by John Harvin
Or I did. Now I am not so sure.
I voted for Obama, defended him from the snarks of my Hillary-supporting friends, and maxed out my contribution. In Indianapolis, I walked down dim halls that smelled of vomit and urine begging sick old people to vote.
But his acceptance of the Nobel Prize has turned me off worse than a garlic-breath kiss. I don’t care that he doesn’t deserve it. He didn’t “deserve” to be President either. (Who does?) I mind that he’s letting himself be used to bad purpose. As Meatloaf sang, “I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”
Scandinavia looks big on the world map, but that is an optical illusion. It’s less than half the physical size of the largest U.S. state and Jakarta and its suburbs have a bigger population. Sweden, Denmark and Norway have armies, but only in the sense that Ivy League schools have football teams. Occasionally, they produce an Abba or an a-ha!, but most of the time they lie forgotten on the fringe of the world’s consciousness. The Prizes are poor Scandinavia’s annual chance to remind the world they’re still here. Yoo hoo. Over here! It’s me, Scandinavia. Yoo hoo!
Three of the six Prizes (counting Economics) are reasonably apolitical, or as apolitical as prizes can be. Three are not. The most radioactive is the Peace Prize, with which Norwegian bureaucrats reward sinners who have finally found salvation, like Henry Kissinger, or more commonly, indirectly scold the unrepentant. Two foes of Iran’s Ahmadinejad have won in the last decade, and three of George W. Bush’s. (Note: the Peace Prize is the only one of the Nobels not administered by Sweden. Why this bone got tossed to Norway has never been clear.)
I enjoyed watching the Norskis give our arrogant former president a couple of swift kicks in the shin by giving the prize to Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. But W is now a pathetic old man. While Clinton lives in Manhattan and gives speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos, W is exiled to the Dallas suburbs and his big gig since leaving office was at a church conference in Sevierville, Tennessee. The tables at Borders are piled with books by former subordinates criticizing him. And unless the historical dictionary ends up being written by the same people who claim creationism is science, his name will likely end up as a synonym for incompetence.
For Barack Obama to hold W’s arms behind his back while Norway gets in one last kick is cheap and unnecessary.
Barry, dude. We won. If Obama was who he said he was, he’d get this. He would understand that when he steps onto that podium, he is being used.
If only someone could stop him. Where’s Kanye West when you need him?
John Harvin is the pseudonym of a prominent business executive and writer. He has traveled and worked in forty countries.
John has written for numerous national and international magazines and journals, and written and had published five books, including one non-fiction bestseller and two novels. (He’s actually written nine books, but that’s a different story.) He writes because it is the only way he can sort through the maelstrom of crap careening around inside his skull and figure out what he really thinks about anything.
When not working or writing, you can find him having dinner with his long-suffering wife, walking the dog, training for triathlons, skiing, ultra-cycling, scuba diving, motorcycle riding, hiking, working on his farm, worrying about his two grown children or yelling at the Cubs on TV. (Open your eyes, Alfonso. It’s a baseball, not a piñata!)