Nobel Peace SurPrize

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Now, it has been a while since I have updated my blog, and gosh darn it if I’m as uncreative as to blame it on the same old excuse of hectic work schedule, but when your clients and the powers that be toss you across the room and bounce you off the walls for entertainment, it gets re-he-heally difficult to look beyond office life to dig up an excuse for just about anything.

And while I have missed out on delivering my own specialized rants about a lot of going-ons in the world today while the going-ons were still hot off the press, the thing that I most want to touch upon, if rather a bit late, is the new and improved Nobel Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize, in particular, you see, is no longer the unattainable prestigious award that only deserving candidates can hope for. As a matter of fact, if the standards of eligibility corrodes at the same rate, in a couple of years, I just may have a shot at it myself. Not to put too fine a point on it, I AM keeping all possible fingers crossed.

I’m sure that all of you have heard about the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Barack Obama. When I first heard about the nomination, I was pretty sure it was a joke, and honest to goodness, I had a pretty good laugh about it too, which shows how confused my sense of humor actually is. Maybe my colleagues are right… Maybe I really can’t distinguish between humor and politics.

The stand on my sense of humor notwithstanding, I have to pretty much confess that I don’t know much about the real world here. I always try to analyze news with logic, and believe it or not, actually succeed once in a while. The Nobel Peace Prize thing is one where my sense of reasoning has had to put up a white flag and surrender with hands waving in the air. The basic flaw in my reasoning was that I felt people who are conducting two wars should automatically be disqualified from Peace Prizes of any kind, leave alone Nobel. While Tolstoy did indeed manage to cram both ‘war’ as well as ‘peace’ into the title of his book, I still maintain that they don’t quite mean the same thing.

Nobody disputes that Obama is less of a warmonger when compared to his hilarious predecessor, but saying Obama is more peaceful than Bush is like saying Britney Spears sings better than Al Gore. Nobody disputes the fact, but it’s nothing spectacular either. And the Nobel Prize, I thought, was meant for something spectacular. I mean… If Obama had won the “I’m more peaceful than George W Bush” award, I wouldn’t be complaining. In fact, I’d gladly applaud the occasion, put my seal of approval, run to the podium and pat his back, saying “Attaboy”, were it not for risk of the Secret Service taking pot shots at me. They’re notoriously intolerant of public backpatters. But I’m drifting off point. I tend to do that at times.

Now I like Obama. I do. He seems like a sprighty president, always jogging to speeches, smiling for the cameras, and waving to the public like a seasoned pro, and I DO believe he may make a fine candidate for something like this… someday, but again, my insufferable reasoning keeps pointing out that maybe – and this is a crazy thought – just maybe, we should have waited for him to actually do something before giving him an award for it. Giving him the Nobel Peace prize for all the peace he’s planning to bring to the world is like giving Paris Hilton the academy award for promising to act ‘way better’ in her next movie project.

I wished that Obama would at least decline the award. He DID say he was surprised at winning the award, and further said that he felt he did not “deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize”,  but all this, he said while pocketing the prize in question. Many people further said that this would be a good incentive for him to work harder for peace… And this, I’m embarrassed to say, made my itty bitty MBA degree completely obsolete, because the way I remember my curriculum, it is usually the promise of an award/ recognition/ bonus that serve as incentives, not the actual award.

“Congratulations, Pete. We’re giving you a luxury yatch, a Ferrari, and a million dollars in cash bonus for all the good work you’re going to do in the next 12 months.”

“Oh… Jeez, thanks. Hmm… Just hypothetically… if I don’t meet that target… hypothetically, of course, do I have to give these things back?”

“Come on, Pete. We trust you. These are all yours. No strings attached.”

“Woo-hoo. I mean… I won’t let you down, sir. This will make me work (ahem)VERY hard indeed. If anybody needs me, I’ll be in the garden doing the Ifugao victory dance”

Maybe I’m ranting a bit too much. After all, it’s not like it’s the first time the Nobel Committee has gone and shipped to the wrong delivery address. Yasser Arafat, Henry Kissinger and Cordell Hull are but three winners who make sure that Obama isn’t the least deserving candidate on that elite list. But I doubt if anyone on the list was given the award and the thumbs up before he/ she had time to do anything at all. Pre-emption is all the rage in America. George Bush was all about pre-emtping wars, and now, the US has a president who is pre-emtively given the Nobel Peace Prize.

