What the naked emperor and the naked Disney starlet have in common.
Yesterday the media was too busy drowning the country in the spectacle of the antics of a former Disney starlet at the Video Music Awards for a cable channel that no longer does music videos to report on the antics of a former community organizer who was busy sketching out plans for an illegal war that he had been on record as opposing.
Shamelessness is the quality that Barack Obama's antics in Washington and Miley Cyrus' antics in Brooklyn have in common. It is a shamelessness that aspires to be cool because it appears to achieve the ultimate goal of coolness of not being bound by anything at all.
Miley Cyrus was once a Disney starlet. Obama was once anti-war. In 2007, he told voters that the president does not have the authority under the Constitution to unilaterally go to war unless there is an urgent threat to the United States. Now he's planning a second war in which the only urgent threat is to the military prospects of his Islamist allies for taking over another country.
Obama's shamelessness isn't incidental to his actions; it's their whole point. Like Cyrus, he is celebrating his liberation from any standard or value. It may be sex in Brooklyn and power in Washington, but both tawdry spectacles expose the elemental thing that is left behind when all virtues and values fade away. Without these things, the human animal becomes just that, a repugnant and irredeemable spectacle that attracts the like-minded and repels everyone else.
Without these virtues, why shouldn't Obama break his word and get his war on? Like every moral dilemma, it's only a dilemma if you have morals. If you don't, then it's not a matter of what the right thing to do is, but whether you can do it.
Or as Aleister Crowley put it, in between one of his bouts of Satanism and binging on cocaine, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".
That is the cheerful maxim of our entertainment industry, whose products can be seen on display at the MTV Video Music Awards. MTV long ago dispensed with the music, to make way for the drama of reality television. Its real entertainment product is people doing what they wilt and becoming famous for it.
From 8 to 11 AM, it's MTV's 16 and Pregnant. Then it's Teen Mom. In the evening there's more Teen Mom. And if you make it to 4 AM, tune in to AMTV RISE & GRIND. And at some point, Barack Obama or Michelle Obama will show up to tell everyone to exercise and eat healthy.
Miley Cyrus' performance embodied everything that MTV stands for; tacky, desperate for attention and in the real world, pregnant at 16. But the appeal of this enclosed media world is its cheerful amorality, maintained by invisibly huge amounts of money, that tells viewers that their own amorality will also not have consequences.
Bill Clinton was our first MTV president. Barack Obama is our second. What unites them is that cheerful amorality that can triumph over any crime. These are men whose creed is "Do what thou wilt" and like so much of our political and entertainment elites, they have been doing it. They have been getting their wilt on.
Obama has decided to get his war on. Again.
Formerly anti-war France is on its third war in three years. This will be the second war for its newly elected Socialist government in just this year. That's impressive for a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys who were supposed to be our role models in international diplomacy.
Role models don't hold up too well under fire. Just ask any of the parents who encouraged their daughters to watch Hannah Montana or any of the anti-war activists who thought that Obama would be different.
The man whose only calling card was the peace sign is about to launch his second war. And if bombing Syria goes well, there's always Egypt. And if the Tunisian protesters follow their lead and dare to boot their Islamist masters, they might get a few cruise missiles headed their way in Operation Caliphate.
Obama's premature gift of a Nobel Peace Prize has become one of the more absurd footnotes in his career. Like Cyrus gyrating on stage, he seems to be doing his best to leave behind his old anti-war reputation. Now he can hardly wait for the UN inspectors to finish their job in Syria.
Last time around, Obama had already begun the Libyan War before he told the American people. This time, the Syrian War could begin at any time, but will possibly be preceded by the release of a report. Or maybe the report will come out later, as the man who should be president is acting like an emperor, and the emperor is naked enough to be performing at the VMAs.
Miley Cyrus did what she did because she could. Like her, Obama will go to war because he can. It isn't even his idea and it isn't a good idea, but that doesn't matter. If you're a Disney starlet, eventually you have to show everyone that you've grown up by taking your clothes off. It's what the audience expects. If you're an anti-war liberal who makes it into the White House, you have to show everyone that you've grown up by getting out there and getting your war on.
It's what the audience expects.
For months now, the Washington Post and the New York Times have been urging Obama to go to war. France and the UK have been beating the war drums even longer. Qatar and Turkey have been crying for war before the last one wrapped up. Eventually the naked emperor had to go out there and give his international fans what they wanted.
Obama was tentative when it came to his first war, but he's an old pro at it now. He knows that no one who matters will judge him for anything that happens. It's all in fun and it distracts the unemployed people eating soup out of a can from wondering if they're going to be evicted tomorrow.
There will be criticism, but as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Benghazi, "What difference does it make anyway?" What difference does anything make in the absence of morals? Without them, there is only power and the will to use it, whether it is the power to bomb a nation or take your clothes off. The only way to prove will is through action. If a thing can be done, it must be done.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has grown up. He knows that the public doesn't matter. He knows that Congress doesn't matter. He knows that there is nothing between his will and the might and fortunes of a nation. And he's doing what he will with them.
He might bomb Syria for a few days, as he's claiming and as he falsely claimed of Libya, or a few weeks or a few months. The military has been cut to the bone and retasked to celebrating gay weddings and green energy, but there are enough bombs left over to make for some spectacular fireworks as the Al Nusra Front and their Free Syrian Army allies make it to Damascus to slaughter the last Christians there.
Every show needs a good closing number and the burning of the last churches in Syria while the bombs burst overhead will be the performance of a lifetime. Maybe Obama will even get Miley to sing.
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