Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Let's hear it for Barry Soetoro!

As the USA gets it's first Indonesian/Malay-speaking president, let us pause to reflect how his experiences as a mixed-race man, capable of conversing in a real foreign language (as opposed to, say, Bush's mangled English or bloody Esperanto), and tracing his blood ancestry to a developing country (Kenya) may be a welcome tonic for the United States of Northern America, and help it to shake off its (unfair) image as the world's most geographically clueless nation.

(And lest one think it is merely Kenya and Indonesia that are delighted at today's results - I just ran into the K-Man, sporting his 'Vote Obama' baseball cap, who proudly informed me that Obama is the 21st US president of Scottish ancestry. Plus there are apparently wild celebration in the Japanese town of Obama.)

While resident in Indonesia as a child, Obama went by the name 'Barry Soetoro'. There is, despite what right-wing US bloggers claim, absolutely nothing sinister in this. Many long-term foreign residents adopt - either formally or informally - Indonesian (or at least more pronounceable) names in the interests of social interaction (mine was Timbul Sentono). In any case, Indonesia does not recognise dual citizenship, so the possibility of his being considered legally Indonesian lapsed years ago.

Personally, I think that the election of a man who is not only aware of the existence of the rest of the world but has actually lived in it can only be a good thing.


scarlet-blue said...

"Personally, I think that the election of a man who is not only aware of the existence of the rest of the world but has actually lived in it can only be a good thing."

Yes, I think it might be helpful!

No Good Boyo said...

I would be more impressed with someone who had experience of the world yet still denied its existence.

It's a sort of magnificent anti-Galileo thing we Horizoneers have going.

By the way, the World Verification on this post is "scetri", which is Aromanian for "concealed onion pantry".

Gyppo Byard said...

Scarlet - you show yet again why you're not a true Uh'Merkn. And I mean that as a compliment to you.

Boyo - for a magnificent example of refusal to accept the bleeding obvious, try googling 'Kent Hovind'. The man is currently languishing in jail for claiming that the US separation of church and state meant that if he described his house on a tax form as a church, he didn't have to pay any tax. A court disagreed...

Gadjo Dilo said...

It can indeed only be a good thing, in theory. Do we really need another Scot in charge of something though? I miss Clinton, who was part pikey.

"Scetri" is indeed Aromanian for "concealed onion pantry", Boyo! The wife - whose family fled their (Greek) Macedonian enclave in the 1970s to escape from the music of Demis Roussos - has one in our house, but it's so well concealed that I've never found it.

No Good Boyo said...

Call me a nut, Gadjo, but I'm convinced Word Verifications are telling me something.

They used to be all "eovjrpvmf", but recently they form words.

For example, the one just below me is "blencia", which is Gwynhwysig Welsh dialect for "daubing your hovel with guano to camoflage it from passing Normans".

Does Mrs Dilo know anything about the Prince of the Pindus?

Mrs Pouncer said...

I'm right off the Scots, too, Gadj. I find A. Salmond particularly loathsome, and the footballer off the Morrisons ad. Why does he need so many tins of Quality Street anyway? However, I will always love Lulu. And Bill Shankley.
I loved Clinton beyond all human endurance. I don't know why. The blowsy beret-wearer should've kept her trap shut. Some say the stain on her dress was actually SOUP; some say Mulligatawny, others Cockaleekie.

No Good Boyo said...

The blowsy beret-wearer should've kept her trap shut.

The whole problem, Mrs Pouncer, is that she was only to ready to keep it open.

Sorry, but you walked into that one.

Word Verification - trienti. That was a type of Roman weapon (nom. pl.)used for removing horses from stones.

Gyppo Byard said...

Clinton made the worldwide Rrom community proud, even though he let us down by failing to have the White House drive resurfaced.

I miss him too. I think something is tragically wrong with the world when Clinton could get to the verge of impeachment for something while, if tasteless, was nobody else's business but his, his wife's and a woman who was plainly a publicity-seeking trollope; while Bush remained securely in office despite invading the wrong country and having the blood of thousands on his hands.

"Make love not war!" Maybe the UN should hold swingers' parties instead of general assemblies and help people like North Korea just chill out a bit.

scarlet-blue said...

"Call me a nut, Gadjo, but I'm convinced Word Verifications are telling me something."

Phew! so it's not just me who is developing paranoia over the word verification...words...? My one is 'nonst' but yesterday I had 'pantsua'.
Lulu should be worshipped and adored Mrs P; I have my reasons...

scarlet-blue said...

P.S What happened to The Stirrer's six random things?

Gyppo Byard said...

Scarlet - The Stirrer (a younger colleague of Boyo, Mrs Boyo Scaryduck and m'self whoc fancied having a blog even though he's normally a Facebook man) is off sick, and in need of a nudge once he returns to the fold.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ah, I don't reckon you don't have to be a nut to find meanings in things, Boyo - it's a hazard of being both a linguist and a poet!

I'll ask Mrs Dilo whether their was an engraving of the Prince of the Pindus in her skool history book - if there was it would have been very Byronic, I'm sure. It seems that this fascist "statelet" in the Balkans never really took off, demonstrating again the commendable Romanian lack of ambition.

Lulu is worshipped here in Cluj, Scarlet; not wee Scottish lass but a tramp who went by that name and became something of a local celebrity - they even named a difficult rock climb after him at our nearby version of "Idwal Slabs"!

Gyppo Byard said...

Peering blearily at the word verification below, it appears I am being invited to enter UNITFA, which I believe was a blue-beret clad international peacekeeing force sent into Wolverhampton in the 1970s.