August 19, 2008

Inside Obama's Indonesian homes.



(Via Bloggingheads.)

48 comments:

1jpb said...

ELITIST.

vbspurs said...

I don't know. Is this a hit piece in sheep's clothing?

Note how the Inside Edition asks leading questions, and then provides the answers for the Indonesians to agree on "he'd come over and eat you out of house and home"..."YES! Yes! Every day.".

At one point, the camera pans to the back of the house, and then Matt Meagher busts out with:

"And what a backyard!" showing an absolutely depressing, dingy area of the property which no amount of crocodiles would've jollied up.

If I hadn't lived in the Third World for a large chunk of my own childhood, I would be shocked at the things IE showed in this piece.

The first thing that must be running through people's minds is, how could Obama's mum (whose lush hair unfortunately reminds one of a Muslim headcovering) bring up her poor kids in such a place? Even Watts is a dream palace compared to that.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

It looks like fun!

vbspurs, I disagree. Children have an entirely different sense of scale. All those animals, to a boy, heaven.

My inner boy was charmed by the video, as a man, oi.

MadisonMan said...

Victoria, you have definitely never been a small boy. A place with water, dirt streets, trees to climb on/around? That's a great place to grow up.

Ann Althouse said...

He had a monkey to play with. Described in his memoir. He had fun.

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Barack Obama, Jr.: "Daddy, can I have a pony?"

Mr. Soetoro: "No, you're getting a monkey."

Barack Obama, Jr.: "But, I wanna be Hopalong Cassidy."

Mr. Soetoro: "You can hop along with the monkey."

vbspurs said...

Chip, I don't disagree. :)

But see, we're not children anymore. This segment isn't aimed at them. It's aimed at adults who must be reflecting on the poverty, filth, and lack of stability such sights evoke in us, as you followed up on yourself with "oi".

To the married women in the audience, they are showing Obama's mum, Ann Soetero in a not so positive light.

She might've been a pioneer in marrying two men of different races, but she did the meek wife routine in following her husband around as head of household without question, and in such trying foreign climes.

I've been to Indonesia when my uncle was representing the World Bank there...you don't want to see the interior of Indonesia. As beautiful as it can be, next to India, it depressed me the most beyond words.

Ironically, the surroundings are not what weigh you down the most. It's the mindset which hovers like flies over every Third World culture.

From "Dreams of My Father" (when Obama's mother kept questioning why things were, and why Indonesians were so passive amongst such poverty) [Location 699-704]:

"Power. The word fixed in my mother's mind like a curse.

In America, it had remained hidden from view until you dug beneath the surface of things; until you visited an Indian reservation or spoke to a black person whose trust you had earned. But here power was undisguised, indiscriminate, naked, always fresh in the memory. Power had taken Lolo [Obama's step-father] and yanked him back into line just when he thought he'd escaped.

[...]

She remembered what Lolo had told her once when her constant questioning had finally touched a nerve.

'Guilt is a luxury only foreigners can afford.'"


I read these words, and it could be Bolivia, or Brazil and Lolo could be the countless people I spoke to there, who told me virtually the same thing.

"Gringos see too much."

Well, Inside Edition just allowed a lot of gringos to see too much.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

McCain's cone of silence.

280 px width

400 px width

vbspurs said...

A place with water, dirt streets, trees to climb on/around? That's a great place to grow up.

May I remind you of this, the next time Althouse blogs about poverty in America?

I don't mean that in a rude way. Just sayin'.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

May I remind you of this, the next time Althouse blogs about poverty in America?

What makes you think I'm not posting fondly of my own childhood? Not everyone has parents like yours, dear.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama and McCain both spent time in Southeast Asia. It seems that Obama had the better deal. He had a refrigerator.

I'd like to see the actual prison that McCain spent time in, and how his guards remember him today, just as a matter of equal time. The guards could show the ropes they used, and mime out how they pulled it tight, and how much food McCain could put down at a gulp.

vbspurs said...

Not everyone has parents like yours, dear.

How so?

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes, the video seems aimed at the "get a load of this" response. But addressing the yard that no amount of crocodiles could cheer up. Not so. As a child I didn't even acknowledge property lines. Back yard? pfffft. It's a wonderful little immediate patch running straight into the whole rest of the world. I flatly did not comprehend poverty. Now, yes, of course as an adult it's entirely different. I'm putting myself inside Obama's head as a boy and not seeing a problem.

