Friday, November 13, 2009

Prufrockian Paralysis

Amid the ranting and raving of the past few days I discovered a “new” word, at least to me, that absolutely describes our commander in chief. If you understand and use the adjective Prufrockian on a daily basis you will find this post contributes little additional knowledge and you have permission to move on to a more productive enterprise.

First let’s have a little background on the word to bring everyone up to speed. This eponym is from a work by T.S. Eliot, penned in 1910, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” The following is lifted from “linguaphile” web site—just Google it—and captures some popular attitudes coming from the oval office.

“Prufrock, the aging hero of Eliot's 1915 poem, is haunted by his cautious, hesitant approach to life and his conforming existence,

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."

He wonders about the possible romances he didn't dare broach,

"Do I dare disturb the universe?"

If only he knew Tennyson's 1850 lines:

"'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.’”

The actual definition then becomes:

‘Marked by timidity and indecisiveness, and beset by unfulfilled aspirations.’

Superficially we see Obama as the purveyor of strong, well thought words. When the crutch of the teleprompter is removed and close examination of the actual language is exercised we see the life “….measured …. with coffee spoons.” No less an issue than the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan is required to make this association.

His ultimate aspirations are not easily identified but are without doubt, unfulfilled. The constant dithering is abundantly apparent and demonstrates his indecisiveness. His reluctance to make a sound, sure decision then satisfies the timidity requirement to completely fulfill the Prufrockian definition. This is not opinion but observable fact. It is lazy to accept that because a man can successfully dress himself, speak (assisted) with golden words in well thought, clever phrases (undoubtedly supplied by others), and maintain a façade of happy family life that it reveals a tower of strength in his inner character. The lack of well-defined action on the war front of Afghanistan is the key to the chimera.

One of the common words in reporting on war is “action.” Killed in action, missing in action, after action reports, bravery in action, are easily understood phrases in reported news from a battlefront. Action then is understood as one of essential synonyms for war. The history of warfare is often a recital of what was not done rather than that which was accomplished. Failure to seize a moment, failure to retreat when necessary, failure to press on, failure to exercise existing resources, are part of the pattern of success or defeat on a battlefield or in a campaign as a whole. Unlike a run for the presidency, where the means to the result can be surreptitiously concealed, wars are mostly calculated by obvious body counts and easily observed territorial acquisition at the maximum cost to the enemy.

Americans for generations have responded to decisive leadership, firm resolve and brave men who have led them to victorious heights. These men have been willing to suffer life-lasting wounds and death to achieve impossible victories when led by leaders with the courage of their convictions and faith in those they lead. All of this was in the name of preserving the republic for their progeny. They do not fight for cap and trade, universal health care, diversity, or any of the other pap which is presented as a noble goal but is in reality a further abridgement of freedom. They fight, inspired by sound leadership, for the freedom to do as they damn well please. It’s called liberty!

J. Alfred Prufrock has no place in any leadership position in the United States of America. We require stout hearted people in charge with an unencumbered understanding of the laws of the land and the will to carry them out. We further require that they understand the mind and will of the people.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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