Friday, October 26, 2012

Obama IS Norma Desmond...

by Daniel Greenfield, The Canadian Free Press: (Z:  This might be the best thing I've read recently about Obama;  I think this guy really nails him exactly right):

 The Obama Campaign, that strange 4 year marriage of Generation X hipsters, inner city bosses, suburban college educated boomers longing for racial healing, Big Green businessmen and shady Saudis, appears to be finally sinking beneath the waves. It isn’t going out in a blaze of glory, but with mumbles of trending topics.
 
Obama was always a petty man and his campaign has descended into pointless pettiness, into Team Big Bird, binders full of women and bayonets and horses. Like so much hipster culture, it exists so that the participants can entertain each other with something that no one else thinks is funny or clever. And that elitism is precisely the point. It’s the last resort of losers who hide from their lack of taste behind walls of exclusivity.  Abandoning mass appeal, Obama is getting back to his roots of entertaining upper middle class college kids with his ‘hipness’; both actual college kids and the overgrown middle aged variety that make up the professional class of the mediacracy who treat the rest of the country the way that they treated the natives on their Peace Corps assignments.
 
The Obama Campaign was never serious, but it once aspired to an Oprah level of seriousness, to the dignity of the self-help sections where trite observations are recited with great solemnity so that they sound like they must mean more than they do.
 
For the Northeastern New York Times reader, Obama held out the promise of atonement for the country’s grave racial sins. For the San Francisco wind farm executive, he offered the prospect of a presidency that would be one long endless TED talk with plenty of subsidies for the cunning Greenvestor. And the college student would finally have a president who watched the same shows, listened to the same music and got the same jokes making him the perfect Resident Adviser for the country.

Obama wasn't actually interesting, he just seemed interesting in a cursory sort of way.
 
Two biographies and four years later those same people have learned that like that party guest who mentions that he’s a nuclear physicist, a poet and an explorer of supernatural phenomena, Obama wasn’t actually interesting, he just seemed interesting in a cursory sort of way. Obama’s biography made him an interesting party guest, but not past a 5 minute chat, and it in no way qualified him to hold the country’ top job during an economic crisis and two wars.

Obama’s seriously intent tone, the one that signals you to pay attention, no longer works on even the faithful. Like Pavlov’s dogs, they have stopped coming once they realized that just because the bell rings doesn’t mean that dinner or a functional economy will be served. The weighty tone that he once used to deploy to great effect, borrowing the tricks of the preachers that he encountered in his huckstering days, has come to seem as empty as Oprah’s smile or Bill Clinton’s sincere head nod, just another of the tricks of hollow public personalities signifying nothing.
 
For years and years, he has talked and said nothing of any import. All the talk, the endless speeches and addresses, the verbal and facial tics that indicated seriousness of purpose, have never led to one single thing. Not one problem solved, not one crisis resolved and not one plan laid out and completed in four years with something to show for it.

Somewhere along the way, Obama became boring

He became that one man at a party that you don't want to talk to because he will go on forever and all his chatter leads nowhere, because for all his conversational skills, he is capable of nothing but talk.  And after talking to him for ten hours, you don't know him any better than you did after ten minutes.

Voting for Obama was never the right choice objectively, but it was the right cultural choice, it was the trend, the impulse that everyone seemed to be following, the style that everyone was wearing, and the book that everyone was reading.  But trends like that don't last.  How many people will have Lady Gaga songs in the players or Fifty Shades of Grey on their bookshelves ten years from now?  This too is the fate of the president of the trending topic, the commander-in-chief of the pet rock and the mood ring with his binders full of women and t-shirts with pictures of horses and bayonets on them.  A joke that like Snakes on a Plane or All Your Base Are Belong To Us never gets old until 5 minutes later.

When times are bad, people have a well-known escapist streak. During the Great Depression, lavish musicals were popular. After September 11, Zoolander topped the box office. Facing two wars and a failed economy, the American people followed their own escapist streak to a smooth talking trickster with a soothing bag of promises that were too good to be true. Who wanted to listen to McCain, a man who looked like a walking war injury and kept talking about sacrifice, when you could get big bags of free stuff from a man who offered a post-racial society as a free gift with every vote.

Americans escaped to Obama and now they’re escaping from Obama


The vacation was already being cut short in 2012 and now it’s approaching its blackout date. Instead of taking Americans away from everything, Obama took everything away from them, and now they’re gearing up to take it all back and put him on a back shelf next to last summer’s beach reads and last decade’s pop hits.
 
