July 28, 2012

"I really like about Barack that he’s obviously kindling something in me — my voice to myself."

"He encourages it and w/ o knowing what it says, leaves room for it.… On Sunday I woke up, waiting for Barack to wake, writing a bit more — feeling severed from him through b’fast (lack of physical connection— it means so much more than lust, after all)… and then reading Neruda’s poetry— excellent translation — powerful words, the truth in existence so much prettier for the poetry— and reading it really transfigured my thoughts, emotions, mood— and I just lay, w/ my head on Barack’s lap and my eyes closed, w/ words and words and words lapping, lapping through my tongue and soul and I felt older, wiser, in harmony w/ things; the calm after the storm."

Excerpt from the diary of Genevieve Cook, February 20, 1984, reprinted in David Maraniss's book "Barack Obama: The Story," at page 471.

Is Barack Obama kindling in you your voice to yourself? He encourages it and leaves room for it. Now, you may feel severed from him, but perhaps after reading some poetry, your thoughts, emotions, and moods may be transfigured. Or do you feel older and wiser after all those words and words and words lapping, lapping through your tongue and soul?

71 comments:

leslyn said...

For God's sake, Maraniss has been so overworked all extant copies of the book should be burned.

Ahhhh. What a relief.

rick said...

Is she referring to the power hungry thug in the White House? Couldn't be.

Severed from him? I am counting on it November.

Gabriel said...

precious: affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice: e.g. precious manners.

This is a diary that was intended to pored over by scholars when its author became famous. I wrote such things when I was fourteen.

Ann Althouse said...

"For God's sake, Maraniss has been so overworked all extant copies of the book should be burned. Ahhhh. What a relief."

The lefties love their book burnings.

Jimmy said...

He's pretty much just kindling nausea in me.

Ann Althouse said...

T"his is a diary that was intended to pored over by scholars when its author became famous. I wrote such things when I was fourteen."

She'll use it for a memoir someday, but really, in this form it's just so... kind of icky. Delightful!

gk1 said...

Isn't is a bit passe to openly display a man-crush for obama at this point? That is so 2008.

Ann Althouse said...

"That is so 2008"

No, it's so 1984.

deborah said...

Zowie. Sounds like a cult leader.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

That's just painful.

JohnBoy said...

Exhibit ZZZ1000 that the left, instead of killing religion, have merely fabricated poor substitutes.

Like the worship of certain politiicians and fashionable causes.

Lem said...

T"his is a diary that was intended to pored over by scholars..

Scalia "pawed" over it..

Lem said...

Yikes.. I just made Scalia look like a predator.. no.. not the one at the service of Obama.. the one from Pen State.. the one leaving I love you voice mails.

Hagar said...

"1984" was a seriously violent story.

This is more Huxley than Orwell.

Craig said...

So tasteful. Yet unimpeachable.

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

@Hagar:This is more Huxley than Orwell.

Hah, no, it's F. Alexander:

The attempt to impose upon man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my sword-pen...

...and all that cal.

Elize Nayden said...

Is this woman an honorary member of the Vogon people? Her writing is awful.

And the voice Barack kindled within me, spoke to me softly:

”O freddled gruntbuggly thy micturations are to me

As plured gabbleblochits on a lurgid bee.

Groop, I implore thee my foonting turlingdromes.

And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,

Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurlecruncheon, see if I don’t.”

Old Dad said...

Maraniss needs an editor.Even Bill Ayer's crap was less treacly.

I can't believe the babe let that out for publication.

News flash. The President shit his diapers as an infant

Darcy said...

Well.

I dunno. I think this poem might have Genevieve's prose beaten by a hair, but some cringe-worthy stuff, indeed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I really like about Barack that I can enthuse about "my voice to myself" and still sound less narcissistic than he does.

William said...

Neruda wrote a sad sonnet mourning the death of Stalin......He has attracted a certain amount of hero worship, but his politics were no less pernicious than those of Ezra Pound.

edutcher said...

"Barack" sounds an awful lot like Svengali.

The sociopath must appeal to some personality defects more than others.

And, yeah, I don't doubt for a second leslyn and all her little friends would love to burn every copy of Maraniss.

Of course, where one burns books, one one will burn people.

ricpic said...

",,,the truth in existence so much prettier for the poetry..."

What horrible phrasing. Barely decipherable. I know, the beautiful people can't be bothered. Everything ceases to be amusing - their favorite word - when one bothers to care. About anything. Anything other than being withit that is. Which is why the beautiful people leave such a terrible taste in the mouth. A far worse taste than that left by out and out villains where at least you know where you stand. There's meaning and clarity in pure enmity. But with the beautiful people everything dribbles away into shit.

Carnifex said...

God save me from vapid people. That's all I ask. Make my neighbors loud, and surely. Criminal, or saint. Quiet and intellectual. Anything but vapid.

ricpic said...

Who you callin' surely, Carnifex?





