Category Archives: Seattle stories

UFO Truth Conference Washington State

UPDATE 3/4/11:

Curious information relating to the 2011 UFO Truth Conference surfaced on, and was brought to this blog’s attention via Charlie A. of

The William A. Bugge Bridge on Washington state’s Olympic peninsula was unexpectedly closed for an hour on Saturday, February 26, as an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine transited Hood Canal. The submarine was escorted by an Island-class cutter of the U.S. Coast Guard and several additional ships and small craft. Area residents have observed increased activity out of Naval Base Kitsap in recent weeks. 3/4/11


An SSBN transit. February 26 was the same day as the Conference (see below), which was held at a (supposedly) decommissioned Navy fort. Many coincidences in this world…



--  Peter Davenport: Passive Radar for the Detection of UFOs (ongoing Davenport project)
--  Peter Davenport: The Death of Todd Sees. "It suggests to me that we are not entirely safe on this planet and these things may happen from time to time."
--  Peter Davenport: UFO elk abduction. Highly unusual case reported to NUFORC.
--  Peter Davenport: The Phoenix Lights  WA State UFO TRUTH Conference 2011.

Port Townsend on the Olympic Pen.

Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. February 26, 2011.

Amid a growing number of conferences and informal meetups around the country, the “UFO Truth” Conference was held at an abandoned military barracks on the Olympic Peninsula this February 26. and SUFON helped promote the event.

Fort Worden State Park

Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA. USA, February 26, 2011.

Braving transportation difficulties (where the heck is this place??), grey blustery cold, and flurries, an audience filled Fort Worden State Park USO building to hear three leading UFO researchers…

James Clarkson slide

James Clarkson, retired WA police officer, presents sightings submitted to MUFON.

MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) – the umbrella organization for UFO reports at the national level is, perhaps because of its breadth and its numbers, rife w/ infighting and switcheroos; the like, to match any political party. (and don’t be fooled – the UFO/E.T. phenomenon has, in the last five years, and particularly in the last two, reached a critical mass that places it well within the realm of a “political movement”). Washington State MUFON (now ex) Director and ex-civilian and military police officer James Clarkson presented slides and a no-nonsense angle.

Some express surprise a Clarkson’s 20-year career as a cop. Does that make his testimony doubly hard-hitting? Others counter that there are few who have heard more UFO reports than law enforcement…but still, say for example you call the Seattle PD and say, I saw a UFO and a bunch of lights came down – green, blue and pink! It’s right above my house! Could you send an officer please now!!!”). But it doesn’t mean that, beneath the professional veneer, these men and women don’t have eyes and ears like the rest of us.


    British writer and ufologist Nicholas Redfern

British writer and ufologist Nicholas Redfern (Sy-Fi, MSNBC, CNN, etc.). Is that Reagan? Redfern had some very deep, novel ideas. His scope may have outreached this particular American audience...

Writer Nicholas Redfern, from England, presented his view on the socio-religious implications of the alien phenomenon, referencing Aleister Crowley and the occult – “aliens as demons/demonic” entities. Redfern also related a story about a priest he’d interviewed who was purportedly involved in U.S. Government efforts to contact the “Grays” telepathically.

Evidence and testimony obtained  showed that the experiments made some headway; albeit that success was tempered by a strange milieu of technological malfunction and physical sickness on the part of the experiment’s participants (not out of the ordinary to those familiar w/ the so-called “Grays.” (Also called “Zetas,” in reference to their purported home-base in the Zeta-Reticuli star-system).


Nick Redfern @ UFO Truth WA 2011

Nicholas Redfern, Port Townsend, WA USA. February 26, 2011.

Mr. Redfern referenced the pop-culture aspect of “the alien”, for example Whitley Streiber‘s series of books (Streiber’s Communion was made into a Hollywood movie). As for the priest and the telepathy experiments, Streiber’s books on the Greys, Redfern believes, contain info gleaned from just such government efforts (secrets have a way of worming their way into the mainstream in one form or fashion, as the great Richard Hoagland points out)

For the record, Redfern has made some very mainstream media appearances, including the Sy-Fi Channel, CNN, and MSNBC.


Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion: (left to right) Clarkson (MUFON WA), Redfern, Davenport (NUFORC).

