October 9, 2009

And now, a break from the normal type of entry on this blog

Wow (backup for citation, since the Nobel's servers are slammed right now). In the perennial struggle to decide whether the Nobel Peace Prize should be a Courage Award or a Behavioral Reinforcement for Moving in the Right Direction, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee used the 2009 award for the latter. I think the prize committee gave the award prematurely, though, even given its tendency to want to reward positive motion. Don't you think they should have waited at least for the third miracle?

I apologize for the attempt to channel Peter Sagal, but since Wait wait! Don't tell me! is recorded on Thursdays for the Saturday broadcast, I either have to wait 8 more days for the Inevitable Best Quip on Obama, hope he puts something interesting into his Twitter feed, or make it up on my own. And I do think that the Nobel choice seems obviously political; the other two presidents who have received one in office (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) had at least done some concrete stuff internationally. Never mind that Wilson's grand idea flopped on several levels, but at least he had done something concrete internationally. Obama's primary achievements thus far have been in domestic policy. I gave money to his campaign and worked and voted for him, but this seems, I don't know... a little too early to recognize what is thus far essentially a policy of "We're not John Bolton."

The political fallout from this is entirely unknown, but I can hardly wait for the talk-radio reaction as well as the reaction from those who feel as if they should have gotten it instead. On my drive to work, I heard a big bang that sounded like it was coming from very far away. I'm not sure if I was hearing Glenn Beck's or Bill Clinton's head explode, but someone is surely going apoplectic this morning.

And there is no truth to the rumor that the following was part of the internal correspondence for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee:

Dear Thorby,

I think we need a more honest citation than the second draft you circulated yesterday, something like the following: After giving due consideration to all the nominees who had given their freedom or health for the improvement of their fellows, or who had accomplished amazing acts of diplomacy, we have decided to award the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to someone who is just too cool to ignore, an American President who mesmerizes us with complete sentences and proper grammar in his own language, who remembers books he has read, who understands that international diplomacy requires as much seduction as force, who probably knows that a real ranch has to have cattle and not just a bunch of dead bushes to clear, and whom we really, really hope will play hoops with us when he comes to Oslo in December. We even promise to clear the snow off the court.

Oh, and can we have the Ceremony this year with everyone in Speedos?

I stand corrected on one important item: Obama did have this small achievement in July. But that's not mentioned explicitly in the Nobel citation, probably because they didn't want to let the Guy Who Is Not Putin share the award. And reducing nuclear warheads is not nearly as important as being able to hit net at 25 feet. Er, 8 meters.

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Posted in Out of Left Field Friday on October 9, 2009 7:47 AM |