Presently my own balcony is a bit like that, everybody cheers its fabulousness, and I don't miss one single bit the gigantic yard I sold to be here. OK, I just lied. I do sort of miss it a little. But only just a little. Those things, mower service, sprinkler upkeep, fertilizing, aerating, raking, naughty doggy spot fixing, etc. quickly snaps me out of it.

Chip Ahoy said...

I can't see it as a hit piece. Americans, I'll go ahead a speak for all Americans because I'm just that arrogant, are too enamored with the whole "Lincoln came from a log cabin' and Clinton from a broken home in 'a place called Hope', then rose to the pinnacle of power story line, to be put off by such a piece. In fact, it probably works to Obama's advantage to have early acquaintance with poverty, if not actual poverty, shown. Show us a mud hut in Kenya, please, well love him even more.

bearbee said...

"he'd come over and eat you out of house and home"..."YES! Yes! Every day."

When I was that age I was eating everyone out of house and home.

re: backyard, not everyone grew up in suburbs with immaculate streets and manicured lawns.

vbspurs said...

Chip wrote:

Yes, the video seems aimed at the "get a load of this" response.

Exactly.

But addressing the yard that no amount of crocodiles could cheer up. Not so. As a child I didn't even acknowledge property lines. Back yard? pfffft. It's a wonderful little immediate patch running straight into the whole rest of the world.

What a great little paragraph.

Children objectify their childhoods in all kinds of ways.

As you can imagine from my other posts above, this IE segment has made me very nostalgic. Seems that I lived a life very similar to Obama when we were both young.

We were both little kids with a complete lack of control of our surroundings, being uprooted from one home to another based on father's job, with our mother in complete compliance despite the fact that she considered herself a totally independent, intelligent lady.

I used to play "pirates" on the beach with local kids, some of whom would pause from our hijinks and ask some gringo tourist to buy them a coconut so they could drink the refreshing juice. Sometimes they disappeared with the gringo guy (often a German, sad to say, since I translated) and came back, I didn't know that some of them had been sexually molested in exchange for this or that treat, which also turned out often to be their only major intake that day.

Then, as I would traipse home all alone, I would smash puddles of sewage with my little flip-flops, unconcerned with the lurking cholera because it felt fun to squish the garbage around in my toes.

Along the route I would pass this guy. A homeless guy, but they are so ubiquitous there you really don't count him as homeless. He's just...a guy in the street.

The guy would lie down on this filthy rug in front of a little church on the corner, and beg for alms. Suddenly, I noticed he was gone. A few weeks (months? days?) later he turned up with a missing leg and rolled around in a makeshift board with little wheels.

He had diabetes, and before my baby eyes he lost both legs; one day, disappearing all together.

I was so sad. Where was my friend? He used to tell me stories about his youth, which included his pet parrot (arara) called "Zequinha".

He had been my favourite "mendigo" in lands where people can have the luxury of choosing their favourite beggars.

That is what Obama (and I) lived through. I loved him. I'm sure he did too. It made us who we are.

Cheers,
Victoria

Middle Class Guy said...

Unless they are going to make his homes some national historic sites, why is this important?

vbspurs said...

/I love him = I loved it.

But as my mother says, there are no Freudian slips without reasons. Hmm.

Chip Ahoy said...

Transferred to Tokyo, all Air Force families were initially housed in a gigantic military facility called Green Park, a self-contained base within a building. My father, stationed at Tachikowa, was eager to get his family out of there but on-base housing wasn't yet available. For the interim, he moved us to the tiniest private off-base house we've ever lived. Now there was an adventure. The bathtub was a tile cube too small to fit into entirely. You had to sit on the side and bathe. Of course, children could fit but an adult couldn't. A seven member family in a three bedroom house, if you can imagine that. When a neighbor moved, all the cockroaches migrated. We became infested. My parents were horrified. We kids were delighted. (all insects delighted, especially cicadas and dragonflies) These things were HUGE. I caught one (did you know cockroaches can fly? For short distances from a height to the floor, they use their carapace covers for wings.) Examined it closely and copied its image in black crayon on a white dinner plate, as stark a grotesque as possible. Proudly produced my handiwork to my mum. Recovering from her initial shock, she displayed the plate in the kitchen, possibly to antagonize my dad and hasten our leaving. When my brothers and sisters went through my parents belongings prior to selling their house two years ago, they told me they found that plate, carefully wrapped and stored and long forgotten.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, that came out way wrong. Never try to condense one really long paragraph into a cryptic sentence.

To the married women in the audience, they are showing Obama's mum, Ann Soetero in a not so positive light.

