Wednesday, January 21, 2009
George Bush leaves the White House with his tail between his legs and with the proud reputation of becoming one of the most despised Presidents in US history. He leaves behind 2 wars, a declining chaotic economy and a demoralized people grasping for some meaning in political life. George has sucked the spiritual and political juice out of 'the most powerful nation on earth' (a disputable notion depending on how one sees power) while claiming to be guided and strengthened by his faith in God.
Sometimes in history there is a synthesis and conversion of happenings that facilitate radical change. In some ways we would not have Obama without George Bush as we would not have Kevin Rudd without a John Howard (not that i would dare compare CEO Kevin Rudd with inspiring leader Obama).
Bush and Howard so damaged the political and spiritual underpinnings of both nations leaving a moral and ethical vacuum that could easily be filled by, in Australia's case any half decent individual, and in the US case a truly inspirational leader.
One cannot miss the great historical occasion of a person of colour becoming President, however this can be overstated. Sure, Obama is the culmination of many years of civil rights struggle and he has become the realisation of a dream for many, but he also now represents a particular social class and a life of some opportunity.
One cannot take away from him his personal struggle and his impoverished beginnings but one also needs to be careful in claiming that he represents all coloured people in the US, and that his rise creates, in some mystical way, a pathway for others.
Certainly he is an inspiration and will give hope to many in the US that "Yes We Can" but in the end he is a product of the "Empire" and its political system.
We will all breath easier knowing that their is a man of courage and integrity that serves as the "Commander in Chief" of the United States. We can at least be confident that there will be some brake on the military machine of the Empire so willingly unleashed by George W. Bush.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Anna Funder on Courage
Anna Funder shot to international prominence with the publication of her 2003 book Stasiland, about the East German secret police, and the attempts of some brave citizens to resist their oppressors. Now working on a novel, the author has taken time out to write and deliver the final of the 2008 PEN International Voices lecture series. Her essay is about Courage.
Anna Funder trained as a lawyer before turning to writing. Stasiland won the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction in 2004. She is currently working on her first novel.
The duration of this video is 80'03".
This video is presented in conjunction with ABC Fora, a great source of talks and debates online.
To view the video go to: