Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Style and substance

Apart from the paragraph quoted below, there is very little in this article that I agree with.

But this paragraph captures my disquiet about Barack Obama.

Attempting to discern true meaning from Obama’s speeches gives one the feeling of having been trapped in a sort of verbal quicksand. Hair-pulling levels of frustration await any effort to find any specific meaning. A sensation of lethargic sinking into an abyss of abstract gibberish awaits the mind looking for specifics..

blog it

A couple of months ago a British commentator remarked that if Obama became US president, it would be a presidency of style rather than substance.

A British commentator (I can’t remember if it was the same one) said exactly the same about Jacob Zuma.

Zuma attracted support from a conglomeration of disparate interests who were dissatisfied with the status quo, and that made Zuma “electable”. And the same thing seems to be happening with Obama.

But if either becomes president, which of their supporters’ interests will prevail. Change can be for the better, or for the worse, but which way will it go?

All one sees on TV are soundbites with empty slogans.

Cosatu supported Jacob Zuma, but will Jacob Zuma support Cosatu?

Hat-tip to Small Dead Animals.


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6 thoughts on “Style and substance

  1. Rethabile on said:

    I must agree that, eerily, Mr Obama often sounds as empty as W, who can talk about freedom and liberty and justice, in a meaningless way.

  2. Steve Hayes on said:

    I really do hope that Obama will prove better than W, whether elected or not.

    I think he really means the fine words he speaks — it’s just that noble sentiments are not enough.

    On the other hand I have very strong doubts about the reality and the nobility of W’s sentiments.

  3. Steve Hayes on said:

    An update: this blog post answered some fo my questions.

  4. seev on said:

    This 2005 post on the Daily Kos written by Obama describes in detail his approach to politics.

  5. seev on said:

    Jumping to Feb. 13, 2008, here’s Obama’s Economic Policy Address at the Janesville GM Assembly Plant, including a great many comments. His specific proposals are listed followed by the text of his speech.

  6. Steve Hayes on said:


    Thanks for the link.

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