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20 responses to “Obama's first hundred days”

  1. Pavlov's Cat

    It’s like that moment in The Games when they realise the 100-metre track is 94 metres long.

  2. Nabakov

    “It’s like that moment in The Games when they realise the 100-metre track is 94 metres long.”

    I was chuckling so much at that line, I lit the wrong end of my cigarette.

  3. Nabakov

    And to take Gary Younge’s observations a step further, basically Obama has been handed the thankless job of managing the inevitable yet hopefully sustainable Decline and Fall of the American Empire. A task for which only history will thank him.

    Which is not to say America is doomed. Rather that it should retreat to focus on its core competencies – IP, R&D and supermegabootydelicious culture. And high speed pizza delivery.

  4. Nabakov

    And to amplify my previous comment, I think the Pax Americana we lived under since WW2 was the least worst of all the options on offer at the time.

    America gave us Elvis and personal computers. America, in a stunning technological effort, put a shy navy aviator on the moon while also treating us at the same time to Janis Joplin singing “Half Moon”.

    America, like Rome, will always be with us. But I think at the moment it needs to take a breather. A mixed race Hawaiian pothead turned ruthless Chicago pollie is probably what this overheated empire needs right now.

    It’s early days yet but I reckon O’s got too much of a sense of humour to be another Flavian/Bush/Clinton.

    On the other hand, strange things happen as an empire deals with entropy.

  5. Nabakov

    Remember all glory is fleeting and nothing is eternal.

    Except perhaps most of Beethoven, “Bladerunner”, pretty much all of Shakespeare, the last para of ‘The Great Gatsby”, mostly Mozart, Nina Simone’s piano solo in “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, Whistler’s first Nocturne, Ry Cooder’s guitar in “Sister Morphine”, Kate Hepburn in “Sylvia Scarlett”, Barcelona and Paris, Bernie Edward’s bass runs, El Greco’s “Fable”, the Supermarine Spitfire and missing socks. Missing socks are always eternal.

  6. Nabakov

    And of course, Satie’s ‘Gymnopédies’, Nabokov’s ‘Ada’, Peake’s ‘Gormenghast’, ‘M. Hulot’s Holiday’ and Led Zep’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’.

  7. Huggybunny

    [email protected]
    “Least worse”?
    Was this Pax Americana the same one that gave us mass killings in; Korea,Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, Kosiovo,Iraq (twice) Afghanistan and various South American and African countries.At least 30 million dead. Not counting the deaths of milions of children due to Imperial exlpotation and the fratricidal wars also engendered by Imperialism. Not counting the millions killed by Imperial proxies.
    Easy to see that you are a rich white male living in a safety of a state that has been a major collaborator in this bloodshed.
    Huggy

  8. Katz

    If we’re writing Pax Americana’s obituary, don’t forget to mention “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”. And as a late efflorescence, “Mad Men”.

  9. Huggybunny

    Katz,
    You forgot to mention “Playboy” and pole dancing.
    Huggy

  10. Paul Burns

    Yeah, Mad Men!

    OTOH,
    Obama could end up something like this: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,28383,25395659-5013560,00.html

    I couldn’t help myself. 🙂 [Muses: This learning how to link could be a dangerous thing.]

  11. Mercurius

    I think the response to this post is roughly on par with the level of seriousness of the ‘First 100 Days’ meme.

  12. Katz

    You say that like it is a bad thing, Mercurius.

  13. Paul Burns

    Nabakov @ 4,
    You didn’t approve of the British Empire? tut-tut.

  14. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    “Least worse”? Was this Pax Americana the same one that gave us mass killings in; Korea,Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, Kosiovo,Iraq (twice) Afghanistan and various South American and African countries.At least 30 million dead.

    Two questions for you, Huggybunny:

    (i) Where did you get the “at least 30 million dead” figure? Never heard that before.
    (ii) Is the United States culpable for all of it, or some? Take Cambodia. Kissinger deserves to swing for bombing and destabilizing that country – but it was the Khmer Rouge that did most of the murder. As for Latin America – most of the nasty shit was done by the locals to each other.