Peter Davenport, Director of the National UFO Reporting Center, USA, (and featured in this past issue of Seattle Weekly []), distilled the UFO problem down to five “questions” (below). Davenport revealed to the audience some very compelling NUFORC-reported sightings – of which the Center has catalogued thousands upon thousands –  and featured some fascinating audio recordings of phone calls.

Peter Davenport

National UFO Reporting Center Director Peter Davenport.

The “Phoenix Lights”

Davenport provided the best overall schematic of this vast and difficult field (a tough subject for one person to tackle in a slide presentation…). Davenport, nationally-known in the field of ufology and a man with many insider contacts, closed his presentation with a recap of the 1997 “Phoenix Lights” – which he considers “the most important UFO-event in modern times.”

Clarkson, Redfern, Davenport panel discussion. Port Townsend, WA. February 26, 2011.

Davenport (above, at right) displayed photographs, maps, and schematics showing the extent of that veritable “armada” of silent craft the infamous night in 1997 (how time flies!).

Using multiple witness testimony as a form of geographic triangulation to pinpoint one of the most visible craft, in one example during his presentation Davenport estimated that just one light on one of the craft equals in size Seattle’s Boeing field!

Davenport alsoprovided some candid insight into (then) Arizona Governor Symington’s awkward position during the ordeal (including Symington’s public statement ten years later that – barring any further U.S. military information on the matter, the craft had to have been “alien spacecraft” (-Fife Symington, 2007).

– d.g.w.


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David Icke comments on the Battle of Seattle WTO ’99

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The Hum

The Hum. It’s worse – can be worse – than mere noise pollution. To those who can hear it – a small swath of the population – the Hum sounds like a slightly peircing, electrical pulse or putter that seems to come, and indeed does come, from thin air. The cause is mysterious. According to John Dawes, the Hum is an interaction of portions of the power-grid with the earth’s gravitational field and ionosphere.

And it’s here in Seattle

I live next to a big institutional-type buliding here in the Rainier Valley, Seattle, WA, and next to the house is a telephone pole with a couple big grey battery things (I don’t know the technical term) plus a “splitter” which, I am told by an experienced carpenter and electrician I know, doubles the voltage in the adjoining power lines. 

The Hum has also inflicted itself on citizens in Taos, NM and in Bristol, UK (where we had the first reported cases in the 1960s) to the point where local authorities, the media, and in Taos then-congressman Bill Richardson, all got involved in order to expose the phenomenon and advocate for its victims.

Researcher John Dawes, from the UK, put up the only web page that I have seen devoted to explaining The Hum:

There has been a “whitewash”, as Dawes puts it, of the phenomenon. It does not get attention commensurate with the harm it causes human-beings (and probably some animals as well). It’s fairly clear that there would be a financial interest (i.e., the hugely prosperous energy industry) to keep something like this under wraps and away from media or mainstream medical attention.

The institution i live next to is full of people (I’ll not be specific so as to give away the exact location here) and they may also be at risk.

The Hum needs to be fully investigated.

– d.g.w.

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Me, Frankenstein

The Study

Often I find myself awake at 3 a.m. The sleep I do get is generally tilted toward the morning end, in fact, I’ve noticed that I’m most restful between 6 and 8 a.m. (How fitting – this is when I ought to be getting up and out!)

However, I do end up feeling rested when I do wake, even if my sleep comes in fits and starts. Many in this world of ours can’t say that. And I rarely; virtually never take naps. Not that I have anything against them – indeed I used to fall asleep at 4 or 5 in the afternoon and sleep ’til midnight. But I quickly learned that this wrecks the rest of the night and throws my biorhythm off for the worse.

In June I was referred to the Harborview Sleep Disorders clinic at Harborview by a Family Medicine Clinic doctor, and when my appointed “study” came along months later I checked in at 7 p.m., out at 7 the next morning. It was quite an experience.

Bizarre. And overall mildly horrific…here’s what happened:

I lay trying to sleep with a hundred EKG-type wires pasted to my head and fastened at the other end into an absurd medallion of colorful sockets, strung around my neck. This in turn was plugged into the wall and into who-knows-what kind of computerized electrical-current monitoring machine. Because of this final plug-in, I could not move much: turn from side-to-side, lay on my stomach, sit-up for a moment, go to the bathroom – nothing.

No joke! And what was it these medical doctors wanted me to do? Sleep?

