Friday, October 9, 2009

Peace Prize

There's a lot of buzz this morning about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Some folks are saying it's premature, that he hasn't done anything much as president. I suspect many of those people are Obama detractors who don't want to see the international community contribute any energy to his agenda.

Obama is early into his first term, it's true. But the award should be seen as an endorsement of his vision, and his ability to motivate people with that vision. It's also a recognition of his desire to engage the world and put an end to the go-it-alone approach of the previous administration. It's a rebuke of neoconservatism, basically.

This has been "bad cinema week" at my house. On Wednesday I watched a Doris Day movie from 1966 called "The Glass Bottom Boat," in which she actually sings a few bars of "Que Sera Sera." The sixties look was pretty awesome, but the plot was rather thin. Then, last night, I watched "Meteor," a tepid 1979 thriller that was one of Natalie Wood's last films. Watching Brian Keith play a Russian diplomat -- speaking Russian throughout -- had high camp value, as did watching Karl Malden and Sean Connery wade through spouting cascades of muddy sludge. That could not have been a fun movie to film.

(Photo: Street art by Celso, Bushwick, Brooklyn, Sept. 2009)


  1. I have somewhat mixed feelings about Obama getting the Nobel Peace prize. I'm glad they recognized his vision, but a little sorry he didn't have time to carry out more of his plan, because he probably won't get another such prize in the future. Out of curiosity I Googled to see if anyone had received a Nobel prize multiple times. Here's the answer: As of 2009, four individuals have won a Nobel prize twice: Marie Curie (physics 1903, chemistry 1911), Linus Pauling (chemistry 1954, peace 1962), John Bardeen (physics 1956, physics 1972), Frederick Sanger (chemistry 1958, chemistry 1980).

  2. Oh man, I want to join you for bad movie week sometime. Your choices are excellent, if you ask me. High art is great, but as my mother used to say, even the beautiful rose needs manure to grow.

    As for the Peace Prize, it annoys me that everyone was ready to jump in and analyze the choice as soon as they heard the news. For heaven's sake.

  3. well, my initial reaction was a little mixed i admit - and not from being an Obama detractor at all.

    but its all about hope and vision, so far as I can see, and thats the way it should be

  4. Mixed feelings here too. I think many people, me included, see these awards as recognition of accomplishment and not just some warm and fuzzy piling on.

    I hope the best for the President's vision for a better world, though.