Obama’s intellectual love affair with T.S. Eliot

Everyone is having a good laugh at young Obama’s pompous, turgid, and self-referential writing about T.S. Eliot.  My thoughts actually went somewhere else.  T.S. Eliot was a tried-and-true antisemite.  That’s why I’ve always given him a wide berth.  The young Obama apparently did not feel the same way about Eliot’s attitudes.

I’m just sayin’….

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  • vanderleun

    I generally approve of anything, anything at all, that slams Obama, but this standard “plaint” vis-a-vis Eliot frankly just does not cut it. It’s just not anything other than, well, common.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    This isn’t really about TS Elliot. A malignant narcissist doesn’t copy somebody else. In their view, they are giving recognition to the fame of others, by making their fame, the narcissist’s. You know this is true because Obama has done it with Lincoln and Kennedy already.


  • jj

    You don’t read Eliot for his attitudes, any more than you read Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, or Dylan Thomas because you’re in agreement with the concept of going through life as a drunken horse’s ass.  You read them for the brilliance of their words.  Eliot didn’t much like anybody – probably liked the Irish less than the Jews – and that doesn’t change a word of Waste Land; East Coker; or The Dry Salvages.  I knew enough people who knew Robert Frost to know that he was a miserable, skinflint, selfish Yankee son of a bitch, but his actual treatment of actual hired men didn’t – and doesn’t – change a word of The Death of the Hired Man.  Sometimes, when dealing with genius, you have to look past it, here and there.  Cut yourself a break: Eliot’s worth a read.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    We could have some fun picking out appropriate poems and lines from Eliot’s work with applicability to Obama. It is especially appropriate that a hollow man would love the poet who wrote The Hollow Men.

    This is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper. 

  • vanderleun

    Make that : “Not with a bang but a simper. “

  • vanderleun

    November is Dems cruellest month, kicking / 
    Obama out of the White House, mixing / 
    Votes and vengeance, stirring / 
    Dull Mitt with Newt rain. / 
    Barry kept us broke, covering / 
    Debt with Bernanke snow jobs, bleeding / 
    Our last fiscal life with stealth taxes.

  • Charles Martel

    Vanderleun, if/when Obama is sent home to live in Bill Ayers’s basement, may your poem be taught to schoolchildren everywhere.

  • vanderleun

    Obama present and Obama past

    Are both perhaps present in Obama future,

    And Obama future contained in Bill Ayers’s basement.

    If all Obama is eternally ex-president

    All Obama is finally bearable.

    What might have been a second term is an abstraction

    Remaining a perpetual insanity

    Only in a world of democrat degredation.

    What might have been and what has been

    Point to one Obama, who is out of office.

    Bankruptcy echos in the memory

    Down the term which we did not give

    Towards the future we avoided

    Into the socialist nightmare. My votes echo

    Thus, in November.

    But to what purpose

    Letting Obama chair the UN

    I do not know.

  • Gringo

    Yes, Obama’s take on T.S. Eliot is, shall we say, amusing. Obama contrasts the “conservatism” of  T.S. Eliot with “bourgeois liberalism” – whatever they may be. T.S. Eliot worked for Lloyd’s Bank before he could support himself on his writing. Seems to me that a banker is a pretty good definition of “bourgeois.” 
    I have always associated use of the term “bourgeois” with B.S.-ing, probably because one of the biggest B.S.ers I knew introduced me to the term.  I can’t say that my reading The Bamster’s take on T.S. Eliot has changed my association with the term “bourgeois.”
    As I developed an aversion to poetry from overly analytical English teachers in high school and college, I have never read through an entire T.S. Eliot poem. Come and go, doodle Michaelangelo.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I’ve been looking at the weather report temperatures for California, Book. The Marina area specifically. It’s amazing that you guys over there can sustain highs of 60-70 all the time. While here in the Deep South Book, it can get roasting for a week at a time and then drops 10-20 degrees the next day or week. It’s 85 degrees in Fahrenheit here and I decided to do a light workout outside. A few movements and there is now sweat.

    No wonder you can’t handle the heat down here, Book…. 

