Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Audacity of Dreaming and the Power of Losers (3.07.10)

Obama is the candidate who has the audacity of hope. But in order for the exercise of mere hope to become an act of audacity, one must first, for whatever reason, feel unusually hopeless. For example, if one has a cold, one hopes to get better soon. But if one has end stage cancer, then it is pretty audacious to hope to get better.

Which raises the question: is it ever really appropriate to nurture audacious hope, in particular, on the horizontal plane? For to nurture audacious hope would seem to imply the wish for a complete overturning of the order of the world, which is presumably in a hopeless state.

First of all, to hope is "to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment," or "to long for with expectation of fulfillment" (Webster's). It can also mean "someone or something on which hopes are centered," such as Jesus, Obama, or Joe Torre, in the case of Dodger fans.

What about audacity? It has to do with the quality of intrepid boldness, but also "bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints." Thus, on the one hand, it can imply courage, but on the other, a reckless absence of prudence -- for courage without prudence is no longer a virtue.

Now, "hope" is one of the Christian virtues, which is why it is a sin for a Christian to wallow in hopelessness or despair. The whole point is that the Christian -- and the world -- is hopeless without Christ, whose mission it was to save us from that kind of existential cosmic hopelessnes. Therefore, it seems evident that no true Christian would find Obama's message of "audacious hope" appealing, since no Christian should feel so hopeless that he would essentially cash in his vertical hopes for the horizontal fantasies of a silver-tongued leftist.

If Obama were a proper theologian instead of a freelance messiah, he might have entitled his book The Bodaciousness of Fantasy or perhaps Getting Ahead in Life With Sheer Loser Power.

With regard to the latter, one has only to look at the type of person who attends a left wing rally or demonstration to know that Loser Power is a formidable force in the world. (Zombie does a wonderful job of documenting the awesome Power of Losers; the images are from her site.)

As Dr. Sanity writes today, "There is no doubt that both Clinton and Obama, for all their talk of 'hope' are both heavily invested in misery and failure -- both in their economic philosophy, as well as their desire for immediate (if not sooner) surrender in Iraq.

"You would think that people with real 'hope' would see the progress in Iraq and the turnabout that has occurred in the hearts and minds of the people there. You would think that people hyping 'change' would come up with some ideas and programs that aren't beholden to an ideology that has already failed in country after country, and which has made their economies circle the drain.

"The Democratic party has become a bleak house that only knows how to pander to the pessimism and envy of Americans. Since 2000 when Bush was elected, they have been whining constantly and pointing to doom and gloom omens whenever they could about the economy. Their goal? To create a perception of disaster -- even as the economy chugged along like the little engine that could. No group is happier or more excited over the possibility of a real recession than the Democratic elite, who are practically salivating over the word. Never mind that unemployment remains at historic lows... or that manufacturing has actually grown during the Bush years."

Now, hope, according to theologian Montague Brown, is "the will that what is good might be," as in "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." It is another way of saying "may the vertical radiate into the horizontal," or my we align ourselves with the Sovereign Good. It is contrasted with wishing, which is "the desire that what one wants might be." Theologically, the difference could not be starker.

Brown explains that hope "involves the conviction that, despite appearances to the contrary, truth and goodness will prevail. To hope is to commit ourselves to the betterment of ourselves and the world." We would have no problem at all with the left if they understood hope in this way, and exerted all of their effort -- body, mind, and soul -- at improving themselves (first) and the world (second), instead of transferring power to the state in order to force people to do their will -- which, in the end, means being compelled to do the will of audacious losers.

While hope "looks to the future," it is "rooted in reality as it is. In this sense, hope is realistic." However, it is also idealistic, in that "it envisions the perfection of that reality." Furthermore, we must be willing to work for what we hope. Again, this does not mean transferring this responsibility to a coercive and heavy-handed state.

Wishing, on the other hand, "involves the fancy that... our desire will be satisfied. To wish is to invoke fortune to bring us what we want, even if what we want is not good." Wishing is a product of the lower imagination. It "has no particular bond with reality as it is," nor must one dedicate oneself to making the wish a reality. "We wish for all all sorts of frivolous and unattainable things.... [It] is easy and makes no demands on us to choose truth over fantasy or to choose good over evil" (Brown).

Flat out of time. No time to proofread or spell check. That last image is courtesy American Digest.

****

Obama's Messiahship is all about delivering self esteem to losers (TW: Walt):

Obama-world "is a world of Hope; of Action; of Change You Can Believe In; of Yes We Can; of Coming Together; of Moving Forward Into the Future, and of other banalities that can mean absolutely anything to anyone. 'I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations.' It's all about us and our good feelings of youth and unity. Nothing so difficult as spelling out tough policy choices or arguing about a particular program's merits or ramifications is involved....