Obama is over. And confronting his ‘overness’, that deadliest of fates for a hipster, he is crawling back to pander to his original audience, the graphic designers who put together posters of him on their free time, the celebrities who were eager to form his Jack Pack, to be his Joey Bishop or his Marylin Monroe, the musicians singing about him, the netroots bloggers cranking out their sensations of euphoric immediacy at being in his presence and the professional leftists cheering for him to take down the American Empire like Godzilla took down Tokyo.
 
But all the trending memes with hashtags and Tumblr pages, the calculatingly overexposed Instagram photos and the celebrities scribbling things on their hands and Twitpiccing the results, can’t bring back the thing that’s over. And even if they could, it won’t make a difference to the election. Hipsters like things that are different before they become popular, because it makes them seem like interesting people. Once something is popular then liking it no longer means that you’re interesting, instead it comes with the ego-deflating revelation that you are just like everyone else, except more so.
 
There’s no point to liking Obama anymore. Not when Obama is everywhere, more overexposed than Instagram, grinning from every corner, from every screen and magazine cover, selling out to get ahead and making the old faithfuls wonder if he ever stood for anything at all. Theirs is the sad burden of knowing that they will never have their own JFK who died, tragically and horrifyingly, before he could dive all the way into Vietnam, before stories of his carousing hit the papers forcing him to go on television and insist that he never had sex with any of those women.
 
Obama will not be immortalized by a Communist with a rifle. Instead he is doomed to be mortal, his hair turning white and his musical tastes turning worse. Any day now he will admit to a fondness for Kenny G and after that there will be no saving him from the dread ravages of time. And so he is over because the alternative to him being over is the tastemakers having to confront their own overness. Their own mortality.
If Obama were cannier than he seems, then he would embrace his own fakeness, becoming a self-constructed celebrity, glorifying in his own artificiality, until like Lady Gaga or Lana Del Rey and every third hip hop star with a pulse, his very fakeness would serve as proof of his inventiveness and his media savvy. Such an Obama would present a birth certificate showing that he was born in Kenya to challenge our notions of identity, admit to squandering all the country’s money for its own good and keep us entertained with his latest antics. It might not win him the election, but considering the example of Zoolander, it might, because then instead of being over, he would be a new escape all over again.
 
But Obama is determined to be a hipster to the very end, instead of embracing the shamelessness of his own media manipulations, he veers erratically between an insincere sincerity and the sneer of the spitefully superior. It’s the performance we saw in the third debate, the antics of every college kid you ever argued with, that combination of smugness and insecurity that marks the hipster as an impossible conversationalist.
 

The only thing sadder than a hipster is a wannabe hipster and that’s what Obama is now ... a man in search of a meme, a one-man band in search of an artfully touching documentary about its travails in the wilds of Portland and a flat line in search of its trend.

 
Obama does not know how to govern. He does not know how to address the economy or war. The one thing he knows how to do is be popular. That is the one and only skill that he has cultivated in his life. And it is a good skill for a politician, but a politician whose only skill is popularity had better avoid taking responsibility for anything that might make him unpopular.

Popularity is a trend, and like every reality show star still pounding away on Twitter five years later, trying to move their latest CD or comedy club appearance, Oprah’s most popular boy toy since Dr. Oz has failed to realize that he is no longer popular, his moment has passed, his relevance is through and no one wants a man whose only skills are on-camera skills to be the one standing between them and economic oblivion.
 
The country doesn’t hate him, but it is tired of him. It wakes up every morning, remembers the time everyone got drunk and decided to vote for the cool black dude who talked a lot about hope, winces and then forgets about him all over again until it looks at the latest economic news. It’s over him and it wishes that he would show some dignity and walk away from a job that he isn’t qualified for on his own.
 

His fundraising emails walk the thin line between emotional blackmail and hysteria

Obama has gotten desperate. His fundraising emails walk the thin line between emotional blackmail and hysteria. Increasingly they read like Cousin Larry phoning for bail money from Tijuana. Shrilly needy they demand that we pay attention to him, that we love him, adore him and spend money on him. They are the missives of a man who cannot conceive of a life outside the spotlight, the vapid fear of a celebrity who cannot confront the real world and cannot understand why their public is walking away.
 
In the last stages of his career, Obama has become Norma Desmond, waving around a social media gun and shouting, “No one leaves a star. That’s what makes one a star.” But the country has left and what they leave behind is a star falling from the sky over Chicago .

Z:  Let's hope so.

 

42 comments:

Radical Redneck said...

So our Leader uses the word "Bull- Shit" in an interview with Rolling Stone! Really Presidential isn't he!