  • Charles Martel

    Ymarsakar, the Marina is a neighborhood on San Francisco’s northern waterfront. Breezes through the Golden Gate assure that it remains one of the city’s cooler areas, so, yes, you’re correct to say that temps beyond 70 degrees are pretty uncommon there.
    Book’s neighborhood in Marin (not Marina) County is about 6 or 7 air miles north of the Marina. It’s a bit warmer, with temperatures in May or October (our “hot” months) sometimes going into the 90s and even up to 100 degrees. Where I live, a little north of Book, the year-round temperature is about 7 to 10 degrees warmer than in San Francisco.
    California’s weather secret, which most Americans don’t know about, is its thousands of micro-climates. Generally speaking, the cool parts of the state are on the coasts and extend 5 or 10 miles inland. From there, each 5 or 10 miles further east produces a temperature increase of a few degrees. It’s possible to set out from Santa Monica at 10 a.m. on a summer morning where the temperature is 65 degrees and arrive in Palm Springs at 1 p.m. where the temperature is 112 degrees—an almost 50-degree difference. Same state, same season, and only a 125-mile separation. 
    Same thing where Book and I live. If we drive north or east, the temps begin rising because we’re further away from the moderating influences of the ocean and bay. Winemakers here scoped out all the little micro-climates years ago, figuring out that while one sunny slope is great for cabernet sauvignon, a less-exposed, somewhat cooler slope nearby is best for pinot noir.
    While we Californians are relieved of the burden of having several wardrobes to address the four seasons, we are past masters at layering. You never know just when you’re going to pass from one micro-climate to another.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Note that anti-bourgeois attitudes are common to the Leftist totalitarian and the Rightist totalitarian. Sebastian Haffner, in his memoir of growing up in Germany between the wars, compared two acquaintances–one a dedicated Nazi and the other an equally-dedicated Communist:

    “They both came from the ‘youth movement’ and both thought in terms of leagues. They were both anti-bourgeois and anti-individualistic. Both had an ideal of ‘community’ and ‘community spirit’. For both, jazz music, fashion magazines…in other words the world of glamour and ‘easy come, easy go’, were a red rag. Both had a secret liking for terror, in a more humanistic garb for the one, more nationalistic for the other. As similar views make for similar faces, they both had a certain stiff, thin-lipped, humourless expression and, incidentally, the greatest respect for each other.” 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The artificial distinction between Communism being of the Left and Nazism being of the Right, is one of the successes of previous propaganda coups. While it does not dictate the tone and nature of the conflict today, it has provided several folds of cover for the Left.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I still maintain, David Foster, that there is nothing on the “Right” about the Nazis. They were just a different brand of socialism with all the trappings of socialism. The Nazis believed in government control of the economy, cradle-to-welfare socialism, strong unions (under government control, obviously), hard-core environmentalism and the creation of a modern utopia through the design of an enlightened few. In the U.S., parties typically derided by the Left as being “right wing” are groups with many historical, ideological and other ties to the Democrat /Left (e.g., KKK).

    The traditional term “right” referred to the post-French Revolution assembly seating arrangements and meant “not with the Revolutionaries”, who were seated on the Left. The traditional “right”, in France, was a highly diversified bunch that included Girondists, Monarchists and the merchant and agrarian classes. None of those groups on the “right” advocated centralized government control of the economy or of the individual.

    In the U.S., the opposite of the “Left” would be the small-government Libertarians. Conservatives favor more government control than the Libertarians, but are still fall pretty far to the right of the Left on the spectrum of American political ideology.

    Incidentally, the American Left…especially that ensconced in the hallowed halls of Academia (Harvard, Columbia and Yale, especially) had no trouble recognizing the Nazis as their socialist brothers in arms. The Nazis (and the Mussolini Fascists…another Socialist brand) were admired and feted on U.S. campuses during the 1930s and up until….they attacked the Soviets with Operation Barbarossa. Similarly in France – when France was invaded by the Nazis in 1939, the French Communist party undertook an active campaign of sabotage to bottleneck the roads and damage trucks and railroads trying to transport troops to the Front to impede Stalin’s Nazi allies.

    After Operation Barbarossa betrayed Stalin’s compact with Hitler, the Left did their best to spread the lie that the Nazis were the “enemies of Socialism”. Sadly, too many people bought their story.