My memory's hazy but I think I might've had a falling out with Carnifex. In which case kidding around is a no no. But if I didn't have a falling out with Carnifex it's okeydokey. The one advantage that age brings is you can't remember so screw it just do it.

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

sydney said...

I wonder if she cringes at it, too, almost 30 years later.

Oso Negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oso Negro said...

Obama in 2008 had an effect on his followers kind of like James Earl Jones as Thulsa Doom in the Conan movie. "Come to me, my child" he says, and the pretty white girl leaps to her death. Let's hope Romney has it in him to overturn the cauldron of green cannibal stew and put an end to this snake cult.

paminwi said...

Thought this was interesting:

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/28/a-younger-obama-considered-his-first-employer-the-enemy/

Went to the book signing at Barnes & Noble when Maraniss was in Madison. He said most everyone who didn't like Obama's policies was a racist. Therefore I don't need to know anymore about him.

madAsHell said...

The diary was the first draft for "Life of Julia".

MikeDC said...

So a more succinct account would be:

Barack: After breakfast, how about a blowjob?
Genevieve: Yap, yap yap. Communist poetry.
Barack: You know... lay on back and relax, you sure are thoughtful.
Genevieve: Lap, lap, lap...

Mary Beth said...

Is this woman an honorary member of the Vogon people? Her writing is awful.

Vogon poetry is only the third worst. This is at least at Azgoth level.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

gag me with a fuckin' spoon . . . as they say.

David said...

Sometimes a blow job is just a blow job.

David said...

sydney said...
I wonder if she cringes at it, too, almost 30 years later.


She let Marannis publish it.

Her 15 minutes will last longer than Barack's blow job.

Or maybe not.

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

Probably not a good idea to invite her to the oval office.

Or lunch with Michelle.

Or a shopping trip with the girls.

I hope they don't read it.

David said...

David said...
By the way, likes attracted--overwritten, self-absorbed, creepy, trite and ultimately mindless.

Penny said...

So on first reading this, do you suppose Michelle's face contorted into her famous scowl?

Or, perhaps you would agree with me, that she had a hearty belly laugh at her husband's expense.

Penny said...

This is the first time I followed the link to the book and the reviews, and there's all these references to Obama trying to figure out who he really is.

With all due respect to the office he holds, my mind wanders to this lump-of-clay man, and...

Voila!

He's GUMBY!

leslyn said...

The lefties love their book burnings.

No, by tradition that's righties.

Ok, then if they can't be burned to get away from this endless Maraniss monologue, then''ll just gag. Gag me with a front end loader, as they say.

Penny said...

Got to admit that it's been eons since I had any interest in Gumby, so I go to Wikipedia to refresh my memory about the clay man.

And he's green, which certainly suits Obama -- an environmental reminder, if not a reminder to us that he's been the biggest spender of greenbacks in presidential history. Two thumbs up, so far.

And then I got to THIS, which really made me laugh.

"Gumby's legs and feet were made wide for pragmatic reasons: they ensured the clay character would stand up during stop-motion filming."

So that's what we got here...the stop-motion filming of the Obama presidency.

Think those clay legs and feet will hold up our Gumby?

leslyn said...

Did my comment get deleted because I said no, book burning is a righty tradition?

It was here for a minute.

DADvocate said...

Obama kindling my voice to myself.

"Vote Romney, vote Romney..."

David said...

Leslyn you really believe this shit? Book burning is a human tradition. Excesses left and excesses right. Actual book burning is pretty much out of favor in the United States today. Won't play well. The game now is suppression and collateral punishment.

What do you suppose the people at Chick-Fil-A think the consequence of their speech is, right now in America?

Care to defend that?

Penny said...

May not be getting to the heart of your matter to leslyn, David, but I beg to differ that book burning has fallen out of favor. We just don't do that as a political statement any longer.

When was the last time you tried to clean up your own house and attempted to rid yourself of books that seemed to be taking over every nook and cranny of every room?

Good luck with that!

poppa india said...

Leslyn, with a quick look at Google " Cuban librarians", one finds an article mentioning that "This week marks the 7th anniversary of the 2003 sentencing of 26 
persons who had established independent libraries to prison terms 
averaging 19 years. Ten have been released, mainly for health 
reasons. Sixteen remain in prison, of whom seven are in very poor 
health, with one near death." Damn those rightys!

Penny said...

When you are "cleaning out" and no one seems to want the books you have? What do you do, but box 'em, put 'em out for the trash guys and feel guilty for the next few weeks.

Those books are BURNIN", baby!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

William,

Neruda wrote a sad sonnet mourning the death of Stalin

Indeed he did. IIRC, it was left out of the Collected Works. Because, y'know, a trifle embarrassing.

He has attracted a certain amount of hero worship, but his politics were no less pernicious than those of Ezra Pound.

The amusing part of this is that practically no one reads Ezra Pound. First he was shunned for being a Fascist, and then he was relegated to the back shelf. Whereas Neruda, fervent Stalinist, never made it so far as the back shelf.