I guess he wanted to fit right in with the Rappers! Well he did!

Radical Redneck said...

Question of the day...Is Biden just an idiot or mentally unstable?

Always On Watch said...

Z,
Norma Desmond was convinced that she was a sexual prize.

Apparently, some Obama supporters think that Obama is a sexual prize. In one campaign ad, voting for Obama is equated with having a wonderful sexual experience. I kid you not! See what I posted today at my site. You can't make this stuff up!

Always On Watch said...

@ Radical Redneck,
I also included the bit of "civil discourse" that you mentioned in my post this morning.

Silverfiddle said...

Obama has never been a serious person, and it still scares me that over half of the voters either failed to see that or didn't care.

FreeThinke said...

Hmmmmm! Quite a hit piece!

As I was reading the first four or five paragraphs I felt almost elated, because most of it echoed what I have thought about Obama from the beginning.

HOWEVER, after a while the repetitiousness and persistently inelegant phraseology of Mr. Greenfield's attack became tedious -- as all one-sided rhetoric invariably does -- and I started to feel SORRY for President Obama, who is after all no worse than the host of other venal, self-serving knaves and hubristic fools who held high office before him.

I wonder if it isn't a real possibility that journalism of this ilk could be fostered and funded by the Obama Campaign in an attempt to use reverse psychology on a public beginning to waver?

As I read along finding it increasingly difficult to continue, that old term from the Vietnam Era came to mind. What we see here is an example of OVERKILL.

And I must admit the series of references to inconsequential figures in a pop culture that ceased to interest me more than half a century ago made no sense to me since all, except the embarrassingly ridiculous Lady Ga Ga, were unknown to me -- thank God.

But yes, in persistently worshipping triviality, banality and vulgarity we, as a people, have so degraded ourselves that we actually DESERVE Barack Obama, whom I see as a SYMPTOM not a CAUSE of our tragic illness.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Radical...he shows so little class.
Now he's all over gay marriage; backing it in states, which even liberal Yahoo says "is for votes"...

AOW, I might come over after work; is that the video of the young girl saying voting for Obama's like the first time you have sex? Remember when no decent young girl talked about that? Oh, but the libs took the term 'decent' away from us...

SF...they STILL don't..

FT, I guess I've felt like Greenfield for so long that I see he's just telling the truth a lot of us have felt for five years now.
And I admire him for having done so; of course, he's a Canadian Free Press journalist; our guys wouldn't have the nerve.
And no, I think most people will be reading along thinking "Finally, someone really DOES capture what's wrong with Obama"

FreeThinke said...

I hope you're right, Z. As I said, I've felt this way about Obama from Day One. I guess I'm just weary of incessant denigration, which is what our political process has become -- nothing but insults and vilification. It's "a vexation to the spirit."

Eliot expresses this sort of intellectual and spiritual malaise better than anyone else I know:


The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz-he dead
            A penny for the Old Guy



                       I

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
   
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
   
    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

The complete poem may be read at the following link:

http://allpoetry.com/poem/8453753-The_Hollow_Men-by-T_S__Eliot

FreeThinke said...

If Obama is Norma Desmond, I suppose the American People have been playing William Holden's role as resident gigolo-victim in the Obama White House, haven't we?

A chilling thought, indeed!

~ FT

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

"It’s the last resort of losers who hide from their lack of taste behind walls of exclusivity."

Nailed it.

BZ

conservativesonfire said...

Obama has been exposed!

JonBerg said...

Z,

It's a great article insofar as reenforcing, as you say, "I see he's just telling the truth a lot of us have felt for five years now". Unfortionately,there remains many who won't read or much less understand it.

FT,

Yes, it's a bit redundant but the message remains steadfast. Absolutely, B.O. is " a SYMPTOM not a CAUSE of our tragic illness." I would argue that not ALL of us deserve to be so afflicted. Recent developments indicate that 'the Doctor is in'!

Mustang said...

And yet ... you still have millions of people lining up to reelect Obama. What is wrong with this picture? It is true: Obama is screwed up, but far more serious is the large numbers of people who continue to think Obama is the answer to anything.

Average American said...

"NOMObama is an empty suit!!"

That statement by itself doesn't really say much. It needs to be backed up further to influence anyone.

Daniel Greenfield's book, on the other hand, rehashes every thought that went into it several times. It was probably three times as long as it could/should have been. If you want to hold an audience's attention, don't put them to sleep!

All in all, I do agree with what he had to say. If he wanted to discuss EGOTISM, he might have nailed it better though.

Bob said...

Z: If you linked to the original article, it didn't work for me. Great article, though.

