Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Nobel

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So we had our Nobel prize week. Every day some new ho-hum, instead of just announcing all the names in one go. One thing I tend to find disappointing about the prizes is that they are frequently awarded to people who did their great work decades ago. Of course it’s good to truly test whatever people came up with before honouring them, but it makes the prizes look like lifetime achievement awards for pensioners rather than something inspiring. And quite possibly Doris Lessing’s reaction to the news aptly reflects that.

And then there’s of course Al Gore. So what exactly was his role for peace? Having been vice president of a rich country long ago? Not having had the balls to keep Dubya from suing him out of office? Or giving some colourful slideshows and making a film about himself doing so to ‘educate’ the educated in his country about some well known problems. Well done, man. Puts you right on eye-level with people like Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King… huh?

It may be all good intentions by the Nobel committee people to ‘send a message’ this way. But are they really thinking that some Swedish prize and a mere million Euros will even be noticed by those ruling the powerful countries? The Euro isn’t that strong yet. And I’d think they need billions, bombs or at least some oil reserves to have the chance of catching those people’s attention.

October 13, 2007, 0:45

Comments

Comment by Simone Manganelli: User icon

So what exactly was his role for peace?

Oh, I didn’t realize that you can only possibly be doing things for peace if you help poor people or end segregation. Because, you know, educating people so that our planet doesn’t go to shit and billions of the people on the planet don’t end up being displaced or possibly affected by changes in their habitat because of lack of water or quarreling over resources or land or crap like that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with peace.

If you can’t understand that there are multiple levels of working for peace, then there’s something seriously wrong with you.

Having been vice president of a rich country long ago?

Ooooooh, BUUURN. Yep, that’s the only thing that Al Gore has ever done. Been vice president. Oh, yeah, and I suppose you think he invented the internet, too.

Not having had the balls to keep Dubya from suing him out of office?

Are you seriously deluded? HE DID SUE GEORGE BUSH. The Supreme Court told him to GTFO. He didn’t have the balls to do it? No, he did, he just got smacked down. What was he supposed to do, take a machine gun to the White House?

You’ve got an incredibly skewed view of history.

Or giving some colourful slideshows and making a film about himself doing so to ‘educate’ the educated in his country about some well known problems.

Oh, yup, that film was completely irrelevant. Everyone in the world knew about global climate change. Everybody knew exactly what the effects were, and why we needed to do things about it, and the scientific basis behind it. Oh, yeah, and that’s because every single person in the world managed to come and see one of his slideshows in person.

Yup, that film did absolutely nothing for the world.

Well done, man. Puts you right on eye-level with people like Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King… huh?

Well done, man. Because if Gore doesn’t do the exact same things as Mandela, Theresa, or King, he doesn’t deserve the Peace Prize.

Seriously, take your ad hominem attacks elsewhere.

October 13, 2007, 1:43

Comment by g: User icon

I think it was Gore Vidal who said, “one cannot underestimate the Swedish sense of humor”, after they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger.

I, like you, think it’s a pathetic thing. It underscores the world of Gesture Politics, where giving prizes to some people are supposed to promote an agenda and make the Prize givers feel better. It’s a curse.

And Simone:

Seriously, take your ad hominem attacks elsewhere.

He has, it’s his website.

October 13, 2007, 8:26

Comment by ssp: User icon

I thought an ‘ad hominem’ attack would require me to be unfair and offensive, Simone. I don’t think Mr Gore is a bad person (nor that he is a particularly good person).

I guess I should be impressed by him working hard all life to get a grip in the politics business (rather than just being born into it like many of his colleagues), him lending his voice to ecological improvements throughout his career and using the political power his voters gave him to actually improve the situation of the earth. Big thanks for all that.

Just after his main political career, he decided to not devote his time exclusively to giving graduation speeches, hanging out with his cronies, getting nice industry jobs and making sure his family continue to hold ‘their’ share of power and cash. He also put energy into lecturing about climate change. That’s a great thing. And it suggests that Mr Gore isn’t a complete scumbag as many of his colleagues prefer to be. But I thought that such high laurels would require a bit more than just not being like all the others. Sorry for that.

I also fail to believe that Mr Gore’s lectures and film changed that much. It looks like preaching to the converted to me more than anything else.

Perhaps Hurricane Katrina and other recent weather phenomena should be considered for the prize as well. My impression was that these left a much stronger anxiety about climate change with people than any slides they saw.

October 13, 2007, 17:52

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