Action in the world ought to trump worlds evoked by words, especially when awarding a global prize allegedly recognizing sustained, courageous effort on behalf of peace in our world's deeply conflicted corners.
We live in an age when the farce of history precedes the tragedy, however, and even a few left-wing media and academic elites realize giving President Barack Obama a Nobel Peace Prize is utter, rollicking balderdash.
Over a lifetime of esthetic agony and ecstasy, a well-wrought world of words might deserve a Nobel Prize for Literature. Literary laureate William Faulkner made that point in his 1949 Nobel acceptance speech: "I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work -- a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before."
Embarrassed Norwegians and stand-up comics now suggesting the insta-creation of a Nobel Prize for Inspiring Speeches still confront the troubling issues of historical comparison and sustained quality. Obama's speeches (performance-enhanced by the steroids of a teleprompter) don't begin to compare in either rhetorical brilliance or historical gravity to Winston Churchill's impromptu backbench orations warning British peaceniks and disarmament advocates of the threat posed to civilization by Adolf Hitler.
At this point in his career, Obama's stemwinders rate -- at most -- an Emmy for "best performance before a fawning audience" or perhaps an Addy (an award advertising agencies pin on one another).
So why did he get it when there are so many deserving, suffering candidates struggling for justice, freedom and peace in Earth's most oppressive Hells?
Obama's Nobel is the result of the Left's "long march through the institutions," a phrase encapsulating the route '60s hard left political radicals took to gain control of universities, media, religious organizations, arts and literary associations, and businesses in order to break the chains of "bourgeois" hegemony and bring about "true revolution." If this sounds neo- or semi- or vaguely Marxist, well, indeed it is -- secular utopians dedicated to creating paradise on earth once the politically correct people are in control.
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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