Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ecce Homo: Behold, the Man of the People

Time magazine has called him "man of the year"; GQ ditto. Ebony calls him "the new black cool"; Youth 4 Obama is gearing up their website. Barack's earthiness, charisma, and natural grace make him an archetypal hero in these troubled times; a sort of "man of the people" hero imago deo and lode star. Not mere media hype, his persona is serving as a conductor of electric hope and determination for millions. Yes, the dangers of such are real, and considerable, and must always, always be taken into account, and looked at soberly and with caution. Of course I am not taking serioulsy the comparisons with Hitler, but I get the idea: we wanted a man of the people, now just watch it all turn to a pied piper nightmare scenario, in which all becomes drek.
But while rhetoric must be eyed cautiously and backed up with substance and action, psychologically speaking, Obama's inspirational image is truly enabling many to at least feel a new national and personal pride, and a desire to find solutions, and make them work. This is at worst a pleasant impetus to change, and at best a new Camelot for America. While I for one do not believe that political solutions are the be and end all of human cultural and social evolution, and am more than aware of the dangers of illusory heroism and blind worship of charisma, I do believe in the saeculum of history, and the importance of its moods and mindsets, during each cycle.

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