Local kid makes good

by Michael Bérubé on December 10, 2009

Indonesia Obama Statue

Apparently that’s the inscription at the base of the new “young Barack Obama” statue recently unveiled in Jakarta—on a site that was once an athletic field used by Obama’s elementary school. In what appears to be a deliberate provocation to the American right, the young Obama holds in his left hand a crumpled copy of his Kenyan birth certificate, which according to the laws of Othercountriestan entitles him to Indonesian citizenship.

Rumors that the base of the statue contains hidden “death panels” are as yet unsubstantiated.

“We welcome the statue, which is designed to give Indonesian children the spirit to become President of the United States,” Central Jakarta Mayor Sylviana Murni said.

“There is a message through the young Obama statue that any child and anyone from any background can become President of the United States if they fight for it persistently—and make sure to destroy their original birth certificate,” she added.

Elsewhere in the world, Obama has recently met with a chillier reception.  In Oslo to accept the Nobel Escalation Prize, Obama has reportedly angered his Norwegian hosts by declining to attend a concert in his honor, meet with schoolchildren at City Hall, tour the Nobel Peace Center, and have lunch with King Harald V.

“The American president is acting like an elephant in a porcelain shop,” said Norwegian public-relations expert Rune Morck-Wergeland. “In Norwegian culture, it’s very important to keep an agreement. We’re religious about that, and Obama’s actions have been clumsy. You just don’t say no to an invitation from a European king, especially when his royal chefs have prepared hamburgers specially dressed with the fancy Dijon mustard beloved by Obama.”

Meanwhile, back at home, Obama faces daunting challenges on every front, from unemployment to health care.  Aides say that Obama is considering a major address to the American people upon his return to the United States, calling for a “new era of translucency” in government.  “Transparency is a pain in the ass,” said one senior advisor known for his profanity-laced tirades.  “It’s like closing Guantanamo—it’s just too damn difficult.  So we looked around for the next best thing, and we hit upon translucency.  What we want, basically, is an administration with a scrim and a little back-lighting, where you can see shadowy shapes moving around but can’t tell exactly what they’re doing.  We think that’s the kind of government Americans need at this point in history.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, reached for comment, said that translucency would be an “unmitigated disaster for America” and that he personally would turn to dust and be scattered to the winds if ever he were to be struck by sunlight.

{ 25 comments }

1

kid bitzer 12.10.09 at 2:55 pm

“What we want, basically, is an administration with a scrim and a little back-lighting, where you can see shadowy shapes moving around but can’t tell exactly what they’re doing. “

well, duh–wayang shadow puppet shows are just part of his indonesian cultural heritage, of course.

2

LFC 12.10.09 at 3:14 pm

On declining lunch with King Harald:
Maybe Obama’s a fan of Cole Porter’s “Miss Otis Regrets” (“she’s unable to lunch today”); on second thought, probably not.

3

rm 12.10.09 at 3:25 pm

I’m waiting for this post to be quoted on, say, The 700 Club or The Savage Hannity Rush O’Reilly radio show as a real description of the statue. Or in the Chinese press, same difference.

4

Miracle Max 12.10.09 at 3:25 pm

Some glitter on the American flag and we could finally get gay marriage.

5

Patrick Nielsen Hayden 12.10.09 at 3:38 pm

These are some more of those Crooked Timber “jokes,” right? Careful, or you’ll have another 400-post comment thread by this time tomorrow.

6

Malaclypse 12.10.09 at 3:49 pm

It is indeed a sublime and funky statue.

7

Michael 12.10.09 at 4:24 pm

Careful, or you’ll have another 400-post comment thread by this time tomorrow.

To get to that level, I think I’d have to photoshop a sandwich or a burger or some other foodstuff into that picture. Fortunately, I have no idea how to do that.

8

Salient 12.10.09 at 4:53 pm

To get to that level, I think I’d have to photoshop a sandwich or a burger or some other foodstuff into that picture. Fortunately, I have no idea how to do that.

