It is one of the more interesting facts about Obama the writer that the father he chooses to represent, and whose legacy he chooses to embrace, is a bona fide monster--a scary polygamist who abused his wives and children and drank away his intellectual promise and his career, then crippled himself in a car accident that left him with iron legs, and finally wrapped his car around a tree in a second accident that luckily proved fatal to no one other than himself. Dreams is a book about Obama coming to terms with this troubling monster and creating a workable self out of the ruins of his father's life.Then I see the first comment over there:
What a load of branless bloviation!Ha ha. Branless. Why not braless? As long as we're subtracting letters and creating new meanings...
Anyway, now I will try to read the article, or enough of it to determine whether it's brainless or -- ! -- flatulent.
While I don't know the candidate personally, I feel as if I do, in part because he was at Harvard Law School when I was at Harvard, and he lived a few blocks away from me in a "transitional neighborhood" in Manhattan where rich people brought their dogs to poop. I know where the candidate is coming from, I am thinking, as I watch the fluffy white clouds float by my airplane window in a sea of antidepressant Obama blue.Oh my. Samuels does sound insane. If those dog owners are so rich why are they walking their own dogs? What sort of dog owner treks to another neighborhood to deposit shit? Who looks at blue sky as "antidepressant" rather than simply cheerful?
It is hard not to like the idea of a writer becoming president...Oh, no. That's so wrong. The writerly mind is exactly what you want to watch out for. There's plenty of writerly mind on display in this long article, which you may or may not like. Let me know.
ADDED: Swampland calls the article "compelling and challenging." (Challenging ≈ branless?)
It is at once a book review, a comparative literature exercise, a rumination on race, a candidate profile, and a magazine feature. Its central idea is that Barack Obama has internalized the thesis of Ralph Ellison's classic novel, Invisible Man, which Samuels summarizes as the notion that "the symbolic and actual baggage of race makes it difficult if not impossible for a black man to ever realize his full humanity in the eyes of anyone."