"Unification for 'change,' 'hope,' and 'the future' is perfect for Obama's young, esteem-fueled supporters: just as their academic self-esteem was divorced from actual achievement, and their competitive self-esteem was insulated from scorekeeping, Obama-supplied political self-esteem is disconnected from any actual opinions, policies or analyses."

Loser Power!

34 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Since I'm big with making distinctions clear, this seemed refreshing:

>>Now, hope, according to theologian Montague Brown, is "the will that what is good might be," as in "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." It is another way of saying "may the vertical radiate into the horizontal," or my we align ourselves with the Sovereign Good. It is contrasted with wishing, which is "the desire that what one wants might be."<<

And while Obamaman rouses us with pep rallies, it is interesting to see what his better half says when she puts her thoughts inside their vapid slogans.

3/06/2008 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're underestimating the young people. For a generation of people raised post-Reagan revolution, things that you perceive as still being fought out are quite settled as ingrained practices - responsibility for yourself, improving yourself first, setting standards for achievement. Having children & committed relationships, etc.

It's easy to look at, say, hip hop, and say, this is degenerate. But the good hip hop is about creative inspiration, using talent to change yourself and participate in the community. Sounds strange to hear it that way, but it sure is true. Blackilicious, just one example.

The point about being optimistic and having excited rallies is that young people are optimistic, don't buy into and in fact explicitly reject the idea that everything is in peril and so awful. If they were really hopeless, they would go to Hillary and her campaign, so much like domestic abuse.

3/06/2008 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey do any of you coons live in Chicago?

3/06/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

"Mr. Obama, you've got some 'splaining to do!"

3/06/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

"[D]ecide if the quality of mind [her thesis] exposes entitled Michelle Obama to be admitted to Harvard Law School. And ask yourself if something other than academic merit was in play, and if so, think about the person who, on academic merit alone, would have been admitted to Harvard Law School, but whose place was taken by Michelle Obama." NER, w/link to her thesis.

3/06/2008 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

Home schooling unlawful, says California court.

3/06/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow, that's terrible news, qp. Makes me glad, yet again, that we ended up in Arizona and not California, where we thought we wanted to live once upon a time.

3/06/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous LeftHandedRightWinged said...

Heres to wishing...

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Timothy 4:3,4

3/06/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

If I may pass on a bit of sage advice, anon. Try not, in the future, to completely discredit yourself right off the bat by arguing that hip-hop is anything other than the repetitious piffle.

3/06/2008 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Genuine hope, I think, need not necessarily be contingent on a fixed idea or ideas that require concentration for a set period of time.

Genuine hope is a state of consciousness, a spiritually detached state of consciousness. One is thus hopeful from one moment to the next without aforethought. Hope then, is a recognition that "all will be well", that all is well, even as the walls seem to be tumbling down.

Hope is patience, and patience is an understanding of the Big Picture, the "time beyond time."

Wishing is impatient, agitated, changeable. Hope is calm, detached, eternal.

3/06/2008 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not liking hip hop is just one of a long line of people not liking what the kids are listening to :-/

3/06/2008 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Which would mean that genuine hope is an integration with the source of all that is, would it not?

3/06/2008 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

By the way, anon, you may well be right about underestimating the young people. My children are in their twenties and all of them are more serious and wise than I was until after the first of them was born. I do think, though, that they will have to be tested before they reveal what they have to offer, and this Obama thing is just another version of Woodstock -- an effort to "get back to the Garden." Meanwhile, there sure seem to be a lot of Bozos on that bus.

3/06/2008 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

"Not liking hip hop is just one of a long line of people not liking what the kids are listening to :-/"

I don't think it's about likes and dislikes but about quality. When music lacks complexity, relies heavily on repetition rather than innovation from one measure to the next, and doesn't bother to be grounded in the structure that it grew out of, it's just a version of rocking back and forth in a crib.

3/06/2008 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Maineman:

Cooncur -- that type of music represents a great autistic achievement.

3/06/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Maines - >>Which would mean that genuine hope is an integration with the source of all that is, would it not?<<

Let me put it by way of your favorite art form, hip-hop:

Yo, I'm down with hope.
It's like the soap
And the dope smoke
Of the cosmos, Jack,
It's cosmic crack,
Nothin' it can lack,
It don't be lookin' back,
It's got your back,
And mine, too, this I shout,
So alright, now I'm out -

3/06/2008 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they have to be tested, it's a learning process.

I know a lot of hip hop blows, that is probably what you are thinking of. Good hip hop, though, is not repetitive. It's also, uh, lyrically engaging, sorry will :P

3/06/2008 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Are we beginning to reap what the Dems have sown?
I was waiting for the psychos to begin crawling out of the woodwork and it looks as if this bombing of the recruiting station in NYC is ramping things up.
Back in 06' the Dems promised, among other things, an end to the war if we would just put them in office. (I also remember a promise to reduce fuel prices, like they'd have any control) So now that they have done nothing of substance to retreat from Iraq, are their surrogates, the antiwar anarchists who saw all the winking and nodding going on during the elections, taking matters into their own hands? Trying to speed the process a bit?
Funny how all the pictures and manifestos were delivered to the offices of Congressional Democrats.
Since Bill Clinton blamed "Hate Radio" for the Oklahoma City Bombing, who will be the first Dem to step up and admit that this bombing is a direct result of their hate politics?
I won't be holding my breath on that one.

