Saturday, 10 October 2009
Obama, Nobel, Lincoln, Copland
Yes, he has a long way to go. Sure, he's hedged around by inflexible self-interest groups and will be lucky if he pushes through a fraction of what he wants. But I do believe Obama genuinely wants it and I find it so dispiriting when I see American colleagues saying, oh, he's no different from a Republican leader.
The Nobel Peace Prize is one in the eye for all that. Look at this for some disparate reactions from around the world.
And why Lincoln? Because I was amazed to see the only footage apparently taken of Senator Obama, as he then was, participating in Copland's Lincoln Portrait with that admirable conductor William Eddins and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra back in 2005. The one-minute clip isn't of a high quality but it does catch some uncannily prescient text.
So the Prize, whatever its pros and cons, is an encouragement to Obama to stick to his guns and do more. You can reinforce the message by signing Avaaz's petition. This is a fine organisation capable of effecting real change, and it has already done so. So join the Rachmaninoff Society (pace my last entry) AND support Avaaz.
On a trivial note, look, too, at the fabric Sophie sent us from Mali, where most people are still Obama-crazy. We used it as a temporary curtain when the builders were doing their stuff. Barack and Michelle are back to front, but the neighbours in the mews would have got the full message.