You've never been this way before

Where is the fire you built your dream on?

There's something strange, there's something wrong
I see a change—it's like when love dies.
I who have known you for so long,
I see the pain in your eyes !

There was a time you lived your life,
And no one lived the way that you did!
You had a plan, you chose a wife,
You saw the world as very few did!

You had it all—the overall!—
You seemed to know just what to live for!
But now it seems, you don't at all.
You have your work—and nothing more! ...

~Leslie Bricusse, His Work and Nothing More


  1. observant of you, sir. The eyes give it away, do they not? Don't they say they are the window to the soul? Perhaps, the President was just tired...he looked tired when he gave that Thanksgiving greeting on his weekly address. "

    Living "one's life"...maybe this is one of the things one must surrender in order to become President. But then, isn't it also true of so many in so many places: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation." Thoreau's Walden...1854, sir---not Obama 2010 Thanksgiving address...obviously.

    Yes, his Thanksgiving address sounded a lot more like the one George Bush Jr. gave in 2007. It too looked a bit tired. "Work hard," "Love thy neighbor," "Give thanks to our troops," pretty standard issue as such things go. That too seems to come with the job. I wonder whether he---Mr. Obama (or that kindergarten kid who said he wanted to become President)---knew what the job would entail. Are there some things one only finds out after one is sworn in? Is one overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all? It takes a certain kind to get into politics. Just giving credit where credit is due. Being a politician is not for does take a will change one...and there is a price to pay, especially if one wants to make it all the way to the higher office.

  2. The presidency may be like sex. You don't know what it is until you've done it. And there can only be one president at a time.

    Every politician is aware that there are compromises that go along with the job. Speaking to our competent and progressive state senator here she told my partner, Ellen, that there were times when she had to vote for repellant things in order to get her own legislation through.

    That's the way it goes.

    That's sausage making, and politics. A reality, a fact of life, is that no one can get everything he or she wants accomplished. There is no purity.

    If you want to remain pure, stay out of politics.

    Compound all that with the mess Obama found when he entered the office. Did reality smack down his dreams? I get the impression he believed taking his job seriously and getting to work would speak for itself. That it was his obligation to be quite serious. Now he is criticized for not "selling" his programs well enough.

    Whatever you say about Obama, madness, a lurid fantasy world, has encircled his administration.

    And there other doubts too. Who runs the military in Obama's White House? The generals or the president? How closely tied is he to Wall Street? Why won't he prosecute the torturers and crooks from the previous administration? Etc..

  3. And yes, the eyes are troubling.

  4. "Now he is criticized for not 'selling' his programs well enough."


    Who is saying that? The White House?


    Cass Sunstein?

    What the critics of the President have been speaking of, and this is hardly recent news, is, at best, of a "disconnect" (ref. Micah L. Siffry's articles, here, Dec. 31, 2009, or here, Jan. 3, 2010.) The harshest critics speak of "betrayal" (ref. Roger D. Hodge recently published book, The Mendacity of Hope).

    The thing about 11-dimensional chess is that you'd better be really really good at chess - and I mean major league really good, like "think different" kind of good. Mostly, it's not so fun if you're only a pawn.

  5. Pardon me for not including references to all the forms of criticism coming from the left. I didn't mean to be narrow. Which, apparently, I was.

    That criticism, though, has been popping up among the pundits on the nation's airwaves.

    They define reality, you know?

    Just kidding.

  6. No apologies required. The narrowness, if narrowness there was, is not yours, but that of the mainstream media.

    Censorship is by omission and misuse of language
    — Award-winning Journalist, John Pilger

    In this instance, and as I intended to point out in my earlier comment (perhaps clumsily - I didn't mean to be rude), it would appear that "they," "the pundits on the nation's airwaves," were merely parroting the White House's talking point on the matter - straight from the horse's mouth:

    Nov. 5 2010: President Obama on "60 Minutes" to correspondent Steve Kroft:
    "You know, I think that over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn't just legislation. That it's a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand. And I think that we haven't always been successful at that..."

    Given that only a handful of corporations control what the majority of Americans watch and read as news, paraphrasing Cass Sunstein and turning his pernicious argument around, I've found that for all its faults and all its excesses, the internet has proven thus far to be somewhat of a welcome antidote to the "crippled epistemology" of the mainstream media by planting doubts about the theories and "stylized facts" that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity. (Wikileaks is a good example.)

  7. Yeah, keep the web wild and wooly. Beware though when out on the trail. Fraud, flim flam, and fantasy abound. (As we all know.)

    Though the Tea Party flim flam seemed to take to the air and rise like a mighty hot air balloon without aid of the web. And in terms of tom foolery there has been little to match it in recent year.

    In the immortal words of Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us;." Don't like the "bums" in Congress? Then ask yourself who put them there? Not even B of A or Goldman Sachs has that kind of power. The voter can always say "no." And "yes" to the right candidate.

    At least that's the way I see it.

  8. Speaking of which, did you know that over 110 million votes were cast in the first season of American Idol? By Season 8, the seasonal total had increased to 624 million!

  9. No, I didn't. But I'm not surprised.

    And "they" call us "elitists!"

  10. Krugman, yesterday:

    ...The real question is what Mr. Obama and his inner circle are thinking. Do they really believe, after all this time, that gestures of appeasement to the G.O.P. will elicit a good-faith response?

    What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake...

  11. Not only is it an "important asset," it's the right thing to do.

    Has our eloquent, stirring president become so tongue tied and mute that he can't forcefully drive in the ghastly irony of not taxing the rich while simultaneously allowing millions of unemployed to lose their benefits? The hypocrisy of demanding unpaid for tax cuts while complaining about the budget deficit?

    I can see numerous presidents (Roosevelt laughing ironically, drawing his black cigarette holder out of his mouth in a blatantly patrician manner, Truman's feistiness and combativeness, Kennedy offering another patrician display of ironic disdain, even LBJ in his homely manner expressing his disgust.... ) working that irony for all it's worth.

  12. Robert Reich's arguments have the ring of reality....

    Well, at least i hope so......