Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mr Obama I like you, but don't be such an arrogant fucker

One thing that really rips my knickers about this country is this myth that lives in the popular consciousness that somehow it is so unique and free and that the rest of the world sits around and goes "Gosh, that America is a bit fantastic isn't it?"
Yeah, its a pretty cool place, in so many ways. It does my fucking head in as well, in so many ways, but every country I've lived in, including my own, does that as well.

Obama, generally a pretty cool guy, does this amazing speech about race and justice and history and legacies and whoever writes his speeches should well be giving themselves a pat on the back right about now. But I couldn't let this one bit pass without comment.

In talking about the fact that he is the son of a white American woman and a black Kenyan man, that he has family of all colours all over the world, that he went to some of the best schools in America and is now running for office he says, and I quote "for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible"

You're kidding, right? Does he really believe that?
The implications of that phrase just do my fucking loaf, you know? That there is no other country in which the child of an immigrant can run for office, that nowhere else can a person of untraditional parentage can attend good schools and make a success of themselves, that the rest of the world lives in this time warp in which if one is born a chambermaid, one may never rise above the station of chambermaid no matter one's abilities.
That we still judge a person's suitability for office on the occupations of their parents and the residency of their grandparents. That one's success depends more on their parent's lineage than any other factor?
Sure, there are aspects of that the world over, and there might always be. Sure, where you are in life has a lot to do with your family, where you were born, the opportunities available to you because of your parent's wealth and your country's condition. I am living proof of that and won't dispute the fact that a significant proportion of my successes are due to the family I was born into.

But to imply that America is the only place in the world where it is possible for a man to overcome the conditions of his birth (if 'overcome' is even the right word, which I am not convinced it is) and run for public office (yes I know its a pretty significant office in the scheme of things, but its not like he's going to be president of the world) smacks of arrogance and insularity of the worst US-centric kind, and is exactly the kind of thing that, given the record of the last seven years, the US should be doing its utmost to avoid.

Mr Obama, please pull your head out of your arse, take a look around and get a realistic perspective on the world in which you are likely to become a very important part of.
Thank you, that will be all.

Normal inanity to resume presently.