Blogs > Cliopatria > Will the real W please stand up?

Oct 23, 2004 6:46 pm

Will the real W please stand up?

Two interesting sources deal with the abstractness of President Bush, his ideas and the idea of Bush himself. Mark Kaplan of Charlotte Street reads W into Joyce's description of Parnell:
The blankness of Bush, his emptyness, the absence of distinctive qualities... these are not to be thought of in contradiction to his status as 'leader'. On the contrary, they are essential components. Bush is nobody and everyone, a template that any American might fill. He can act as a cypher, a mouthpiece for other's voices (and this is of course given an uncannily literal twist).

On the more irreverent Fafblog, Medium Lobster concludes that Bush makes powerful use of ideas that transcend the limits of reality:
Any leader could have made the war on terror into a tedious, ongoing struggle to unearth and uproot a multi-tentacled terrorist organization while attempting to heal the rifts between the Muslim world and the West. But George Bush didn't just see the task: he saw the grand idea behind the task, and better still, the vague abstractions behind the grand idea. And he was willing to fight those vague abstractions. Terror, weapons of mass destruction - they may not have been really in Iraq, but the idea of them most certainly was. And that was an idea the world's only superpower had to confront with real troops...

Indeed, in time it may become possible that the distance between President Bush's ideas and his reality becomes so vast that he achieves pure abstraction - so that he himself is an idea, leading America not from the White House but from the Platonic Realm of Forms, where with but a thought he can eradicate the concept of Terror altogether. And that, my friends, is an idea worth standing for the concept of fighting for.

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Jonathan Rees - 10/23/2004

Anyone who doesn't read Fafblog regularly is really missing out. Although, I must say I prefer Giblets to the Medium Lobster. All hail Giblets!