It seems that by the time I get to these posts of yours, all the pithy things have been said. I will, however, make the same point that was central to Greenfield's piece. Obama's great talent is being popular, and he has always excelled at popularity contests.

As I have often voiced, Obama was NEVER the editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was the President of the Harvard Law Review, and it is significant that it was one of the early and most important popularity contests he won.

The Harvard law faculty changed the position and rules so that minorities could occupy that prestigious position. He was the first President of the Review, and he was the first African American to ever be the head of that publication.

Radical Redneck intelligently asked, "Question of the day...Is Biden just an idiot or mentally unstable? "

Actually, I think Slow Joe has a bottle problem, plus he doesn't have any critical thinking ability. That would explain his overwhelming propensity to say stupid things at exactly the wrong (right?) times. When I hear Biden talk, he reminds me of some of the alcoholics I ran across in hotel bars across the US in my travel years. He is a typical drunk.

Sam Huntington said...

Where do incompetent lawyers go? Why, to Congress, of course.

Darth Bacon said...

Did you know that Jerold the Father of one of the Seals that was killed in the raid at Libya
"Your son hand Balls the size of Cue balls"
He said that as the body was being brought in from Libya!

This is not a joke, it's true.

JonBerg said...

DB,

Was it VP "Bite Me" that said that?

Always On Watch said...

FT said:

in persistently worshipping triviality, banality and vulgarity we, as a people, have so degraded ourselves that we actually DESERVE Barack Obama, whom I see as a SYMPTOM not a CAUSE of our tragic illness.

I can't argue with that!

And, as Mustang pointed out, Obama adherents are lining up to vote for the empty suit (and empty chair). **sigh**

Always On Watch said...

Z,
Yes, I did post the video equating a good sexual experience with voting for Obama.

Mustang said...

AOW, the video you linked to at The Absolute Marxist is also a worthwhile comparison. In my opinion, these videos tend to illustrate leftism is pandemic.

Always On Watch said...

Mustang,
I'd have posted that particular video in the body of my blog post today -- except that I have several students as regular visitors to my blog.

Wildstar was horrified as it was!

Jan said...

The last days of the 2012 presidential election are a study in contrasts. Barack Obama has chosen to end his final campaign with an appeal both sour and small — Big Bird, binders and Romnesia. It is little wonder that Mitt Romney’s personal favorability rating now exceeds the president’s. Obama’s closing message is remarkable for its aggression, mocking tone and sheer triviality.

Obama has be-littled himself.
The problem is that he did not have a record that he could run on and had to spend a billion dollars going ugly

THIS IS AN ALL TIME LOW FOR A US PRESIDENT.

I predict that Obama will deliver the snottiest, most ungracious concession speech in American history - with his moocher standing next to him glaring at the cameras.

Impertinent said...

@Jan

"THIS IS AN ALL TIME LOW FOR A US PRESIDENT.'

That may be Jan...but it's not for a party of rats....demrats....it appeals to the lowest common denominator of the demrat party....with it's cries of racism, sexism, misogyny and hate. Especially white hate.

The party of illegals,grifters, parasites. losers, socialists, commies, red diaper doper babies, Che lovers...feels that all underhanded, disgusting behavior ( Acorn / Seiu ) is fair and appropriate. Ted Kennedy should be dug up and hung....for how he destroyed this once great country.

Mustang said...

@ Jan ...

Right. And Moochelle won't be proud of being an American any more, either.

Impertinent said...

@Mustang...


Right. How much you wanna bet she says..."she ONCE ...was proud of this country" after 11/6?

Kiss my ass mOochele. adios BBA.

Impertinent said...

OK...so now the scum-bags are airing crap that says that voting for El Douchebag...is like having sex for the first time..

Just when you think these pieces of shit couldn't go any lower.....there they go...doing the limbo under a shit stick.

I suppose in SFO they're running similar ads in the Castro district on the benefits and privileges of sodomy for the first time too. So long as they vote for the One....

Robert Sinclair said...

@ Imp

I'm betting that video linked above by Mustang gave democrats the idea for their Denham video.

What is it with Democrats? First, Sandra Flucke, and now every slut seems crawling out from under the baseboards. Why aren't Democrats ashamed of this line of thinking?

And Democrats accuse conservatives of having declared war on women?

Impertinent said...

@R Sinclair

"What is it with Democrats?"

First...they have no honor...no sense of dignity...no real pride nor confidence. They have to throw bags of shit around to get attention. They appeal to the lowest...lowest ignorant, uniformed, uneducated, unteachable. The parasites...the lazy, unworking, unproductive whores and parasites. Face it...that today... is the makeup of a once viable proud, meaningful party.