I am now actively hoping for someone to photoshop a minaret on top of that kid’s outstretched hand and then add the word “SOCIALISM” in all caps at the bottom. Please, wingnuts, don’t let me down now…

9

Bill Benzon 12.10.09 at 11:13 pm

…some other foodstuff…

Do I detect a coded reference to a box of the Colonel’s best? What about the box without the contents? Does that make riedfay ickenchay an empty signifier thereby inviting a supefluity of meaning? Is an empty box of the Colonel’s best riedfay ickenchay in fact a black hole in a box?

10

Bloix 12.10.09 at 11:24 pm

It’s actually a statue of Bill Ayers.

11

Michael Bérubé 12.11.09 at 3:25 am

Illbay Enzonbay,

It all depends on what you consider an empty signifier box that opens onto a superfluity of meaning. As I recall, the Great Sammich Debate at Sadly, No! went on for over fourteen years, and led to the rise of the Online Sandwich Integrity movement. You want a debate about photoshopped foodstuffs, that was a debate about photoshopped foodstuffs. I believe Rousseau referred to the photoshopped sandwich as a “dangerous supplement,” but I have no idea what he meant by that.

12

alex 12.11.09 at 1:06 pm

Just don’t ask for a reverse Polish sandwich.

13

kid bitzer 12.11.09 at 1:26 pm

reverse polish sandwiches do not come with empty boxes. but they are so delicious that iterated possibilities just go “mmmmmmm!”

14

Bill Benzon 12.11.09 at 5:01 pm

Q. What’s Igpay Atinlay for “oy vey”?

15

Michael Bérubé 12.11.09 at 6:57 pm

That question actually came up at the historic Oy/Oi conference of 1977, sponsored by an ad hoc consortium of American Jews and British street punks. But I don’t remember what the answer was.

16

Davis X. Machina 12.11.09 at 11:39 pm

Q. What’s Igpay Atinlay for “oy vey”?

I’m not sure, but I think it’s used for every session of the US Supreme Court…..

17

Batocchio 12.12.09 at 1:24 am

“New era of translucency” is my favorite bit.

18

Liberty60 12.12.09 at 1:46 am

You just don’t say no to an invitation from a European king, especially when his royal chefs have prepared hamburgers specially dressed with the fancy Dijon mustard beloved by Obama”

Oh, Betty Draper made the hamburgers with Dijon Mustard? and Don arrived home hours late? OMG!

19

parsimon 12.12.09 at 2:17 am

My favorite parts are “I have no idea what he meant by that” and “I don’t remember what the answer was.”

20

Mcadder 12.12.09 at 2:51 am

Is that a crumpled page from the Weatherman manifesto in Obamas hand?

21

Michael Bérubé 12.12.09 at 3:06 am

Batocchio, thanks! That’s my favorite part too. I think it’s funny because it’s sad.

Parsimon, I have no clue what you’re talking about.

22

Salient 12.12.09 at 4:13 am

MB, Parsimon must be talking about your failure to disclose that this statue is brought to you (or rather, to Jakarta) by JustSayGnome!(TM), that fine purveyor of anarcho-artistic lawn ornaments we have recently come to know and love.

And, you can get your own lawn-sized copy of this historic statue for $175, plus $beaucoup shipping. For about ten times that (!), they also provide you with a ‘birth certificate’ that details the location and time of construction.

23

Michael Bérubé 12.12.09 at 5:23 am

Salient, haven’t I told you — don’t cross the threads? Now the sublime and funky Stay-Puft marshmallow man will come to destroy us all.

24

Hogan 12.12.09 at 10:53 pm

You just don’t say no to an invitation from a European king

And if you say yes, you’re showing your America-hating Islamomarxism by deferring to a foreign monarch. (Muhammad’s and Marx’s deference to foreign monarchs is well established in the literature.)

25

3DOGMAN 12.14.09 at 2:31 am

Didnt Obama do the same thing to Putin when he was in Russia the last time? Seems the “Paranoid-President-in-Chief” has a problem of someone trying to put something in his food. Think about it, he is on the television 24/7 here in the United States and then he goes overseas to spend his time hiding in a hotel room. It doesnt make sense?

Once this gutless bastard is out of office we are going to find many more tidbits of info that hopefully keep the Demon-rats out of office for years to come.

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