I think (and most Americans will agree) it very foolish to judge a parent by the environment in which a child is raised. American culture is chock-a-block with successes who came from grinding poverty and loving families. You say that there's a mind-set that keeps people down in Third World countries. That BHO was not kept down should convince anyone that BHO is American through and through. Kudos to his mother for acculturating him.

ricpic said...

Hippy digs, mandalay style.

AllenS said...

Kudos to his grandparents for removing him from that environment, and raising him in Hawaii. Had he stayed in Indonesia, he would have went nowhere. Having spent some time in that part of the world, black people are hardly if ever seen. There is a reason for that.

Richard Dolan said...

I think this was intended by IE to be a charming bit of background on O. It has the potential to be the opposite. The voters, especially in the Dem primaries, who rejected O even after it was clear that he would be the nominee, were just not connecting to him at some basic level. Given that a lot of them were Scots-Irish in western PA, Ohio, IN, W Va, western VA, and right down the Appalachians to Georgia and Tenn, one of his problems was that he didn't seem "American" enough to that demographic. Reminding those voters that O grew up in Jakarta with a monkey in the backyard isn't likely to help. I don't think we'll see this on display during the festivities in Denver.

vbspurs said...

Yes, that came out way wrong. Never try to condense one really long paragraph into a cryptic sentence.

I guess I'll have to make do with that explanation of your puzzling phrase.

That BHO was not kept down should convince anyone that BHO is American through and through. Kudos to his mother for acculturating him.

There's only one problem with that.

She hated herself, and America for having the opportunity to make that choice for her Barry, whilst others did not.

She wished she could've allowed him to grow up with her second husband in his homeland, because she didn't want him to become just another arrogant, ignorant American (her words, I quoted them in another post). Those were not her people!

But America was her safety-net whether she liked it or not. And it turns out, she didn't want to admit she liked it -- that it was better than Indonesia. That it had more benefits and less troubling questions around it, than all those other places she romanticised and threw her lot with.

She just sent her son back, alone, to be raised in the country at once her nemesis, and her family's salvation.

Being opposed to what America stands for as well as using its benefits is probably why Obama finds it so easy to canoodle with Ayers and Dohrn and Wright, and not blink.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

Great analysis there.

Chip Ahoy said...

Canoodle. Ha ha ha. Now I'm hungry.

rhhardin said...

I found it offensive. Who in the world is the narrator talking to?

They did this in the early 70s and I tossed out the TV forever.

I figure today, looking back, that they're talking to women.

vbspurs said...

Cheers, Chip. :)

See, it can be used many ways! And now, I must away to work out. Catch you guys later!

Outis said...

Had he stayed in Indonesia, he would have went nowhere. Having spent some time in that part of the world, black people are hardly if ever seen. There is a reason for that.

Um, perhaps it's because Africans aren't indigenous to SE Asian and Oceania, and they weren't imported there in large numbers as slaves?

MadisonMan said...

Any parent will hope they can have a child who is successful at what they do. The bottom line is: Obama is a success. You can go on and on about how Stanley Anne hated America. She nevertheless made the right decisions because her son is very successful here.

I have to ask: what is more American than gaming the system?

Outis said...

She nevertheless made the right decisions because her son is very successful here.

Ugh. The implications from that sentence are horrible. I know someone who was molested by a parent as a child. She has become very successful as an adult. Does that mean the parent that molested her made the right decisions?

John said...

I feel bad for Obama. His mother was a serious dingbat with very bad taste in men. What mother in her right mind marries a man and lets him take her children to Indonesia in the 1960s? You get the feeling that Obama's mother was very alienated from American society. She was a Marxist who probably bought into the idea that America was a uniquely horrible place and Americans degenerate. Her two husbands and trip to Indonesia seems to have debased her of these notions.

bleeper said...

He is successful here? His resume would fit on the back of a business card. What, exactly, has he accomplished, other than duping millions of people into believing he is the Messiah? He is as much the Messiah as he is articulate.

Quote from Him: "I do believe that we should not, um, that that for a gay partners [sic] to want to visit each other in the hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are [sic]."

Quote taken from a previous AA post.

Outis said...

He is successful here? His resume would fit on the back of a business card.

Okay, this is just silly. I don't like Obama but it's ludicrous to claim the man hasn't been successful in his life.

Kirby Olson said...

Did Obama's mother smoke cigarettes? Are there any pictures of her smoking cigarettes? She died of cancer in her fifties. What kind of cancer was it?

The house he grew up looked kind of fun to me.