Alas, I did fall asleep for perhaps 45 minutes at about 11 p.m. Likely because I was tired from dealing with the weirdo, nocturnal nurse-tech guy, who was tasked with pasting, sticking, snapping, plugging my body whilst I sat in a chair as if getting a makeover at a salon.

We did not speak during this hour of preparing me for the study. I sat there trying to relax, ambivalent as to whether it was relaxing or annoying. I think it was alternately a bit of both.

I awoke around midnight with a fast-beating heart. Thump, thump, thump – way faster, it seemed, than it ought. My ankles and the joints of my toes felt involuntarily clenched upward, as if some force was acting on my nerves or muscles. Feeling quite unsettled and vaguely nauseous, I swiveled my apparatus around so that I could sit up. Immediately I heard my nurse/tech – ever awake and attentive – over the intercom right into my left ear, from the wall. I recalled him explaining that there would be a two-way intercom. But I didn’t expect him to jump at me the second I moved. It felt intimidating, frankly. As if he were not subtly suggesting that I lie back down.

“I feel…really weird,” I said emphatically. The nurse/tech came back with an assurance (more like a statement of protocol – as if he expected this routine with a patient) that if I wasn’t back asleep in 45 minutes I “will qualify for a sleep-aid.” “Qualify”? That’s right, qualify – for a sleep-aid.

At this point that did not sound like a bad option at all. Sure enough, the nurse opened the door, flung on the lights, and approached me with another man – also large and not altogether friendly – the latter with a tiny cup, the former with a large styrofoam cup of ice water; both with a singleness of purpose that was, frankly, intimidating. I don’t know about other folks, but I’m used to sleeping alone, without persons opening doors and flicking on and off lights.

And so the implication here was that they weren’t here to talk about it. They were here to deliver a pill to a hospital patient. And so it was.

I awoke at 6, reasonably rested though feeling as though I’d slept lightly. I didn’t feel groggy. And I felt relieved that it was over – particularly when my skull-wires and electric necklace plug-in apparatus were all unceremoniously removed: pasting-removed, unstuck, unsnapped, unplugged. I hope[d] that with the Sleep Disorders Clinic’s manifold brain wave detectors, the doctors would now have a treasure of data – and I was glad to have done my part to provide information that I hope will be put to use for my medical benefit.

And so I walked out of the hospital a free man; unscathed (one would hope).

I have yet to have my follow up appointment, however, so we shall see what happens. It’s scheduled for later this month.

– d.g.w.

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Vivace Roasteria: An Appreciation

Una bella tazza di caffe: An Appreciation

July 9, 2008

Dear Vivace,

I wanted to offer my gratitude and appreciation for, in its waning days, Espresso Vivace’s E. Denny/Broadway Roasteria.

Vivace is so much more than a mere locale, or scene, even – there are a million espresso joints in this city. And a million scenes.

My Roasteria – with its grand, wood-paned windows peering out on Cal Anderson; Seattle’s golden, July 47˚ sun-beams angling off marble countertops – have become a dear part of my routine and life on “the Hill”.

The always lively local (and beyond) Capitol Hill folks who come for talk, for work, for engagements of all kinds; for peace – are greeted first by a friendly professional and then by the primo, unbeatable espresso that here has indeed been “raised to an art” by your baristas, whose faces, if not as often names, I know well.

Your departure is a little anti-climactic. Here it is July 9 and sitting here drinking my tall triple latte with a Cure song playing it could easily be July 9, 1998…but this is apropos; in character for Vivace; part of its charm. The space is as the Capitol Hill community and its people: things change – time is fluid, winds on, shifts, as do lives and as does the city landscape. And so this space, too arrives at a juncture.

After first discovering the Roasteria through friends several years ago after arriving from the east, I wondered to myself, why hadn’t I before? Well, I think perhaps it is the quasi-hidden view from the street: a small, shade-covered side-entrance lets the uniniated slip by and easily miss it.)

Such a magical space! And so inviting. So laid back. So “Seattle”, to risk cliché. But for those who know – and I count myself among these fortunate – the space will be dearly missed.

I know many, many other people will so, as well. How many ideas have been hatched? How many intuitions and impulses and creative sparks realized, both in solitude looking east to “the village green” of “the Hill”, or catalyzed, actively in joyful, engaged discussions with friend or colleagues?

And so this space is special, has touched many. Obviously. But this is no rueful lament!