And Bob, that breasts not bombs picture is just wrong. Could you imagine that coming at you down the sidewalk? Nasty.

3/06/2008 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

QP said... "Home schooling unlawful, says California court."

California, land of the right to do your own thing - unless your think happens to be Parenting. It Constitutionally nullifies your most basic Individual Rights, a Republic of Kidnapping:

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in a Feb. 28 opinion signed by the two other members of the district court. "Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

3/06/2008 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said... "Not liking hip hop is just one of a long line of people not liking what the kids are listening to :-/"

As was the case of the man repeatedly calling out "So far so good!" as he fell from the skyscraper towards the pavement below.

Not having yet hit the bottom yet, is not proof that you aren't approaching it.

3/06/2008 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

However Anonymous, I don't estimate the younger generation by the preference for some of them for hip-hop.

I think a far better estimate and showing by them can be seen in the faces of the soldiers in our military. They are in no way profiled by gender or race or class, and for the most part they are a damn sight more level headed and mature than the generation that bore them.

3/06/2008 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hoarhey said "And Bob, that breasts not bombs picture is just wrong. Could you imagine that coming at you down the sidewalk? Nasty."

And the worst thing about it is, if you went to the zombietime site, it's one of the more attractive pictures.

'Everything is beautif...' NOT!

3/06/2008 07:57:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

From Van's post:
"Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

An order to complete a parent education program. Welcome to the Ministry of Truth.

JWM

3/06/2008 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

That LA times article sounds like a news report from North Korea or Iran...and the left accuse us of being repressive.

3/06/2008 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Hmm, anonymous, I've been looking about for an example of the "lyrically engaging" hip hop of which you spoke . . . ah, here's a big star, Busta Rhymes, gotta be some engaging lyrics here . . here's an example:

(all right) -- Hah, jump back in the shit now
Push the S-5 with the big body kit now
But never stop you know it's only hit after hit now
Gotta spend chips if you want me to spit now
A lot of other niggaz really need to just quit now
Cause they don't realize how much they look like a dick now . .

Damn! Those ARE lyrically engaging.

3/06/2008 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Yeeeeeah baybee!

3/07/2008 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Van,

I think I'll pass on the zombiestar and take your word for it.

3/07/2008 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

More engaging hip hop lyrics from superstar Eminem:

There's several different levels to Devil worshippin: horse's heads,
human sacrifices, canibalism, candles and exorcism,
Animals havin sex with 'em; camels mammals and rabbits
But I don't get into that, I "kicked" the habit - I just,
beat you to death with weapons "and" eat through the flesh . . .

Roll over Byron and tell Shelley the news!

3/07/2008 02:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan said...

Hey Will,
check out old school hip hop like De La Soul or younger ones like Jurassic 5. They are actually pretty good.

Johan
the Cosmic Swede

3/07/2008 04:42:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Checked it out, Johan. Sorry. The best I can say is that it's only modestly, as opposed to grossly offensive. From a musical standpoint, what I heard was entirely lifeless, redundant and perverse.

Now, Will's group, Coonilicious. They seem to have some promise.

3/07/2008 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dilys here.

The other day I had an errand in a part of town resembling "the projects." On a front stoop there was a young babydaddy holding his infant son, tenderly singing to him. A hiphop song about "shooting/yo/self."

So sweet and so horrible.

3/07/2008 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

hoarhey said "I think I'll pass on the zombiestar and take your word for it."

Truly, wisdom is priceless.

;-)

3/07/2008 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Eminem is crap. Second, Busta Rymes is about his voice, but actually that song is pretty sweet. Third, that kind of rap is sort of window dressing on the real stuff. Look to Latyrx, Blackilicious, Atmosphere, Deltron, Dan the Automator, Prince Paul, Kool Kieth, Dr. Octagon, DJ Spooky - I mean, you go to say, Prince Paul on allmusic.com & the moods are: literate, theatrical, quirky, witty, playful, freewheeling, humorous, ambitious, energetic, rousing, confident & celebratory. Holding eminem against good rap is like saying, yea, the Monkees suck, so all rock & roll is awful.

These guys are directly in the Sun Ra & jazz tradition - I am sure you don't want to believe that. But he was the first one to really start experimenting with the new musical technology, the synthetic sounds. These guys were listening to that kind of thing, thinking music, freefloating cosmic sounds.

You don't have to give it a chance, but your critique misses the mark when it focuses on crap instead of the real stuff.

3/07/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

"he who has ears,let him hear..."

3/07/2008 11:34:00 AM  

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