Friday, October 09, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize?

In mocking Time Magazine yesterday, I had no idea that I'd wake up this morning to the mind-boggling news that the Nobel Peace Prize committee has decided to award its prize to Barack Obama. Four years ago, I wrote that "the 2000s clearly represent 'the end of parody...'" This is further evidence of that.

(Note to the Nobel Prize Committee: If even Richard Cohen is mocking your decision to give the award to Mr. Obama, that's an indicator that you've screwed up, big time.)

The first question, obviously, is "what did he do to deserve this?" The answer, of course, is "nothing." He has no accomplishments. He has done nothing to improve the lot of a single person on the face of the planet, nothing to improve relations between one country and another, nothing to prevent violence. Nothing.

It's long been known that the Nobel Committee is a group of leftists who give awards to other leftists. In the past, however, they've maintained a veneer of prestige by giving the prizes to leftists that have, you know, accomplished something. Yasser Arafat was an unrepentant terrorist, about the least appropriate person to whom one could plausibly award a "Peace" prize, but at least he had a resume that consisted of more than self-congratulatory speeches. As the Times of London correctly notes, "the achievements of all previous winners have been diminished."

Another fascinating aspect of the story is the mere fact of the nomination. The Peace Prize committee takes nominations in a period ending early in the year. The nomination deadline for 2009 was February 1. So Barack Obama was nominated for his accomplishments through the end of January of this year. A list of those accomplishments:

Pretty meagre, I think you'll agree.

The award does allow for some humor, and there's plenty of it around...

  • Q: Why didn't Obama receive the Nobel Prize for Literature?
    A: He actually wrote two books.

  • (Variations of this all over) "In a surprise move, the Baseball Writers Association of America has awarded both the American and National League Cy Young awards to Barack Obama, who threw out the first pitch before the All Star Game."

  • "Today the Peace Prize Committee awarded a posthumous award to Neville Chamberlain..."

  • "How do you say ‘jumped the shark’ in Norwegian?"

  • “How can Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize on the same day that he’s becoming the first POTUS to bomb the Moon?”

  • Q: What do Barack Obama and Yasser Arafat have in common?
    A: They both hung out with anti-Semites who think Israel should be pushed into the sea.

    (OK, that's not really funny, but it kind of gives an idea of what the Nobel Prize Committee seems to be looking for...)

  • "The Nobel Committee really missed a golden opportunity here. I mean, what about Physics and Chemistry? Are we just going to ignore the president's contributions there?"

It's a joke. A bad joke, an unfunny joke, and a joke that's likely to exacerbate this President's single worst characteristic, the belief that it's all about him, but it's a joke nonetheless...

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