Hegel bemerkt irgendwo, daß alle großen weltgeschichtlichen Tatsachen und Personen sich sozusagen zweimal ereignen. Er hat vergessen hinzuzufügen: das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce.
—Karl Marx, „Der 18. Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte“, 1852
For somebody who kvetches about his muslim faith, Obama is ill advised to disparage Republican pigs for wearing lipstick. There are only two ways to grease-paint the hog red without engendering resentment. One way to do so is in self-deprecation:
Our old-time cuyapahas, announcers, were really good at that. On the spur of the moment as they were announcing things, they could make fun of somebody in such a way that everybody laughed and didn’t get angry, but felt good. Our modern powwow announcers who are good still know how to do that, to make people lighten up and become less serious and to stop criticizing each other all the time. One of the current powwow jokes that’s making the rounds is the one about how two guys—the announcer will usually pick on two of the dancers or two of the singers around, like Irving and Calvin—got themselves into trouble. He’ll say, “Irving and Calvin were drinking one night, and they really got hungry. They wanted some pork chops. Irving, who is the smarter of the two, said, ‘I know a farmer who’s got this prize hog. Let’s go grab it and have some pork chops.’ So they went to the farmer’s place and grabbed this prize hog and ran off. The farmer called the BIA police and told them that these two guys had stolen his prize pig. When Irving and Calvin were driving along holding this hog down on the seat between them, they saw a BIA roadblock up ahead. It was getting dark, so Irving said, ‘I have a plan.’ They put some lipstick on the pig’s mouth, some nail polish left in the car by one of their girlfriends on its toes, and put a red scarf over its head and put sunglasses on it, and drove up to the roadblock. The BIA cops shined their flashlights in the car and told them to go on. Irving and Calvin were really relieved to get away with it. As they drove away, one of those Indian BIA cops said to the other one, ‘I wonder what that pretty white lady was doing with those two ugly Indians!’” That’s how these announcers keep the audience relaxed and having fun.Alas, the chip on Obama’s shoulder is getting between him and white women. There remains the alternative possibility of approaching the pig from the other end:
—Severt Young Bear & R.D. Theiz, Standing in the Light: A Lakota Way of Seeing, University of Nebraska Press, 1996, pp. 170-171
Some fine poems are written in one sitting; others take a year or more. That doesn’t seem to matter. Just as it doesn’t matter if they are written with lipstick on the back end of a pig. It doesn’t matter if they are written about a mite or the end of the world. One of the things that matters is the relationship of all the parts and elements of the poem to each other. Is everything working toward the same goal? Is there anything extraneous? Or if there is some kind of surface disunity, can that be justified by some larger purpose?Fortunately, the surface disunity of Obama’s campaign can be justified by his larger purpose. As his opponent has pointed out, Barack Hussein Obama would lose a war to win an election. All that remains is to shore up popular support for revisiting positions taken by his Weathermen confederates when Obama was just eight years old.
—James Tate, editor, The Best American Poetry 1997, Simon and Schuster, 1997, Introduction, p. 19