Una bella tazza di caffe

As successful as you’ve become, with Mr. Schomer and many others’ guidance, you surely have more future than past: folks will go on with the same routine, in the same neighborhood – quaffing the same café lattes, macchiatos, nicos, mochas; espresso dolce and vita (and Beautiful Stephanies here and there). But this is the passing of an era; it is a milestone.

Yet, as we’ve only a couple days left and I reflect on just how valuable a physical space can be in life. Here indeed, it is a loss.
You will be much missed, Roasteria! Thanks for the memories, and best wishes for the future,

David. G. Wilhelm

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buh-rack! obama

The first two posts below, (bottom of page) were written in the winter of ’08 (one by me, one by mainstream online media); now that the primary season has come and gone, what’s the story with Barack Obama? Well, he’s still superman at this point. But it seems people are beginning to work out the deep, societal issues around race and gender that have enthralled people so with this guy’s candidacy.

One recent piece published in The Strange (Seattle’s vulgar, satirical music rag based in my own neighborhood of Capitol Hill) I think breaks down a lot of the innuendo surrounding the post-convention election that is now heating up markedly. This edition of the Stranger was published after Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, but claims to have been written before the speech.

WARNING: This may be considered offensive to some. It’s admittedly shocking, but if you know the Stranger, you won’t be surprised. Keep reading – the piece’s larger, satirical point rings more true by the end.

Here’s the direct link:


The Surge

The Meaning and the Meat of Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech

by Charles Mudede

Noting in Barack Obama’s speech was in the least bit surprising.

I’m writing this on Tuesday, so I haven’t heard the speech yet, but I can assure you that there wasn’t anything the least bit surprising about Obama’s speech on Thursday night in Denver. (Unless there was some sort of tragedy. But if there was some sort of tragedy, you won’t be reading this. You will be hunkered down, weathering the race riots that ensue in the wake of certain sorts of tragedies.)

He spoke about the state of the economy, the cost of the war, the “pain at the pump,” the housing crisis, Katrina, the credit crunch, the Bush administration’s energy policies. We are already familiar with Obama’s message. We have heard it a thousand times already, and we will hear it a thousand times more before November. Obama is about the audacity of hope, about “Yes we can,” about cool, about change, about a new direction in American politics. Voters interested in the same old, same old, are welcome to vote for John McCain, whose political program is practically indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush, our very unpopular president.

Obama is intelligent, young, handsome, optimistic; he is willing to talk to our enemies, to work with the international community, to institute something that approximates universal health care, to tax the superrich. We know that Obama finds strength in his beautiful wife and two daughters, we know that he has faith in the core values of our democracy, we know he believes in the fundamental goodness of all Americans.

Obama no doubt mentioned all of these unsurprising things in his speech on Thursday night, arguably the most important speech delivered by a black man in the history of this planet.

Barring some sort of tragedy.

No other black man, not even Martin Luther King Jr., has found himself at the very center of not just a powerful political system, but the most powerful political system known to humans. That is where Obama found himself on Thursday night. He had nothing less than the full attention of the entire planet. During his speech, Palestinians lent Obama their ears, as did Israelis, Europeans, Asians, South Americans, Africans. Not just Americans, but all of humanity was listening, thinking, dreaming. But what the world heard was not all that Obama had to say. Much about him, his color, and the real historical significance of the speech was kept in silence.

McCain and his handlers have worked hard to show us that white women—Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in one ad, a parade of attractive young women in another—are captivated by Barack Obama. And they have good reason for doing this. Yes, Scarlett Johansson cannot say enough good things about Obama; yes, Kirsten Dunst will do anything she can to help him to get elected; yes, white women love Obama. Even white women who don’t like men love Obama. McCain and his people want to exploit this enthusiasm among these young women, they want to rub our noses in it, they want to scream it from the rooftops: These sexually ripe white women, these women that most white men could never hope to possess, they are helpless before this man. McCain seeks to translate Obama’s hard-won political currency into the primal terms of unbridled, white-female lust for black cock.

They cannot run the country, these Republicans, but they know how to get primal with American politics. Recall the ad the Bush-Cheney reelection team used to show the deadly importance of national security: A pack of wolves look at the camera, rise, and attack. This ad draws inspiration from the darkest depths of medieval German folklore, a fact that I imagine someone had to explain to George W. Bush. But with Obama, the Republican Party has turned to a more recent source of myth and terror: The Birth of a Nation, with its plantations, burning crosses, and brave white men dressed in white.

