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Oct 16, 2008

More On "Who Is Barack Obama?"

Kirkmccain & Spock Obama001-2

“He is measured and stable,” said Mr. Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, and who has supported Mr. Obama since they first met about a year and a half ago at a small Los Angeles fund-raiser. “It’s true that he has an intellect that works for him, he handles difficult problems with aplomb. Reliability and stability are very important assets in this race, in these particularly volatile times.”

-- from Be Logical, Captain! (NY Observer)

Beyond my interest in the employment of Star Trek as a personality tool, I'm heartening to see Obama -- finally and prominently -- being caricatured so cleverly and humorously.  What it indicates to me is that the country is starting to finally make him its own.

I'm also thinking, however, about how -- even at this point -- people are still floating the question: Who Is BHO?

I think the lingering problem has to do with Obama being so multi-dimensional.  He's charismatic, but he's also nerdy.  He's intellectual, but he's also quite physical.  He's passionate, but he also has great control over his emotions.

It's because of this range that I can definitively say I don't think Obama is like Spock at all ... but that, at the same time, I think this illustration nails Obama like nothing I've seen yet.

Your thoughts?

Update:  Interestingly, David Brooks has a "thinking out loud"-kind of column this morning arriving at the strength of Obama's personality.  Although it's quite laudatory -- making is seem like Brooks is the latest conservative convert to Obama -- he also seem a bit disappointed Obama might not turn out to be as electrifying as everyone thought.

(illustration: Drew Friedman)


This really rings some bells for me. I have run marathons, I've been a swimmer, I am an intellectual. I have parents, one from the South and one from the North, and at no time in my upbringing was I allowed to coast. If I asked the definition of a word, I was told to consult the (gigantic) dictionary. My parents told me to always question the writer - who are they, from what perspective are they writing. Only believe a quarter of what you read, and a half of what you see. I can't really describe my upbringing except, question, question, question.
Now, that worked until they couldn't answer my questions. In English class we learned the fundamentals of journalism - who? what? when? where? how? and why?
Now I have children, young teenagers, young adults and they are not just nerds, they are not just jocks, they are not just musicians, they are not just black belts, they are not just inquisitive ... they want to know who, what, when, where, how, and why, and they are
relentless in their pursuit of the truth and good luck to you if you can't deliver. They are my inspiration, they are my hope. They say live long and prosper.

He's passionate, but he also has great control over his emotions.

I'm not a Star Trek fan, but I know enough about it to know that this is part of Gene Roddenberry's conception of the Vulcans--"Obama on the outside, McCain on the inside", if you will. So there you go. ;-)

"There-you-go again!"

I like this cartoon a lot, b/c it shows that ever-logical Barack is no longer mis-perceived as an enemy Klingon. That's a major shift.

On the other hand, I hope this symbolic Captain Kirk retires so Spock can run the Starship Enterprise.

I tend to see McCain as McCoy rather than Kirk: "Dammit, Jim, I'm a Maverick not a [insert your favorite word/phrase here]. . .

The only reason why the question, "Who is BHO?" is still floating around is because the McCain campaign keeps asking it. If you are a political junkie and follow the nominees and do a little research on them you learn a lot about them. More than we know about most other people. But the McCaim camp wants the voters to think that we don't really know BHO. That is why the question is still out there at this time. Even those on McCains side think they know him, even though their information is wrong, thanks to the McCain campaign.

Two years. O man has been running for two years. If you don't know who he is by now, it's because you didn't want to know. McCain made him out to be unknown but mostly to his redneck base. Then the media hyped it.

This metaphor (of Obama as Batman) has been getting a bit of circulation the past few days on Teh Intertoobs lately also:

Also this clip (from the same episode apparently):

What is frustrating is how in 2000 & 2004 Gore and Kerry being "intellectual" and level-headed was a liability, not an asset for them-- whereas Bush was good to have a beer with. And now no one is buying Palin's "you betcha" down-to-earth rhetoric. Maybe at least some Americans have learnt their lesson this time around?? Hm.

On the other hand,unlike what is depicted here, it was the passionate Cap't Kirk's leadership and bravery that often won the day. Cap't Kirk and Spock were equals.

I think Obama is more like Captain Kirk. Nothing phases Kirk.

Nothing phases Kirk - until a pretty wench passes by.

I think the Captain's Chair (or a parody of Kirk) would be better filled by Bill Clinton.

I do like this image of Obama as Spock and Spock often had the bridge and if my Star Trek trivia is correct, actually captained the ship a couple times.

I'm not going to go look that up, btw.

"Phaser!" said the Phasor. "Phaseing!" said the Phaser
"Phasing not phase-phaseing is not phasing that's allowed!" :)

fazes, guys. Has nothing to do with phases, like of the moon, or of growing up, or of mid-life crisis, etc.

But I really don't like the ears in that cartoon, sorry. Bad enough his ears stick out a little without making them pointy.

Then and again, my life has been star-trek free.

This is hilarious, well done guys!

A guy called elfpix doesn't like pointy ears?

No, Obama-as-Spock needs those ears. In fact, I think President Obama should get them surgically altered.

McCain is like those crazed Starfleet officers who took over the ship from time to time to mess things up. Like Commodore Stocker in "The Deadly Years", or Matt Decker in "The Doomsday Machine".

Okay, I'm a nerd.

Okay, this thread is probably over, but I cannot help adding one more:

Obama is definitely too passionate--in a controlled, directed way that earns loyalty and moves mens' souls --to be a totally-rational Spock. (He's really a half-Kirk, half-Spock.)

But there IS an absolutely PERFECT Star Trek minor character for McCain. (props to jasperjava above for reminding me...)

That character is Capt. Ron Tracey of the USS Exeter, in the fantastic (but with a hokey-ending) episode "The Omega Glory."
Watch it... (and forgive the American jingoism, upon which the crux plot turns: remember, it's an episode geared to tug on the heartstrings--and change the minds-- of the generation that gave us McCarthyism.)

After a psychological trauma (the loss of his crew), Capt. Tracey grasps onto a new (false) Hope--and that he personally will become the Savior who will bring this Great Gift to humanity. His conviction causes him to betray his own most deeply-held moral principles without any hesitation whatsoever. But at core, his conviction is about satisfying his own emotional needs--and his own ego. At the end, even when faced with proof that this Great Gift was a mirage, all he has left is his own moral corruption.... and so he fights on, purely out of malice.

(like many Star Trek episodes, there is a stunning psychological portrait buried beneath superficial characterizations.)

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