's church for 20 years.

However inadequate and vacillating liberal bourgeois theory and practice may be, I see them as "better", to a very substantial, if only relative, degree, heh, than those who are freaking out and attacking them so hysterically and viciously from the right.

You can say it's only an exercise in bogus drama, to create an illusion of "difference", but I'm just not buying that line that they are all "the same".

Rhetoric matters, and develops legs of it's own, in terms of raising, or lowering, the hopes and expectations of the masses. Obama's rhetoric of "Hope" and "Change" is just way better in that regard than the fear and loathing promulgated by the Republicans.

Even, I say, if he's lying through his teeth...Obama's more positive rhetoric is "better", relatively speaking, than that of the right wing reactionaries, in terms of what we, as revolutionaries, can do with it, and use it for.

And I don't think Obama is necessarily lying through his teeth, in every regard, heh.

His analysis and practice may be grossly inadequate, and he may, indeed, dissemble to a dismaying degree...but I think his more sincere intentions, and his actual material practice will still prove far superior to anything McCain/freakin Palin could ever be expected to manifest.

Is Obama a flaming right wing reactionary conservative? I hardly think so. Not any more so, indeed, considerably less so, than he is a "goddamn commie", a flaming "liberal", or an absolutely politically correct "progressive".

There is only one absolute in politics, and that is that there are no absolutes.

Now that Obama has had a chance to actually do some stuff, we can begin to move out of the realm of sheer speculation and extrapolation, to evaluate what material relative differences we have seen thus far, and what we might be able to realistically expect as an indication from that, in the future.