All that matters to Republicans is victory, even at the heavy price of decency. When you place no value on decency, you don’t regard its sacrifice as too high a price to pay. The Republican Party has no sense of shame. What is its ultimate message on Obama? He is not prepared to lead the world? No, that concern does not strike a nerve in the American imagination. That he is cosmopolitan and looks down on white people who “cling to guns and religion”? No, still not raw enough. We need to get cruder: If Obama is elected, white women will be thinking about nothing else but the cock of the handsome black man who sits in the Oval Office.

Now we have finally reached the reptilian swamp of the American brain.

During the most important speech delivered by a black American, nothing will be said about the obscene substance of the Republican Party’s current message: Those who want to protect their daughters and control their wives better vote for John McCain. And who is this McCain? Just look at him! He is old, he is cold, he is dull; with him, no flames, no distraction, no heart palpitations—women will never think about his cock. And isn’t this the kind of president the Republican Party always offers America? The old, the infirm, the cockless?

And yet the Republican Party is called the “Daddy Party,” and it somehow succeeds in emasculating Democratic candidates in election after election.

As long as Bush is president, white virgins sleep soundly. When virgin white women go to bed at night, they do not dream of Bush’s penis. The same will be the case if the septuagenarian McCain is elected—no nocturnal moaning will ever be attributed to his presidency or his appendage. But imagine an Obama night in America. It will be a night filled with a million leg-twisting dreams, a million pillows soaked with sweat, a million blankets turned and pulled. Even white women who are not virgins—white women who are married to hardworking white men—will dream of presidential black cock and not the penis of the white man lying next to them.

Recall for a moment Bill Clinton’s sexual encounter with a White House intern. When it was exposed, everyone wanted to know when and how he pulled it off, how was that kind of privacy even possible in such a public place as the White House? Where were the security guards when this cocksucking was going on? Or did they see everything but were bound to an oath of secrecy? How did Clinton do it?

If it had been Obama, on the other hand, then only one question would have occupied the minds of white Americans: How big is it? He is, after all, an African. You know, with roots in Kenya. And the Masai people are very tall. So, tell us, what kind of equipment is our first black president packing down there?

Obama is the leader of the party once led by John F. Kennedy and later by Bill Clinton. Indeed, the cock thing has as much to do with the party as with color. For example, compare in your mind the black conservative Clarence Thomas to Obama. Thomas—the guy who was alarmed to find pubic hair on his Coke can—is, without a doubt, emasculated. Look at his face, then think about what’s behind the zipper of his pants: Yes, it once was there but someone (done) cut it off with the same determination that the slave master cut off Toby’s foot in the popular TV series Roots. That’s Thomas. That’s why he is a Republican.

As it is for black men, it is for black women. Just compare Michelle Obama and Dr. Condoleezza Rice. We can easily imagine that a night with Michelle will require several energy drinks, lots of B vitamins, and all of the strength you can pack in your body—this woman will not stop until she is satisfied. (Obama, you the man.) As for Rice, like Cindy McCain and Laura Bush, a night spent with her is no different than a night spent with a refrigerator. And this exposes the final contradiction of the Republican Party’s war against sex: Though they are all about going forth and multiplying, they strive in every way to appear cold, frigid, infertile, and cockless.

What it comes down to is this: The Democratic Party is the party of life and the Republican Party is the party of death. If you want war and wolves, turn to the Republican Party; if you want to improve the health-care system, turn to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party despises life and sex. It only cares about you if are unborn or brain-dead. A person who is alive, a person with a body that experiences desire, a person with a body that lusts after other bodies—that is a person who the GOP wants nothing to do with. To borrow an example from an antiwar protester: If the U.S. Air Force drops bombs on enemies and innocent civilians, the GOP does not give a damn; but let those same planes drop condoms or morning-after pills on enemy territory, and the GOP will be out on the streets in a minute protesting and screaming about the killing of babies who are not yet born.

The GOP urges teens to focus on prayer and repress the natural drives of their supposedly God-made bodies. The GOP supports purity balls, where sexually mature young women pledge their virginity to their fathers (why not their mothers?). This is a party that loathes and fears sex. Hetero sex, teen sex, same sex, safe sex, oral sex, anal sex. Sex in books, sex in movies, sex on the internet, and, of course, sex in the White House. Especially sex in the White House.