  15. tim g

    America, in a stunning technological effort, put a shy navy aviator on the moon while also treating us at the same time to Janis Joplin singing “Half Moon”.

    Now if they had put Janis Joplin on the moon, that would have been something. Mind you, she came pretty close by herself.

  16. Adrien

    Ry Cooder’s guitar in “Sister Morphine”,
    .
    Ah yes. A reason to stay alive. 🙂 Keef and Mick were mean to him. They didn’t give any credit. Hell took Mick years to admit his girlfriend wrote the lyrics!

  17. Adrien

    Huggy – Easy to see that you are a rich white male living in a safety of a state that has been a major collaborator in this bloodshed.
    .
    Indeed. When Dr King declared that he looked to the day when a person was judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character he was just a lackey for Imperialism.
    .
    Was this Pax Americana the same one that gave us mass killings in; Korea,Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, Kosiovo,Iraq (twice) Afghanistan and various South American and African countries.At least 30 million dead. Not counting the deaths of milions of children due to Imperial exlpotation and the fratricidal wars also engendered by Imperialism.
    .
    Yep. But you have to look at the alternatives and ask if would’ve been better or worse. It could’ve been better. If Roosevelt hadn’t dropped when he did Vietnam might never’ve happened.
    .
    Whatever. Here’s the problem: world history has two basic phases. In one there’s an assortment of fluctuating states and lawless territories with constant war.
    .
    That ain’t fun.
    .
    In the other you have zones of peace established by imperium. At the fringes of these zones constant warfare ensues. That is the pattern that persisted after WWII. It’s not an excuse mind. And America could’ve lived up to its promise and, instead of doing the usual thing, changed the tactics of imperium by, say, allowing Iran to nationalize its oil reserves under a democratically elected govt etc. That it didn’t, that a nasty piece of work like Kissinger could prolong the slaughter in Vietnam and Cambodia for no-one’s good but his, are all reasons to think the human race sucks.
    .
    But these phenomena won’t change for the better by demonizing people on the basis of their race, sex or socio-economic status. They will altered by understanding the patterns, the reasons they emerge and designing new modes.
    .
    But of course that’s difficult innit? Maybe too difficult. Let’s have a Rallymarch instead… Whaddywewant? 🙂

  18. Paul Burns

    Great analysis, 2nd half of Adrien @ 17.
    Don’t know about designing new modes, though. And since this is about Obama’s first 100 days – don’t see any new modes there.
    I don’t think the following will be too lengthy – after the collapse of the Roman Empire – the sort of Pax Romana (Americana) being criticised for its complexities on this thread – you get the evolution of feudalism in Europe (I’ll stay Eurocentric because bringing in China, Japan, India and MesoAmerica complicates it too much) which eventually develops into a full blown system that lasts for about 500 years,(800BP-c.1530 BP) which about the time of the Renaissance evolves into the city/nation state which eventually develops the system broadly known as mercantilism (c. 1530 – 1830s) another 300 years, which in turn develops into two co-existing systems – capitalism (1830 – Present) socialism (c. 1870 to present.) that is about 130 odd years each – the dates are approximate. On that basis, ie, the length of time each system has lasted, I’d say we’ve got at least about 200 years to go for each of them, but I’m not trying to be predictive as the future is unknowable.
    Its probably also worth noting that these periods coincided with various Muslim empires, the Portuguese and Spanish empires, a Turkish empire, a French and a British Empire, 2 German empires, a Japanese empire, 2 Russian Empires, and an American Empire. Some of these were successive, many co-existed though frequently they were at war with each other. (I hope the latter part of this comment isn’t as confused as I fear.)

  19. Adrien

    And since this is about Obama’s first 100 days – don’t see any new modes there.
    .
    We need the Judean People’s Front to kidnap Pilate’s wife and demand the dismantling of the entire apparatus of the Roman Empire by noon tomorrow. 🙂 .
    .
    Thing is new modes take centuries to develop. Maybe by the year 2500 we’ll have peace without domination or systematic tolchoking.
    .
    Or maybe the Psychlos will invade. Well look on the bright side. People won’t be racists anymore.

  20. Paul Burns

    Oh. mate, by then the cockroaches will rule the earth.