    Here is an excellent discourse on the history and nature of Fascisms and its many ties to Marxist Socialism:


    And, let’s not forget Cole Porter’s famous “You’re the Top” ditty, in which the original praise for Mussolini was airbrushed out of the historical record.

    Nazis, Communists, Socialists, Fascists – same thugs, different gang colors! 


  • Charles Martel

    The only difference I’ve ever been able to see between the Nazis and Bolsheviks was the racial element. The Nazis would murder you if you belonged to the wrong ethnic group, whereas the commies would murder you if you belonged to the wrong class.
    In looking at the deep-seated racism of the American left, and the horrors of affirmative action, crap public schools, family-wrecking welfare, Planned Parenthood, and the bigotry of low expectations it insists on continuing to visit on Blacks, Latinos, and other non-Asian minorities, I’m tempted to say it is very fascist in that regard. The difference between the American left and the Nazis is that it prefers to inflict a slower death on its inferiors. In thinking that, I realize that Danny has absolutely nailed his contention that there’s really not much difference between Marxists and National Socialists.

  • jj

    I thought the idea that the NSDAP was a right-wing deal had long since been eradicated.  They were lefties, same as every other dangerous “ism” we’ve ever seen.  There are a couple of fairly large hints right there in the name: National Socialist German Workers party.  It is amazing that we were all taught in the sixth grade that they were the danger of being too far to the right, but that was lefty propaganda even then.  The Young Republicans have only very rarely – very rarely –  mingled with organizations featuring words like  “Socialist” or ‘Workers” in the name. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Leftist Alliance is the enemy of all humanity. It’s as simple as that. While you could adopt Danny’s explanation of the history and lineage, never forget who’s the real enemy and what kind of firepower it takes to erase from existence the cancer on humanity’s progress. Whatever else you think or disagree on, never forget that.


  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Martel, back in 2004, I started using the phrase “Whatever the Left accuses us of, was only ever true of the Left”. That line has now acquired a 99% accuracy rating. Unfortunate, isn’t it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    There are many commonalities between Communism and Fascism/Naziism, however, there are also significant differences. One of them is the Fascist obsession with race and nationality. A second is that where Communism is pseudo-scientific, extensively developing a fake kind of logic, Fascism is explicitly anti-logical…indeed, it usually involves various kinds of mysticism, as in the Nazi attempt to revive the worship of Wotan and the other ancient German gods.

    My view is that the belief system of our current American “progressives” has as much to do with Fascism as it does with Marxism–consider *their* obsession with race, and the number of believers in magical crystals, etc–and that making this connection is politically important.

    I plan to do a post on this topic when I get a chance…for now, see this interesting 1935 analysis of Naziism from Atlantic magazine. Also, a relevant passage from Aldous Huxley:

    In the field of politics the equivalent of a theorem is a perfectly disciplined army; of a sonnet or picture, a police state under a dictatorship. The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet–the scientific poet–of a new mythology. Both are justified in their pretensions; for each applies to human situations the procedures which have proved effective in the laboratory and the ivory tower. They simplify, they abstract, they eliminate all that, for their purposes, is irrelevant and ignore whatever they choose to regard an inessential; they impose a style, they compel the facts to verify a favorite hypothesis, they consign to the waste paper basket all that, to their mind, falls short of perfection…the dream of Order begets tyranny, the dream of Beauty, monsters and violence. 


  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The strength of the Leftist alliance is not their power base in fascism or communism, but their ability to harness the powers of demons or devils, no matter the ideological inconsistencies. Evil is weak because it can be shattered piecemeal against the combined legions of good. But that’s no longer the case when the Leftist alliance cements all factions dedicated to the path of evil and destruction with unified organizational leadership and resources.

  • http://shakeypete.blogspot.com Peter

    I went to grade school in the 1950s. Yeah, I’m, old, so what? Anyhow my male teachers were mostly WW2 vets and they had no trouble telling us that the Nazis were of the left. Somehow by the time I got through high school and the service when I went to college in the 1970s the Nazis were magically moved to the right. Imagine that.

    Oh and very few of the instructors in the university I attended were veterans. Imagine that.

  • Ron19

    Whether you believe in him or not, who would be the one to be the ultimate leader of all the bad guys mentioned by Ymarsakar?  Who would be harnessing whom?