Friday, October 31, 2008

A Black Cnut and an Ice Maiden

One of my favourite English ‘kings’ was the Anglo-Saxon Cnut. He ruled in the 1020’s and 30’s, before your time of course. The thing I like about Cnut is that having done a great job of conning his followers he found it necessary to disabuse them a little.

He had his followers carry him down to the beach on his throne where he ordered the tide not to come in and wet his tootsies. The tide failed to obey of course and the king was able to show the limits of his power. It looks now like Obama might have turned another tide:


“Some perceptions of race are changing, with a marked increase in the number of people who say they believe that white and black people have an equal chance of getting ahead in America today.” NYT

To much of the outside world US society is adolescent at least, bordering on nursery. I know that is not a universal condition, but seems to be at least majority. From food preferences through to the inclination to adult tantrums, the prevalence of pathological narcissism, right through to ingrained racism suggests a society in crisis.

But now it looks like the country might be dragged into a semblance of adulthood; good job Obama. Much of that outside world practiced racism, but it is generally directed at overt displays of preconceived behaviour. A black, Asian, Martian or even poor white can exist unseen so long as they behave on the correct side of the mean average.

Ice Maiden
Obama is no Cnut and Palin is no maiden, but let’s not split hairs.


Palin warned an audience of 7,000 not to vote based on economic concerns alone and talked about national security concerns. NYT

Eighty-nine
percent of people view the economy negatively, and 85 percent think the country is on the wrong track. NYT

You just don’t get it Sarah, the economy is security, the most personal kind in fact. The economy is central to the well being of every voter and a proper adult concern. We know it is all about perceptions, emotion rather than reality. But economic realities are hitting households heavily just now.

Reality might not filter as far north as Alaska, or into your average trailer park, but most people feel it even if they can’t articulate it. It could well be the shock of an economic collapse as much as the promise of a good leader could lead to a national maturing. Maybe the tide can turn.

5 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

The tide will turn, Cart. It is turning now, if early-voting is any indication. I early-voted Monday at The Mall. The poll workers there said they've never seen anything like it. Over 250K so far in UT, over 500K in NV. You can't tell me people are waiting in line to vote for Geezer and Gidget.

BTW, is who you are calling "cnut" the one known as King Canute? The one whose son, Harde Canute, gave poor old Harold Godwin(son?) such a hard time that he couldn't stave off Wm of Normandy in 1066?

In discussing this era, you getting real close to my blog namesake, namely Ethelred the Unraed, whom I would always hope to be the opposite of. Sorry to digress ...

Cart said...

who you are calling "cnut" - Well you realise, of course, Cnut refers to the rendering from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. Purist that I am... At least I had the spelling right.

I know the tide is turning electorally, it is the emotional I'm fascinated by. The whole game depends on emotion so it is encouraging.

abi said...

It's easy not to get your tootsies wet if you know which way the tide is going. And that's the difference in this election - Obama knows and the Geezer doesn't.

And it looks like the ice maiden believes the tide is still frozen in the 1980s.

D.K. Raed said...

I will go along with calling sarah the Ice Maiden (even though the arctic circle is losing more ice every year and she is no maiden), if you will agree that Cindy McC is the Ice Cnut. I was gonna say Ice Queen, but she is no lady.

Cart said...

Abi, that momentum again, it speaks volumes. But I'm still fascinated it's taken so long to accomodate to race. I hope that is a tsunami rather than tide.

DK, Why I declare I don't know what you could possibly mean...
On the other hand, (those mental leaps)I can't imagine a Valkyrie with aflat chest.