Here’s a four-year-old analysis in which my friend, Gerard Vanderleun, uses a now-familiar photograph–one of President Obama and his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham—as a symbol of the president himself.
What are ordinary Americans to make of this strange man-child who has, through sloth and design in the media, sloth and inattention among the body politic, and cupidity, corruption and chicanery within his dark political machine, risen to dominate the landscape? What are ordinary Americans to make of this most un-American of all our erstwhile leaders; a man profoundly ungrounded in the American earth?
In the meantime, there will be an ever increasing addition of possible answers and pondering added to the already towering tsunami of non-information available on the subject of Obama. It is by now a commonplace that never has so little been known about so pivotal a figure in our history. In this case partial ignorance leads not to bliss but rather an opera buffa that is sung in the key of existential distress and portends a finale that is not “a comedy tonight,” but a Roman Tragedy replete with fire and blood.
Viewers of the photograph can fill in the gaps surrounding the moment captured by the camera, says Gerard. But whatever fills those spaces is merely fantasy conjured by the viewer. In the same way, the American people have been forced to fill in the many, wide and deep gaps, which still exist in the public knowledge of the life of Obama himself.
Gerard posits that this dearth of information is no accident. But you knew that.
Go and read the musings on these Grand Canyons from a vastly better writer than your humble servant. Spoiler: remember what the Operative said about himself at the end of the 2005 movie Serenity? It is the same for this operative.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!