Barack Obama: Lord of the Flies *UPDATED*

You undoubtedly saw this Drudge photoessay/headline:

Obama as Lord of the Flies

Looking at it, I kept thinking, “Gosh, that reminds me of something.” I finally figured out that it reminded me of a 1953 Isaac Asimov short story called “Flies.” Here’s a bare-bones plot summary from Wikipedia:

A group of former college students meet at a reunion twenty years after graduation and discuss their achievements. One of the ex students, now an animal behaviorist, is tormented by his ability to read the thoughts of his former friends in their small behavioral tics and gestures. He reflects on his life and research, as well the pain it has brought him, as one of his friends, and insecticide researcher, fights off the flies that continually crowd around him. Unbeknownst to all but the behaviorist, the flies’ behavior is caused by their belief that he is a deity.

What that summary misses is that Kendell Casey, the fly-surrounded friend, isn’t just any old deity.  He’s the Lord of the Flies or, in Hebrew, Beelzebub or, as we know him better, Satan.  Azimov himself mentions Satan in the story, as one of the three main characters is a divinity student who jokingly tells Casey that he must be the Lord of the Flies, and then talks about the reality of evil — which Casey sneeringly dismisses.  Interestingly, even as the flies regard Casey as their God, he views them as inconveniences to be destroyed.

“Flies” isn’t one of Azimov’s best, but it’s an interesting story about the small pettiness and malevolence of someone who is a God to even smaller beings than he is, with these beings worshiping him despite his hostility towards them and his desire to destroy them.

UPDATED:  Since we’re on the subject of flies, here’s a funny post that has nothing to do with politics, but lots to do with flies.