Skip to main content

Goodnight Nobody, Goodnight Mush

There's a new bio of Margaret Wise Brown titled “In the Great Green Room” and it sounds like an interesting read. It is fascinating to examine the artist in reflection of the art they create and often, as in the case of MWB, it seems inconceivable that such a person could make a timeless work of fiction - but she did. "Goodnight Moon" is one of those books that grows on you over time and though I've read it a hundred times (probably more) to my children, just as it was read to me, I'm starting to think that it was actually written for adults to invoke nostalgia for childhood. Children like the rhymes and bold pictures but parents LOVE it and for good reason. The book starts by setting the stage with its kittens and mittens and old lady whispering "hush" then starts systematically goodnighting all of them into the oblivion of a sleepy dreamworld. The Goodnight nobody, Goodnight mush pages are pure genius in this context and they delight any reader with their childlike derangement of an orderly process. Children always smile and parents remember what it was like to be a child with a clean slate and no rules.

I was thinking about that tonight as I watched president Obama give his farewell address to the country from his adopted home of Chicago, IL and how free and easy he appeared to be while speaking. As we all know by now, Barack can deliver a speech with the best of them and though the KOTCB blog has criticized many of his drone strikes I have to say that tonights effort was pretty much the best thing he's done in years. In fact, while I was watching him there was one question that kept coming to my mind over and over again - "Where has this guy been for the past 8 years?" I don't mean the policy stuff which I regularly disagree with FBPOTUS on but on the big ideas stuff which he hit home runs on all night long tonight.

  • "our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity"
  • "Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society."
  • "Look, politics is a battle of ideas. That’s how our democracy was designed. In the course of a healthy debate, we prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, then we’re going to keep talking past each other."
  • "It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy. Embrace the joyous task we have been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours because, for all our outward differences, we in fact all share the same proud type, the most important office in a democracy, citizen."
Why did he wait to say all this with only ten days left in his presidency? Why didn't he act like this when it actually mattered? Maybe, like Margaret Wise Brown, the author is nothing like the words that he writes or maybe this is his way of saying goodnight to the game of politics and his empty (or soon to be empty) legacy so as to leave on a high note. He either doesn't believe a word that he said tonight or he's incredibly unskilled in implementing his ideas or, maybe just maybe, he's accepted the fact that Donald J Trump is going to be his successor but for what it's worth he's turning out the lights with a great speech of civic unity and American pride and for me that's worth a lot. Godspeed BHO and thanks for not blowing up the world while you were president (please don't do it in the next 10 days).

“Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.”


D.W.I. said…
The idea of Obama is brilliant and impossible to disagree with. The reality is Obamacare was the biggest tax ever laid on solely on the middle class. He doubled the national debt. Fracking saved the economy in its darkest years. And the middle east is worse now than when he took office (yes much can be blamed on W.).

Popular posts from this blog

The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

She was "sexy", but "too much hard work."

I'm a regular Fox & Friends viewer (mostly in protest of the other insipid morning programs like Today and Good Morning America) so over the years I've gotten to know Gretchen Carlson pretty well. Stuck between Steve and Brian she always seemed a prudish scold with an irritating, self-righteous demeanor that I simply put up with because I figured some people in the Fox audience actually liked her persona. It was obvious that Steve and Brian did not, but they were stuck with her like so many talking heads and had to make the best of it - which they did. Besides, she was no worse than any of the other women on morning show TV - I mean, you're only going to find a certain kind of person to do this kind of work and that kind of person is the Gretchen Carlson kind. Then, one day, she was gone and replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the F&F ratings began to climb, and climb and climb - in two months viewershi…

The Democracy Quirk

Let it be said that Politico is one of the most worthless web sites with clout on the internet - it's like the Washington Post after a night of hard drinking in the Georgetown bars that passed out on a friends couch. Predictable and stupid at the same time - Also, the editors appear to despise democracy as a political science and as practiced here in the USA. Their latest "explanation" for the Trump phenomenon takes aim at the voters and their knowing ignorance which can be easily explained by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. The article written by shrink/educator David Dunning illuminates a big, glaring problem in any democracy, and that is, "we all run the risk of being too ill-informed to notice when our own favored candidates or national leaders make catastrophic misjudgments." Shit, now you tell us, for surely this is not a problem unique to 2016 and probably was in effect in 2000 and 1980 and 1968 and so on...
But as a psychologist who has studied human behavi…

Running Fence 2

You probably know that the Congress (specifically the Senate) and the POTUS are at loggerheads over Federal funding for the Big Beautiful Wall to be built along the US southern boarder. The reasons for this impasse are long and complex so a quick review of how we got here might be in order.

The Elvis from Queens glided down the escalator at Trump Tower (corner of 57th & 5th) and declared to America and the World that he intended to build A Great Wall across the southern boarder when he became POTUS because this alternate speech was never going to happen (KOTCB Alternate Universe 06/15/2015)A few weeks later candidate Trump was presented with a big fat brick of pain and suffering that served as the cornerstone of his campaign (KOTCB Dirty Sanchez)The physical Wall served as a curative slap in the face of the DC establishment who had, over the years, constructed an elaborate Folly Wall in place of the real thing (KOTCB Decius drops the mic)The idea of the Big Beautiful Wall began to…