Is it any wonder that this party put Bob Dole up against Bill Clinton in 1996?

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, the first Bush, the second Bush—these are all men without cocks you can imagine. You can’t run an attack ad that hints at these men violating some sexual taboo, because you can’t imagine them with the equipment they would need to pull that off. Of all the recent Republican presidents, only Ronald Reagan may be the exception—he seemed virile, on his horse, chopping wood—but he was also old and we do not think of old men as having penises.

The GOP couldn’t play on sexual fears, of course, if Americans weren’t so terrified of sex and of life. Sex is a life force, be it straight sex or gay sex. To have sex is to be a living being (only the dead don’t want to fuck).

Although Republicans do have sex (and by that I mean every kind of sex), they make every effort not to be sexy or desirable. The opposite is the case with Democrats. Indeed, during the first days of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, it was clear to the Christian protesters that sex was the dividing line between the parties. A protester carried a sign that connected gay sex with a weak national defense. One protester drove around in a truck that had an image of Obama making out with a man. A new GOP talking point/smear campaign: Obama will not only seduce your virgin daughters, but also your sons!

And now, for the first time, America must imagine black cock in the White House. What’s it really like? How long can it last? Is it uncut? Thick? Veiny? Quick? Slow? Inquisitive? Considerate? Gentle? Indifferent? Bossy? Way out of control? All over the fucking place? Damn! What kind of cock can we expect from this black man?

Obama’s cock is on all of our minds. And Obama’s cock, my friends, was missing from Obama’s speech. It will, however, loom large over McCain’s acceptance speech next week in Minneapolis, just as it looms large in McCain’s campaign commercials and, without a doubt, Cindy McCain’s imagination.

With additional “reporting” by Dan Savage.

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Following two posts originally published at

Friday, February 22, 2008

This article dissects the Obama phenomenon and finds its root in larger societal trends among young people:
Jewish World Review Feb. 22, 2008 / 16 Adar I 5768

The Ecstacy of Barack

By Kathleen Parker

| Much has been made of the religious tenor of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Reports of women weeping and swooning – even of an audience applauding when The One cleared his proboscis (blew his nose for you mortals) – have become frequent events in the heavenly realm of Obi-Wan Obama.

His rhetoric, meanwhile, drips with hints of resurrection, redemption and second comings. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he said on Super Tuesday night. And his people were glad.

Actually, they were hysterical, the word that best describes what surrounds this young savior and that may be more apt than we imagine. The word is derived from the Greek hystera, or womb. The ancient Greeks considered hysteria a psychoneurosis peculiar to women caused by disturbances of the uterus.

Well, you don’t see any men fainting in Obi’s presence.

Barack Obama has many appealing qualities, not least his own reluctance to be swaddled in purple. Nothing quite says, “I’m only human” like whipping out a hankie and blowing one’s nose in front of 17,000 admirers. The audience’s applause was reportedly awkward, as if the crowd was both approving of anything their savior did, but a little disappointed at this rather ungodly behavior.

So what is the source of this infatuation with Obama? How to explain the hysteria? The religious fervor? The devotion? The weeping and fainting and utter euphoria surrounding a candidate who had the audacity to run for leader of the free world on a platform of mere hope?

If anthropologists made predictions the way meteorologists do, they might have anticipated Obama’s astronomical rise to supernova status in 2008 of the Common Era. Consider the cultural coordinates, and Obama’s intersection with history becomes almost inevitable.

To play weatherman for a moment, he is a perfect storm of the culture of narcissism, the cult of celebrity, and a secular society in which fathers (both the holy and the secular) have been increasingly marginalized from the lives of a generation of young Americans.

All of these trends have been gaining momentum the past few decades. Social critic Christopher Lasch named the culture of narcissism a generation ago and cited addiction to celebrity as one of the disease’s symptoms – all tied to the decline of the family.

That culture has merely become more exaggerated as spiritual alienation and fatherlessness have collided with technology (YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) that enables the self-absorption of the narcissistic personality.

Grown-ups with decades under their double chins may have a variety of reasons for supporting Obama, but the youth who pack convention halls and stadiums as if for a rock concert constitute a tipping point of another order.

