Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I wrote Dreams of My Father

Conservative blogs have gone back to flogging the idea that Bill Ayers wrote Barack Obama's Dreams of My Father. Today's angle is that some right-wing blogger caught up with Ayers in an airport and he "confessed" to the dirty deed.

But they're wrong, wrong, wrong.

Bill Ayers didn't write Obama's books. Bill Ayers didn't even write his own book.

I did.

That's right. I wrote Dreams of My Father.

I also wrote The Audacity of Hope, the Philadelphia speech on race, the big speech in Germany, and the acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. The inauguration speech--mine. So was the heart-melting proposal speech Barack gave Michelle when he asked her to marry him. You should have seen his teleprompter work for that one. All those responsibility speeches Barack gives his cute kids--I wrote those too.

Being the genius behind Barack Obama has been tough. Sure, the royalty checks are unbelievably large and I get to live on one of those island paradises. In fact, I live right next to Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame.

And yes, I really like those fruity drinks.

But money isn't everything. Pleasure isn't everything either.

I want fame too.

I want everybody to know what a genius I am.

I want paparazzi outside my door. I want my washboard abs in all the tabs. I want my divorce lawyer to be a household name and I want my own cute kids on the cover of People when they go into rehab.

I want it all and I want it now. I want to be Brad, Angelina, and Oprah Winfrey all rolled into one.
And this is how I'm going to do it.

My work on Barack's third book, Born in Qom Not Kenya, is going to be the ultimate reality television show. I'll be broadcasting everything I draft, write, or scribble while I'm in the bathroom. All the exultation, all the pain, all the brillians will be live for everybody to see. Every nonsense phrase, doodle, rejected sentence--every effort I make to maximize the importance of each momentous word--will be available to the public "in real time." The public wants to see genius at work. I'll be working on Obama's next book 24/7 and it will all be brought to you live.

It will be the biggest thing ever--bigger than the Bible, bigger than Jesus, bigger even than the Beatles.

And everybody will know that the real brains behind Barack Obama is not Bill Ayers--it's me.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Fiery Bloom of Autumn

The weather is starting to cool and the green in the trees seems to be growing lighter in color as the leaves prepare to change. Around Morehead, the leaves usually turn into a burnt orange or a fiery red. The burnt orange calls to mind the University of Texas Longhorns but it's the red that reminds me more of my favorite UT graduate, the late Nancy Peterson. The red leaves seem to glow with a special intensity before they fall off. In the same way, Nancy had a special energy, an especially ferocious grip on life, during the years she had cancer. I miss a lot of things about Nancy, but I especially miss the fiery red glow of her last years.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

That "Jesus Left Christianity" Post

On TPM, there's a post on Jesus leaving Christianity that was written by William K. Wolfrum during the 2008 election campaign.
. . . [I]n an announcement that has left his followers shaken, the Christ himself has come forward to announce that he is leaving Christianity, effective immediately. The reasoning: The 2008 Republican Platform. Reached for comment at a West Hollywood coffee shop, Christ said that he couldn't deal with a world that so misinterpreted his words and actions.
I should emphasize that I'm not myself a Christian, a follower of Jesus, or someone who's very enthusiastic about Jesus in any way, shape, or form. Many of the ideas in the New Testament are worthy of respect and the texts have a great deal of moral depth. But the doctrine is so bizarrely self-abnegating that it can't really be taken seriously. People can complain about "actually existing" Christians not really following Jesus, but seeing salvation in such enormities of suffering as the story of Lazarus or the invocation to "turn the other cheek" is too much for any society like our own that does not have a primary commitment to inflicting and suffering pain. Nobody with half their sanity could believe in the Jesus of the New Testament. So, "Christians" have softened his edges, forgotten his crazed disgust for most of what's human, and made Jesus seem more "normal" according to our visions of normality. The only way anybody could be a Christian is to follow "our" version of Jesus and that's just as true on the left as the right.

With these things in mind, it should be clear that Jesus wouldn't be caught in a West Hollywood coffeeshop any more than he would have taken in a corporate junket to Barbados or run for president as a Democrat. Who would Jesus have preferred in this world? The same people he preferred in the ancient Jewish territories--the absolute bottom of society. Jesus would have identified with dying Aids patients covered with lesions, the gay kids being kicked out of their families and beaten by their peers, psychotic homeless people shuffling from grate to grate, the inmates at all our super-max prisons, and all the desperate crack, heroin, and OxyContin addicts. These are the people Jesus viewed as blessed. These are the people Jesus viewed as models for his own suffering and self-sacrifice. These are the people Jesus wanted his disciples to emulate. Everyone else was damned.

It's not Jesus wouldn't have come to America, but he would have found his home in all of the "Other Americas" that dot our landscape. The people in the West Hollywood coffee shops are just as much strangers to those Other Americas as Rush Limbaugh. Jesus would have damned them just as much as he would damn Dick Cheney. The only difference is that Dick Cheney knows he would have been damned and is probably glad there's no god to hold him accountable.

Conservatives Beware on Polanski

Two agreements with conservatives on Roman Polanski.

First, Polanski needs to be brought back to the United States to face sentencing on the watered down charges in relation to his rape of a 13 year old girl and be prosecuted for his flight from justice.

Second, Hollywood and the arts community are profoundly wrong in defending Polanski. People like Whoopi Goldberg make themselves look like the world's biggest hypocrites for their mealy-mouthed rationalizations for not treating Polanski as the rapist he is.

But conservatives also have a problem in their attacks on Polanski. If Roman Polanski is not too important to escape justice, why do they keep arguing that George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their accomplices are so important that they shouldn't be investigated let alone indicted, tried, and forced to spend the rest of their miserable lives paying for their crimes against humanity.

Ok, maybe I was getting a little overly enthusiastic there. But the world won't come to an end if Dick Cheney pays for his crimes any more than it will come to an end if Roman Polanski pays for his.