Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grounds for impeachment

Can it really be true that Barack Obama has written a children's book called Of Thee I Sing: A letter to my daughters?

"Thee"?

As presidential hobbies go, I prefer Dubya's panda-shooting or puppy-clubbing or whatever it was he did.

18 comments:

worm said...

Nobody does irony-free naffness like an American - except perhaps a German.

As Englishmen, are we really blessed to have our inbuilt disdain of kitsch, or is it a Cassandra-like curse that leaves us removed and forever haughty and unable to just enjoy things for what they are?

Brit said...

I would say it's a curse, Worm. Our need to be sozzled before we can say anything sincere is pretty exhausting. The 'throwing-up' gesture - two fingers down the throat - whenever something emotional is said is perhaps a defining British trait.

On the other hand, constant superlative emoting in the American style does render it meaningless. There's a happy medium somewhere, I wonder who has it?

Brit said...

Perhaps it's the Canadians?

Uncle Stan Madeley said...

Do you think he carries the nuclear codes on a card his children have finger-painted?

The North Koreans are probably having a good chuckle over this one.

worm said...

Can north koreans chuckle?

David said...

"Of thee I sing" is a lyric from the patriotic hymn "America," which you lot sing with other words.

Also, worm needs to use a little more irony in claiming that the English have an "inbuilt disdain of kitsch" on the day the government announced its plan to boost GDP by a couple of percent by selling tchotkes and knick-knacks.

Peter said...

Yes, we Canadians have found the happy medium. Our PM has got no small amount of political mileage out of his open passion for hockey, and he has been telling everyone for years he is writing a hockey book. But he's not so stupid as to actually finish and publish it.

Peter said...

Never mind the cut-price government knick-knacks, David. They're about to have another Royal wedding. You'd best get your order in soon for those William-and-Kate commerative salt and pepper shakers.

Brit said...

I did assume that 'Of Thee I Sing' was a quotation David, since even Obama doesn't have that much bravaura pomposity.

The only instance where I could conceive of a Briton calling his book 'Of Thee I Sing' without irony would be a Welshman writing about rugby.

David said...

Peter: That's what I meant.

Peter said...

David:

Sorry, I misunderstood. But I really shouldn't be razzing our British friends too much about this one because plenty of us here will be getting into it too. Just this morning on the drive to work I was told in no uncertain terms how excited and happy we are. You'd better steel yourself for a year of essays on the superiority of constitutional monarchies over republican madness and how lovely Her Majesty looks.

David said...

Brit:

This is the equivalent of an Englishman titling his book "This Sceptered Isle."

But there's no denying that we are a patriotic people, singing the National Anthem at the drop of a hat, whereas if you all sang your National Anthem before a sporting event, you'd be accused of racism.

Brit said...

I find it interesting that your extreme touchiness about any criticism of Americana overrules any scepticism you might have about Obama's pomposity, David. Gives me a better sense of your structure of loyalties. Truly, you are the patriot's patriot.

(We perform the National Anthem before international sporting events and major cup finals.)

Gaw said...

I think David's sore because he's going to be missing out on a royal wedding. It's at times like this that the Revolution just looks like a terrible mistake.

Peter said...

Brit, Obama may be a hopeless, unconstitutional, Kenyan-born president, but he is their hopeless, unconstitutional, Kenyan-born president.

David said...

Damn straight.

Hey Skipper said...

Would reading this to our long term care residents at Guantanomo constitute torture, regardless of whether it is John Yoo or the Geneva Conventions doing the defining?

David said...

Oh, now, don't you start.