The Wiki article on Neruda contains an interesting account of his falling-out with Octavio Paz. It appears that their ultimate break had something to do with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Someone supported it, and someone didn't. Guess which was which?

This is the same test I use to distinguish the "sincere idealists" from the Stalinists in the mid-20th-c. If your opinion of Nazi Germany changed abruptly when it invaded the USSR, whereas you had previously sought to combat negative portrayals of Nazi Germany in the media, positive support of the UK, and anything else that might hurt Nazi Germany ... you were a Soviet stooge and nothing else. If after the invasion your views didn't change, you were that different but also vile critter, a sincere Nazi.

If you were sufficiently revolted by both sides to want to be quit of both by the time they allied, then you deserve to be called a political idealist. Unfortunately, the CPUSA membership pretty much sucked it up. Hey, divvy up Poland with the Nazis, no biggie. And we don't need to think to carefully about the disposition of people of particular ethnicities within their own borders -- or whatever their borders will be, pursuant to the policies we are to see carried out.

poppa india said...

Leslyn, with a quick look at Google " Cuban librarians", one finds an article mentioning that "This week marks the 7th anniversary of the 2003 sentencing of 26 
persons who had established independent libraries to prison terms 
averaging 19 years. Ten have been released, mainly for health 
reasons. Sixteen remain in prison, of whom seven are in very poor 
health, with one near death." Damn those rightys!

David said...

Penny, I put the books in boxes. The boxes go to the garage, where they take up space and probably start to deteriorate, or to our storage locker where I pay good money every month to keep from dealing with the issue.

Now you have made me think about it and I am pissed!

David said...

The poem that got Barack the morning lapper.

To be men! That is the Stalinist law! . . .
We must learn from Stalin
his sincere intensity
his concrete clarity. . . .
Stalin is the noon,
the maturity of man and the peoples.
Stalinists, Let us bear this title with pride. . . .
Stalinist workers, clerks, women take care of this day!
The light has not vanished.
The fire has not disappeared,
There is only the growth of
Light, bread, fire and hope
In Stalin’s invincible time! . . .
In recent years the dove,
Peace, the wandering persecuted rose,
Found herself on his shoulders
And Stalin, the giant,
Carried her at the heights of his forehead. . . .
A wave beats against the stones of the shore.
But Malenkov will continue his work.


Fabulous, eh?

poppa india said...

Also, damn the Google comment registration procedure...

David said...

Worst poem of the 20th Century, so said a panel of "experts" in 2007.

Hey, experts aren't always wrong.

Penny said...

"Now you have made me think about it and I am pissed!"

Well, at least you're angry. I was sad, sad, sad, and for quite a while.

I mean, face it. Paperbacks get passed off. It was my professional library that I accumulated over thirty years that broke my back both figuratively and literally. One company to the next, then home to the spare bedroom bookshelves, and then to the basement, where they were lucky to survive another three years until other "stuff" needed that space.

I knew damned well when I lugged them for the very last time, that they would be BURNED, and without fanfare.z

richard mcenroe said...

I understand Jonestown is still vacant...

Penny said...

That errant "z"?

ha ha

My little finger again! Has a mind of its own, thank god.

Penny said...

Anyway. David.

You don't seem like the crafty type, but who knows?

Google "Repurposed Books".

I think it will make you feel a whole helluva lot better INSTANTLY.

Penny said...

Bless you, creative people!

Just PLEASE make it easier for people like me and David to supply you with free raw materials.

That just might eliminate the sad and mad in all of our book angst.

Carnifex said...

@Ricpic

Yea we've had words...nothing to get worked up about though. I wouldn't respect anyone who thought just like I did. No fun in that.

I've got boxes of books at my house, Moms house, and walls of bookshelfs at both too.

JAL said...

Books.

Close your eyes and drop them off at Good Will.

Let us know how you do.

Maybe I'll get to my shelves in my basement. And the boxes.

David said...

Penny, check this out: http://tedlott.com/artwork/585354_Lectern_2005.html

(said the proud father)

David said...

Lately I have been buying vintage bookends on Ebay. Some very nice ones quite inexpensively. This digital thing may pass, you know.

Penny said...

"Vintage" made it to the dictionary, David.

After that, I suppose it's different strokes for different folks.

Pretty damned cool really.

Not as cool as your kid's artistic talent, but way cooler than this resume.

jeff said...

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/28/a-younger-obama-considered-his-first-employer-the-enemy/

His first employer probably expected him to do some work. Not sit behind a big desk 4 hours a day telling his lessees to do work, then hitting the links.

Kirk Parker said...

"and feel guilty for the next few weeks."

I must be missing a certain gene or something.

Jon Burack said...

Ann,
It is hard enough early in the morning to read that ridiculous paragraph once. But then you go and make us read it all over again. Too much. I need to get another cup of coffee fast!

MathMom said...

Donate your unwanted books to a library. Whatever they do with them will be out of your hands, and obviously, the right thing. Because a librarian would know the proper way to dispose of books, yo?

Works for me. Not often enough, though.