Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Trollope, Obama, Schmoozing, & the Media

Barack Obama’s distaste for schmoozing is reminiscent of the Duke of Omnium’s own distaste in Anthony Trollope’s “Prime Minister.” And the press in Trollope’s novel is just as self-righteous as it is today.

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Obama’s Eulogy & Beloved’s Baby Suggs

Commentator Melissa Harris-Perry quoted from “Beloved” following Obama’s Charleston eulogy. The passage she chose helps explain the power of the speech.

Posted in Morrison (Toni) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Room in This House for Two “I”s

A Rumi parable speaks to the recent killings in Kuwait City and Charleston. It shares certain themes with Barack Obama’s Friday eulogy to Reverend Pinckney.

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Hillary Will Be Cast as a Witch

Prepare to see Hillary Clinton cast by the GOP in the role of the Wicked Witch of the West

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Lear’s Lesson: Dividing Leads to War

The politics in “King Lear” are currently being played out in attempts to sabotage negotiations with Iran.

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An Inspiring Speech Draws Upon Poetry

Obama drew powerfully from James Baldwin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman in his Selma speech.

Posted in Baldwin (James), Emerson (Ralph Waldo), Hughes (Langston), Whitman (Walt) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Is It Time to Bring Out Twain’s War Prayer?

The GOP and Netanyahu are trying to sabotage Obama’s negotiations with Iran. Could Mark Twain’s “War Prayer” knock some sense into them?

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The Virtues of a True Conservative

Anthony Trollope’s thoughtful critiques of progressives can lead to constructive dialogues between conservatives and progressives.

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Invisible Men (and Women) No Longer

Immigrants coming out of the shadows recall Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, who also emerges from darkness.

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Hunkering Down in Hard Times

When your side loses in an election, be like Mary Oliver’s blue heron: hunker down, absorb the blows, and keep the fire of hope burning.

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The Race Projection behind the Killings

Projection helps explain many of the killings of unarmed young black men. Ralph Ellison is an expert on how projection works.

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Obama Is No King Lear (Thank Goodness!)

Those who want more militaristic posturing in our foreign policy should contemplate King Lear’s posturing.

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GOP Denies a Giant Problem

Faced with climate change denialism, Obama has been forced to take executive action. Jonathan Swift would understand.

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Melville and Climate Change Denial

Melville’s “Benito Cereno” perfectly captures Rightwing denial of climate change.

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Melville’s Parable of American Denial

Melville’s “Benito Cereno” captures the contradictions of today’s conservative extremists.

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Will Oliver Finally Get Health Care?

Oliver Twist experiences the same ups and downs as Obamacare has. But there’s a happy ending.

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tom Perkins & America’s Dragon-Like 1%

Tom Perkins complaining about Nazi-like progressives resembles the dragon in “Beowulf.”

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oedipal Blindness in Benghazi

Will Hillary and Obama achieve the wisdom of the suffering Oedipus following their missteps in Benghazi?

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Tea Party Racism and Flannery O’Connor

To understand Obama derangement and the government shutdown, Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Artificial Nigger” is a good place to start.

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Whoever Degrades Another Degrades Me

Whitman’s “Song of Myself” calls us to imagine the experience of the Other, just as Obama asked us to imagine the perspective of young black men.

Posted in Whitman (Walt) | Also tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Being Right on Climate Is Not Enough

Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” helps us sort through some of the politics of climate change.

Posted in Ibsen (Henrik) | Also tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Scandal? Nothing but a Pack of Cards

Like Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts, GOP investigation committees want verdict first, trial afterwards.

Posted in Carroll (Lewis) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Politics and Beowulf Wish Fulfillment

People who think a modern Beowulf can come in and fix our political problems are delusional.

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Sam Spade Gambles with the Filibuster

Is the GOP filibuster like a Sam Spade-Kasper Gutman negotiation? Is Obama like the Queen of Hearts in his drone program?

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Can Literature Stop Drone Attacks?

Why does a president well versed in literature and philosophy engage in targeted assassinations?

Posted in Cole (Teju) | Also tagged , | 1 Comment

GOP, Obama Have Both Created Monsters

Karl Rove and Barack Obama have both “created monsters” (in the Tea Party and drone strikes respectively). Mary Shelley would understand.

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Takers vs. Makers in “Things Fall Apart”

Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” has an urgent message for us in today’s political battles.

Posted in Achebe (Chinua) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

No Longer Rolled by the GOP

Like Ellison’s Invisible Man, Obama may have started off naive but he’s wised up.

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Obama’s Star, Beowulf’s Sword

Obama’s “star that guides us”–the ideals in “The Declaration of Independence”–are, in “Beowulf,” the sword used to kill Grendel’s Mother.

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Inauguration Poet, Classic Immigrant Story

Richard Blanco’s poem “América” shows that he is well chosen as this year’s inauguration poet.

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Leaping Off the Fiscal Cliff…and Flying

Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” has advice for Obama in the fiscal cliff confrontation: Leap!

Posted in Morrison (Toni) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

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