“Life is a state of mind.”
………………………………..President Bobby, Being There, 1979
When Peter Sellers brought to life the character of Chauncy Gardiner, in this comedy classic, the humor was largely in the ridiculous notion that a mere gardener, who could neither read nor write, could become a major political figure, advising the most important politicians of the day, including the President.
While I am quite sure that the writer, Jerry Kozinski, would have loved an outcome where Gardiner became President, such an ending would have taken the film from plausibly funny to implausibly stupid. (Of course, this film was released in the middle of the Carter years (1979 – 1981)…so it may not have been so outlandish. After all, if a peanut farmer can garner the Presidency, why not a gardener?)
Now that I hear Barack Obama give his speeches, make his campaign promises, talk of the economy and the cure to what ails it, I simply cannot help but remember “Being There”.
Only in this case we have a community organizer who either can’t read or can’t comprehend the written word, rising up to become President of the United States. And just like President Bobby, he thinks that “Life is a state of mind”.
What do I mean by that?
Simply that Obama has no interest in reality….and is determined to convince everyone that life has no grounding in reality but is simply a state of mind.
This is the reason behind many of his so-called flubs. For instance….
- - When he talked of visiting 57 states, his state of mind was dwelling on the Heinz 57 varieties and wondering which he would have on his cheeseburger after the speech
- - When he was speaking of the Navy Corpseman (not the Navy Corpsman) he was a little confused since he had just watched the Tim Burton classic “The Corpse Bride” and was slightly confused
- - Or…he could have been referring to the KIA Medal of Honor recipient Jared Monte….who Obama thought was still alive
- - We can all understand how he thought Austria had it’s own language…he was channeling the career of Arnie at the time
- - And then of course there is the state of mind that Hawaii is part of Asia….I wonder if Michelle knows of his fetish for Asian women? That was clearly his of mind during that particular speech.
Yes, life is but a state of mind.
Of course, there are many parallels between Chauncy Gardiner and Barack Obama….
“ Ron Steigler: Mr. Gardner, uh, my editors and I have been wondering if you would consider writing a book for us, something about your um, political philosophy, what do you say?
Chance the Gardener: I can't write.
Ron Steigler: Heh, heh, of course not, who can nowadays? Listen, I have trouble writing a postcard to my children. Look uhh, we can give you a six figure advance, I'll provide you with the very best ghost-writer, proof-readers...
Chance the Gardener: I can't read.
Ron Steigler: Of course you can't! No one has the time! We, we glance at things, we watch television...
Chance the Gardener: I like to watch TV.”
…………………..Being There, 1979
Can Obama read? There is significant doubt about this. I suspect he can read but has trouble with comprehension. After all, he seems to be able to read his teleprompter sort of ok…but when the words make no sense he still delivers them as they were written. I really do not think there is any truth in the rumor that when he delivers a speech and stops frequently, it is because he is listening to the next few words being delivered through his miniature ear plug (called an earwig)…although that would explain the frequent gaps in the flow of his speech (often in appropriate places), especially if he can only be delivered a couple of words at t a time. Who knew?
Anyway…back to his reading. I think he can read somewhat, but with limited comprehension. Perhaps that is why he was able to rise to the Presidency where Gardiner was unable to take that final step?
Chauncy also states clearly that he can’t write either. Sometimes I wonder whether Obama’s speechwriters are related?
And then there is that final line…”I like watching TV”….enough said!!
In this world of sound bites and short concentration spans TV is the media of choice for liberal politicians who understand that their constituencies are filled with people just like them…people who are unlikely to read, and simply like watching TV. Obama and his advisers know this…and also like watching TV….that is where they get the pulse that they are so good at interpreting. That is where their base lives…and they study it as closely as they study foreign affairs.
And then there is the economy….following on our theme of “Life is a state of mind”…the economy sucks, but don’t worry…that is just a state of mind …the truth is….
“President "Bobby": Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President "Bobby": In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President "Bobby": Spring and summer.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
President "Bobby": Then fall and winter.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!”
……..Being There, 1979
Well it may not be Shakespeare but it is just as poignant…
Shakespeare wrote in the first two lines of Richard III:
"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun [or son] of York," .
If Obama could read he would consider himself the Son of York….the healer, the leader, the messiah of this economy….but since his reading skills are somewhat lacking he would be more likely to watch Being There on TV…
….and would take great faith that after the winter spring will come…and with spring, growth.
The winter of discontent will pass away and an era of unparalleled growth will take its place….led by the sun of York.
Oh my….if ever President Bobby’s words were true…”Life is a state of mind”…then this must be it. It is only by ignoring reality, by living in a fantasy world,….actually, by watching television….that anyone could possibly think that a spring of growth will follow this dark winter….
This is nothing more than a mind numbingly stupid belief in fairly tales.
A President who dealt in reality would see our winter of discontent settling in for an extended stay. Obama is no son of York able to turn it into a glorious summer….
With the elections due in November next year, the Obama circus has nearly a year during which it can prepare and pursue a campaign of righteous anger directed at the “do nothing” Republicans, an intransigent Congress and obstructionist conservatives.
It has a year to convince the electorate that the winter of discontent is nothing more than a state of mind.
It has a year to convince the suffering, the unemployed, the homeless and the poor that their suffering is not real…it is only a state of mind.
It has a year to blame the economic realities on Bush, tsunamis, Eurozone financial problems, too little stimulus, the tea party…and now the lazy American people who just will not go out and start businesses or grow them.
It has a year to continue its race program of division. A year to ignite the jealousies of the have-nots and declare class warfare against the haves.
A year to push through bad policy….
All in the name of finding a way to give more freebies and trinkets to the unsuspecting addicts of government largesse…trinkets that ease the pain, cloud the mind and fog the memory. The drugs of choice of many Americans who also believe that life is a state of mind…and all they have to do is demand, and it shall be given unto them.
A winter of discontent?
Giving the addicted their desires will stop them seeing the perils of their addiction and the true state of the winter.
Yes, life is a state of mind.
And Obama is likely to use the color of his skin as his biggest weapon….
“Louise: It's for sure a white man's world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I'll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th' ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook!”
………Being There, 1979
Life is a state of mind….
Stupid is as stupid says.