The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


Though most Americans think of it in a different way, specifically in the context of a “variety show,” the form of entertainment known as burlesque originated in the 1500’s and found its expression in literature and art, as well as stage.  To our American minds, burlesque describes the form of entertainment which was usually categorized by exaggeration and ridicule – usually of some specific group or individual.  This later evolved into another popular form of entertainment – the minstrel show.

In our politically correct environment, there is little discussion of this form of entertainment.  The majority of these performances were acted by whites who wore “black face.”  Normally in a minstrel show there were caricatures of those whom the performers mocked.  Typically, one of the characters was a fop and another was a fool.

What is totally absent from this “non-conversation” is the fact that the minstrel show was further developed by American blacks who accentuated their innate “blackness” by applying “black face” and whose shows similarly mocked other blacks.  This is as inconvenient a truth as the fact that it is well documented that before the Civil War more than 3500 black Americans owned black American slaves and white indentured servants.  Rather than deal with the facts of history, the liberal left has chosen either to ignore, expunge or alter it for their own purposes.

It would not be difficult to argue that the minstrel shows with white actors were primarily motivated by racism – both on the parts of the writers and were well received by a similarly inclined audience.  But if the sole purpose of the show was to castigate another race, one would similarly expect that the black minstrel show would turn to ridiculing whites.  Why then did they follow the same tradition of their fellow white artists?

The other day I had lunch at one of the neighborhood casinos.  I finished my meal and was returning to the parking garage.  Waiting for the elevator was a black male whom I would put in his early thirties, a black woman in her late twenties and her little girl about four years old.  As the elevator opened, I immediately drew a picture of the black man – who he was and what he was about.

He stood in front of the door and started to walk in without waiting for the elderly woman who was trying to get off to make her exit.  Without waiting for his female companion or child (or me) to get on, he turned to the control panel and pushed the button for his floor.

Once we all were aboard, he continued his conversation with the young woman.  I didn’t hear his previous comments, but in the short space of two floors on a slow elevator, he complained about someone to whom he apparently owed fifty dollars and who had asked for his money.  He categorized this person as a “faggot-assed white cracka.”  The young woman looked at me apologetically and with some embarrassment.

I couldn’t help but think if the little girl were raised in an environment where that kind of language is prevalent, she would naturally learn not only to express herself in those terms but would be molded into viewing the world in this racist manner.  It is the same mentality that allows the perpetuation of the word “Nigger” to be used within the ghetto community.  That word is abhorrent – perhaps even more so when one black applies it to another – because it is not only a statement of disparagement but it is more importantly an expression of self-loathing.  Words do indeed matter.

To return to the art of burlesque with its exaggerations and portrayal of individuals as buffoons, the image of President Obama quickly leapt into my thoughts.  In the world of hyperbolic phrases which were invented to convey a disparaging image of blacks, the phrase “shiftless and lazy” comes to thought.  I have never heard anyone other than a black person described using that phrase.  And if we were to find the archetype for it, one could argue there is no finer example than the current occupant of the White House.

It seems that not a day passes when the administration seems to be caught off guard by some new crisis – the latest being the challenge to and invasion of our southern border.  Cast as a “humanitarian crisis” it is one of this administration’s own conception and implementation.  This “most transparent of all administrations” is perhaps one of the most opaque – rivaling Soviet Russia under Lenin.  And while I have long debated whether it is merely incompetent or unprepared, I now am of the mind that it is, plain and simple, morally corrupt beyond redemption.

If this were an isolated instance, a fair and open-minded person might offer the administration the benefit of the doubt.  We have all made mistakes.  But this “crisis” is only the most recent of a string of missteps and outright failures.  There is no need to point to the other “phony scandals” because they are well-documented and the reader of this blog should certainly already be aware of them.  But to what might we turn for a glimmer of hope that there is some basic decency in the Obama administration that has resulted in some positive results?  After five and one half years and trying as honestly as I might, I am unable to find a single plan, program or policy that has worked as it was purportedly intended.

Perhaps it is unfair to categorize the Obama administration as being burlesque.  A more appropriate phrase might be “theater of the absurd.”  But while we might be brought to tears through laughter, we also may find ourselves sobbing because of a profound tragedy.  And there is nothing sadder than the travesty which is currently unfolding on the stage of the American theater.



Comments on: "BURLESQUE OBAMA" (4)

  1. Missed you, worried about you, and VERY relieved to see you back! As for the topic–and as usual–it couldn’t have been more clearly (and colorfully?) expressed. I saw a poll a few days ago that showed a growing majority of those who voted in the last election, wished now that they had supported Romney. For colorless as he was (is), there’s little doubt, based on his Governor performance, that his engagement with congress would have been substantially more intense, and hopefully much more productive than Obama’s has been. I think that also applies to his tendency to get directly into the middle of problems/situations and work toward the most ‘workable’ (as opposed to political) solution. Ah, well…

    Again, very pleased to see you back! Independent of your political leaning, it is your ability to express yourself with ‘orchestral thinking’ that I find especially engaging. Ever think of running for president? If so…ya got my vote! (Especially if you were to consider my mother as your running mate; e.g., Happy In The Middle of Nowhere) Just kidding! 😉

    • Thank you for your kind words and wishes. For good or ill – they can’t get rid of me quite yet.

      Over the past several months I started at least thirty posts. And as I was half way through each of them, something else broke in the news which diverted my attention. Finally, I sat back and thought to myself, “Do the subjects of these posts do little more than describe the symptoms of a very deep-rooted disease?” And the answer that I reached was, “No.” That caused me to move to that very dark place which concluded with the question, “Why Bother?” And so I didn’t.

      Several days ago I went to see my first movie since “The King’s Speech” was released. I attended a showing of D’Souza’s “America.” It’s difficult to find anything, anywhere in any medium which reinforces my view – and my batteries definitely needed a recharge – which the movie provided. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. While I seldom attend movies, this was the first one that I remember in the last twenty years at which the audience actually applauded at its conclusion.

      So I’m back. There is no alternative for the concerned person – as difficult as the path may be and as tired as we are from making the journey.

      Thanks again for your kind good wishes.

  2. All that Mr. Lawson said, to start with. 🙂

    And yes, I’ve for the most part withdrawn to historical and philosophical bases of why we do (did) what we do (did), and lots about living “under and through the law”. You know, like we used to do.

    Scandal here, scandal there, scandal everywhere, disinterest everywhere in effective restraint of a lawless and/or ineffective executive. There’s little point, I think, in bothering to document it, since others are, and just keeping up with it disheartens me. Thanks for the recommendation on “America” I’ll see it if I get anywhere near where it’s showing.

    Oh, and welcome back to the end of Western Civilization, which may or may not need the modifier, that depends on your taste.

  3. Well, on the hand I’m glad that I’m not the only “Gloomy Gus.” On the other, I wish there were more reason for optimism. But then as we are both faith-based people, we know that, “This too shall pass.” Compared to what the disciples and early Christians endured, this may all seem rather trivial – from an historical perspctive.

    Taking a note (or two) from the current playbook of “Yes, We Can” I’ve doubled down on it and provide the little snippet from Jacques Offenbach for entertainment.

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