Slides from my talk yesterday at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference in New York.
A Pygmalion resides in both of them. They are, to an extent, sculptors.
In turn, these two sculptors, Obama and Osama, are examples of how extraordinary men ““ when struck by the power of ideas, ideals and dreams, regardless of the cause ““ go on about sculpting their Galateas ““ their statues, dummies or puppets.
Each is in love with a statuesque vision, a set of ideals or dreams that they have sought to breathe life into.
Whether Pygmalion or Narcissus, Obama and Osama share a realist’s vision of how power is wielded.
As a result, Obama’s state and Osama’s base (literally, “Qaeda”)-less state shamelessly deploy violence. Both are thus in love with a Galatea that is caught in an unstoppable archaeology of death and war-making.
Regardless of victimhood or guilt, both are victims of the ideals and ideas they are in love with, and in their pursuit ““ a Godly transcendence or the deity of modernism and capitalism ““ they construct myths, guards, weaponry, and languages to match.
For Obama, he killed Osama ““ legally or not is not the point.
The point is that this moment will form a meaningful moment only if the ghosts of hatred, hubris, and violence are laid to rest ““ with Osama ““ and the endless witch-hunt for the timeless terrorist Muslim or Osamas re-incarnate is reflected on for the sake of permanent reconciliation and collective healing – and a collective Galatea is sculpted of new futures, new understanding, and new possibilities”¦
It is rare that peace comes from war. But let us hope winning the 9-11 war which Osama brought to us with attacks will bring closure and perhaps, just perhaps as the author says above, we will find “new futures, new understanding, and new possibilities…”