I think we just want to fill in the holes with Obama. The more little clips like this show up the more I like him. Or at least figure that at least he's going to be ok.

He ate too much as a kid.

That seems to be the only actual memory of him these people had. It's kind of amusing. I think people want to look at things like this just because we're curious about this guy.

Who is he?

I think that's why Jerome Corsi's book is so interesting, too.

We know McCain.

Nobody knows Obama aside from his stage appearances.

MadisonMan said...

bleeper, how can you claim that Obama is not successful? He's been elected a U.S. Senator!

I mean, I don't think Senators running for the Presidency is a good idea, but at least I acknowledge that they've achieved something by being elected a Senator.

John said...

Kirby,

Obama's mother died of Ovarian cancer in 1995. Obama seems to have a geniunely lousy childhood. You can never underestimate the effect on someone of their father abadoning them. His mother seems to have been very much a wayward soul. He was then abadoned to his white grandparents as living evidence of their daughter's failure to find a decent man. I am curious where he got his huge ego. It must have been a defense mechanism.

bleeper said...

Ok, I concede that he was elected Senator, and that is more than I have done.

But at least I don't smoke. I value my life more than that.

Middle Class Guy said...

I am no Obama fan nor am I a Democrat. You could say what you want about Obama, but to disrespect his mother is hitting way below the belt. You should be ashamed.

She made her choices in life- for better or worse- and she accepted them, without complaint, as far as I know. Whatever she was and whatever she believed in, she was still his mother. Like many, she probably did the best she could under the circumstances. She was not some wild eyed domestic terrorist, not a criminal, and form all reports, she was a fairly good mother; an airhead at times, but a good mother. She chose to live her life a certain way for her own reasons. Who are we to judge.

Further, she is dead. She cannot defend herself nor can she see the success her son has become because of her or despite her. And, contrary to popular opinion, he is a success- lawyer, teacher, US Senator, and first serious Black Candidate for President.

Of course it is always the easy way to insult the dead.

vbspurs said...

She chose to live her life a certain way for her own reasons. Who are we to judge.

We're talking is all.

However, I think your reproof is good (although it stopped conversation on it) because it shows a very needed sense of humanity which politics often squashes.

I would only hope to find such a commentary on left-wing sites about Roberta McCain, who given the logic, is still fair game at 98 years-old.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Um, perhaps it's because Africans aren't indigenous to SE Asian and Oceania, and they weren't imported there in large numbers as slaves?

When the native people are treated so badly, you don't need slaves.

In Fiji, and other areas indentured slaves from the sub-continent filled that need. Indians, Sri Lankans, etc.

And still the Indians in SE Asia are above the social pecking order than are blacks.

This the great unspoken here, in his mother's ultimate decision to send her son back to America.

As a black boy in Indonesia (who furthermore came from a secular family, nonimally Christian mother), he stuck out as an "other" and it was a matter of time before he would feel its effects as a man. It's one thing when its your country, but why would you put a kid through that if you can help not to?

It must've been a reason of why Lolo married Ann Obama.

He wanted his wife's Americanness to save his family, including any children they may have, but instead, she just wanted to question his country without helping to be the corporate American wife needed to get ahead there.

blake said...

bleeper, how can you claim that Obama is not successful? He's been elected a U.S. Senator!

That question sort of answers itself. Heh.

No, it's goofy to suggest that he's not been successful. It's interesting to note, however, that his success is like so many other politicians' success: rooted less in ability, and more in becoming part of a political apparatus.

That is truly post-racial.

blake said...

Am I the only one who turned this off after a minute? The man-on-the-scene was grating as hell.

"And HERE is a HALLWAY overlooking THE ATRIUM!"

"They didn't have a REFRIGERATOR when OBAMA lived here!"

Good lord.

1jpb said...

"a very needed sense of humanity"

Of course such a concern is certainly overridden when discussing an elitist, not genuine American, Marxist, Socialist, secret Muslim, empty suit, terrorist bomber buddy, surrender supporter, black empowerment worshiper, country selling out, infanticide supporter, celebrity, thinks they're Jesus, smoker scumbag.

And, wants to raise taxes too!

Show some spine, and get back to the psych 101 chit chat, it's soooooo fascinating, as Chip (and many others) will attest.

vbspurs said...

certainly overridden

It may be overridden for you, given your cynical list of qualities, but it's not for me.

I don't hate. Sometimes I wish I could. I would've been naturally attracted to politics.

Skyler said...

It's really quite pathetic that this is probably the most substantive piece on Obama I've seen yet.