One of Obama’s TV ads, set to rock ‘n’ roll, has a Woodstock feel to it. Text alternating with crowd scenes reads: “We Can Change The World” and “We Can Save The Planet.”

Those are some kind of campaign promises. The kind no mortal could possibly keep, but never mind. Obi-Wan Obama is about hope – and hope, he’ll tell you, knows no limits.

It is thus no surprise that the young are enamored of Obama. He’s a rock star. A telegenic, ultra-bright redeemer fluent in the planetary language of a cosmic generation. The force is with him.

But underpinning that popularity is something that transcends mere policy or politics. It is hunger, and that hunger is clearly spiritual. Human beings seem to have a yearning for the transcendent – hence thousands of years of religion – but we have lately shied away from traditional approaches and old gods.

Thus, in post-Judeo-Christian America, the sports club is the new church. Global warming is the new religion. Vegetarianism is the new sacrament. Hooking up, the new prayer. Talk therapy, the new witnessing. Tattooing and piercing, the new sacred symbols and rituals.

And apparently, Barack Obama is the new messiah.

Here’s how a 20-year-old woman in Seattle described that Obama feeling: “When he was talking about hope, it actually almost made me cry. Like it really made sense, like, for the first, like, whoa … ”

This New Age glossolalia may be more sonorous than the guttural emanations from the revival tent, but the emotion is the same. It’s all religion by any other name.

Whatever the Church of Obama promises, we should not mistake this movement for a renaissance of reason. It is more like, well, like whoa.
Monday, January 7, 2008

What’s with this Obama Character?

Is there not something kind of fishy about the meteoric rise of Barak Obama? Just a few years ago he was a state senator in Illinois whom no one had ever heard of. I see one of two possibilites here, the second being most likely:

1) He is a fulfillment of the “end of days” prophecy that sees the return of both true and false messiahs, the false being deployed by Beelzebub to deceive the faithful. Obama is a false messiah/false prophet, on earth to do the work of the devil, and his rise is a harbinger of the final confrontation between good and evil.

Whew. Ya, I don’t know about that one, but amazingly, there is a great deal of internet sentiment out there to this effect. Much is probably meant as slander, but it would appear that some is completely sincere. Perhaps people apparently take politics a little too seriously…

2) Obama’s rise has been facilitated by powerful, monied interests for their own cynical, heretofore opaque purposes. It may be that those who desire another Republican administration have pushed him to win the the Democratic nomination because they believe he would be the easiest democrat to beat.

2a) A modified version of theory 2), though it seems unlikely to me, is that the interests backing Hillary have engineered Obama’s popularity to peak early enough in the campaign season so as to be impossible to sustain, thus giving Hillary the long-run advantage.

I don’t know enough about how elections work to know if it is possible for powers-that-be to exert such control over voting that such a ploy could be effective. Nevertheless, the level of election manipulation is widely underestimated in this country. It is kept secret because if the world knew that the largest democracy was so cynically controlled from above, the U.S. would lose its moral authority to demand “democracy” around the globe, in the strong-armed way that we do. The nation did however get a brief taste of just how few people can control an election outcome seven years ago, with the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision! Indeed.

If theory 2) proves correct and Obama’s uber-appeal is an engineered sham, then once primary season is over, Republican interests will bring out the big guns and start tearing into Obama’s seemingly unblemished record. With enough propaganda, I believe the Republican side will succeed in turning non-black Christian voters solidly against Obama. The level of demonization and negative advertising will reach record levels. Money will pour in to defeat him. We will begin hearing the nasty puns on his name (B-iraq Osama”, etc.), and ethnic and religious aspects of Obama will emerge as a major weakness to be exploited among the white working-class and evangelical segments of the electorate. Barak Obama’s Teflon-invincibility will be rapidly broached. I suspect when this happens, the black community will line-up behind Obama to an extent, and with a fraternal familiarity, that they so far have not. His great crossover appeal will also become a thing of the past.

I believe the red state/blue state divide is a crass simplification, but it does ring true in that the trend in this country is toward political polarization along ethnic and religious lines. If Obama emerges as the Democratic nominee, whatever the reasons behind his win, the resulting general election campaign will be the most divisive in U.S. history, and may well serve as a catalyst for further civil fracturing of a nation; a harbinger of future ethnic and ideological strife.

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