Destroyed by it's elite...who think that once the takers get a firm controlling hold of that "party"...you'll not be able to distinguish it from Hugo's or Fidels abortions in government. They all want their candy and they want it now...it's either instant gratification or....they'll kill you to get it.

Do the Kerry's, Clinton's actually believe that they'll hang onto power once an illegal gets a following (it's still not proven that Obama isn't one too) and pushes their bloated, yellow asses into oblivion?

Impertinent said...

In Ohio today...land of idiots IMO...they're having "Pizza" voting. After a thick slice of pepperoni with extra cheez (the signature if the demrats) they're bussed to a polling place and told who to vote for.

Nice. Maybe on Long Island they'll bribe them with corn beef or pastrami? After all...to buy one in NYC costs about $20 now.

Impertinent said...

Hey...did you all know that voting for O..BS...will cure breast cancer too?

Anonymous said...

From Z:

Robert, "ashamed of this line of thinking?" Are you kidding? :-)
Imagine a bunch of Americans who'd support YOUR paying for someone else's single daughter's BIRTH CONROL!? And only Democrats can do the math that Fluke wanted THREE THOUSAND for birth control a YEAR when WalMart charges $9.00 ...of course, maybe no GEORGETOWN coed would ever want to be caught dead at Walmart and they go to expensive chichi pharmacies, but THREE THOU?
Can you imagine how PROUD Fluke's parents were? "I want to have sex, I'm not married, and THE SCHOOL NEEDS TO PAY??"
what the heck other interpretation could anybody give what she said??

On the brighter side, everybody:

I work at a high school and sit close to the College Counselor....we had a female student discussing her college for next year and a liberal intern was sitting with our counselor..the female lib intern kept suggesting women's courses and FINALLY, Tiffany (the student) says "I don't feel we NEED women's courses...I am a strong young woman and we DO have equality and calling attention to poor pitiful women who need more courses sets us back 100 years"...The lib intern also was pushing politics and said she was a Democrat and ...kind of pushing that, and Tiffany later said to me "Mrs Z, I am NOT a Democrat, why do they feel we're all what they are??"

honestly, what a young girl, huh? Of course, she's ARMENIAN (too!) HA!!

Anonymous said...

From Z:

Imp, are you saying they're offering FREE PIZZA to voters? Do you have a link we could see?

And ya...a vote for O will put the end to everything......especially all hopes of seeing the America we knew and loved again.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Obama will never be ready for his close-up Mr. DeMille.

Impertinent said...

@Z....it's on Sirius...satellite.

Why...would you not believe that the shits wouldn't stoop so low?

Last time they got away cheep....a couple smokes and 5 bucks.

That put the POS over the top...and u wonder why they're totally opposed to voter ID?

Z said...

Ed, BRILLIANT!

Imp! I wasn't challenging you about the veracity of the story; I wanted details! It's astonishing that the media doesn't pick up on it (as if!)

xx

Impertinent said...

@Z


I know...I know.The scumbags are desperate and pulling out all the stops to convince the idiots and morons to vote with their genitalia!

What other reason do women have to vote for the dope? The same reason that gave Clinton a pass as a serial rapist?

Liberalmann said...

Conservatives condemn Obama for ad similar to famed Reagan line:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/26/conservatives-condemn-obama-for-ad-similar-to-famed-reagan-line/

Z said...

mp, there IS no reason to vote for Obama.


Liberalmann...I think it's a tad different when a grown man says something remotely sexual and a young unmarried punk girl acts like a whore who can't get enough sex, don't you?


Jan, you forgot a sitting president saying BULLSHIT in an interview. What a lowlife.
I'll never forget Cheney saying F*** when he thought he was off mic...they all acted like he'd crowed it in public...when media was around. BIG DIFFERENCE but the left doesn't get it.dd
By the way, I'd have said the exact thing Cheney did to that scumbag, too.

beakerkin said...

Obama was always about packaging and not about substance. He is the political equivalent of the disappointing new and improved product you buy each and every time at the store.

cube said...

I hope Obama has his final close up soon and he and Moochelle will walk off into the distance very soon while the words "The End" (of his presidency) flash across the screen.

Pris said...

"Obama’s closing message is remarkable for its aggression, mocking tone and sheer triviality."

Jan, well said! This is the real Obama. His act has lost it's appeal, and is only left for those who want to believe they couldn't have been wrong. Denial is a state of mind which can't see what's before their eyes! Scary huh?