I can understand it’s a big honor, but I still think he ought to return it. In case he doesn’t, then Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Neslon Mandela, and the other ‘transformative figures’ should return theirs. Or better yet, sell them… while they’re still worth something. Five years down the line, they’re going to be awarding Nobel Peace Prizes to people who refrain from kicking vending machines for not giving change. I don’t want to be giving false hopes out here (wink wink), but if you have, at some point in your life, forgiven somebody for cutting ahead of you in line at the movie tickets counter, keep the telephone lines open cos you may very well get on that list one day.

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9 Responses

  1. Winnie the poohi says:

    I agree!! I want a nobel prize too.. for all the inventions i will make after I get the award!

  2. Arun Jose says:

    Jeez, I almost made a mess of it! I used to always tolerate people jumping queues ahead of me. Offlate, I have become very intolerant and always make it a point to put them back to where they belong. Have to change that attitude now. You never know!!!

  3. Vidya says:

    I think you are seriously funny!And I want a Nobel prize for that because I pre-empted it way before anybody else(atleast I would like to claim that).You see I can goto any lengths for a Nobel prize!

  4. arpita bhattacharyya says:

    You r absolutely right.

  5. Profile photo of hammy hammy says:

    @winnie the poohi:
    That’s the spirit. Now get in line and play the waiting game.

    @arun jose:
    Phew. Thank God you found out in time… You can now work towards being your old tolerant self.

    @vidya:
    I don’t really know how adamant the Nobel Committee is regarding new categories, and to my knowledge, I don’t think they currently consider the Nobel Prize for Pre-Empting Hamish’s Humor as a legitimate category. But tell you what, if they DO, then I’ll back you up a 100%.

    @arpita bhattacharyya:
    Those words are always music to my ears, Arpita. 😀

  6. shameer says:

    I agree.

    Lets hope, he wont opt any war atleast for next 6 months :).

    Giving Nobel prize to every new president of US may lead to evolution and atlast brings the real peace loving President.

  7. Shaky Jake says:

    At least he had the thought process to essentially exclude himself from the list of Really Awesome Prize Winners for now by saying that he didn’t deserve it. Granted, yes, as you said he could have just rejected the thing altogether, but I think that would’ve been pretty disrespectful and caused the committee to instead give him the Ungracious Dick Prize…

  8. Profile photo of hammy hammy says:

    @shameer
    Well, to be fair to Obama, he didn’t really ‘opt’ for the war directly. That bit was initiated by the ever-so-funny George W. But then again, he hasn’t done much to pull out either. But the dispute on the necessity of the wars is not the matter of concern for this post. What is the matter of c. is that while O is probably more peace oriented than W, he most certainly hasn’t done anything so far to deserve a Nobel Prize for peace, for cryin out loud. It’s supposed to actually mean something.

    @shaky jake
    Come on, Jakey. That argument’s a bit shaky. 😉

    His exuberant words of modesty (and yes, nobody’s disputing he’s a brilliant orator) is simply not good enough. Ok, so he’s modest. But with his brilliant oratory skills, I am quite certain he could have refused it without sounding disrespectful. And no, keeping the award despite being undeserving (so far) just to appease the wrong notions of the committee is not justified. Let me try to demonstrate with a rather extreme example. Let’s say that the committee had a higher percentage of retards on board, and they all got together and rule ME the winner of the peace prize. Yes, ME.

    Quite clearly, I’m not deserving. Sure, I don’t start fights, and rarely fight back, particularly against stronger opponents, but you’d agree that doesn’t entitle me to the Nobel. Clearly, the committee goofed up. So if I go out there and say “I don’t really deserve this thing, but thanks anyway”, that is simply NOT kosher. I’m not blaming Obama for being nominated or winning – that blame goes out to the committee, but I still wish the guy could have stood up and done the stand-up guy thing and politely declined.

    Another thing – I understand your rationalization that he simply accepted in order to ‘not offend’ the committee, but I don’t buy it. I still think he accepted cos… hey, why not? It IS a great honor. I get it.

  9. Hatikvah says:

    I actually liked his acceptance speech. Never mind, it was littered with gaping loopholes, but it was still heartwarming in some way. As for the Nobel, now c’mon, we’ve had a certain Mr. Bush as a President, a certain Miss Sawant as the upholder of Indian traditions, the claim that Katrina Kaif can act, that Chetan Bhagat can write, that Al Gore actually cares about the environment, that Wall Street knew its job, that Mayawati heads a party, that the U.S has never attacked a democracy…so on and so forth!! What’s a Nobel before it?

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