Friday, January 2, 2009

OM my goodness!

I spent a weekend at Kripalu for a Caroline Myss seminar, and as a holiday gift, they gave me a free year's subscription to Yoga Journal. That was kind of Kripalu. I got my first issue this week, and as I was looking it over, flipped the magazine over to the back cover and saw this absurd image of Obama.

Evidently, the folks at YJ share in the delusion that he is some kind of messiah or prophet. I looked up the word "Om" at Wikipedia:

"Aum (also Om or, more rarely, Ohm) is a mystical or sacred syllable in the Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist religions. It can also be said as Pranav. It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred exclamation to be uttered at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or previously to any prayer or mantra and also is said in the beginning of any puja (religious ritual)."

So evidently the editors feel that PEBO's name is sacred, the equivalent of a prayer or mantra. That his rise to ultimate power is some kind of puja. 

I think they've been inhaling the off-gassing from a few too many yoga mats!

This kind of fanaticism is scary, and it is increasingly prevalent. Ritualized, stylized, sanctified images of his face and this bizarre use of his name are now the norm. How is that even possible? How can so many people believe in his infallibility, as to assume and reiterate that he is somehow above the rest of us, superior, touched by the Divine, sent to lead us all to the promised land? With starry-eyes and worshipful voices he is celebrated and venerated, and he has done NOTHING to merit this hero-worship but be able to read speeches really well and deliver canned lines with charisma. The cult of personality surrounding him has obscured the undisputed facts that his campaign engaged in caucus fraud and laundered huge sums of illegal contributions to his campaign, He's broken campaign pledge after campaign pledge and they don't care.

St. Obama will lead us. The Chosen One will have divine guidance to make up for his woeful lack of experience. All it takes is a Warrior Pose and the mantra "yes we can"... Yikes! What planet is this?

I googled "Obama" and "yoga" and came up with sites about the yoga studio in Denver that was offering Om-bama Yoga, how kool-aid drinking yogas and yoginis could take a 6-week class to celebrate his nomination while intoning the "yes we can" mind spell. I found no evidence that Obama has ever done yoga, but that doesn't stop Editor Das from making him the yoga messiah on the cover.

This is why I've not taken yoga seriously all these years. A bunch of white Westerners taking Indian names, speaking Sanskrit words and phrases, and basically co-opting an ethnic heritage that isn't theirs, which they marry to any number of unrelated ideas and concepts. If you are going to raid another culture at least have the decency to leave the practice you are lifting intact rather than to tweak it into a caricature of its intent.

And speaking of caricatures, as I've said repeatedly, when someone (or something) is represented as a caricature, you can be damn sure that what is being said about them (it) is absolute bullshit.  

This bestowal of sacredness upon a 20-year member of a racist church, whose parishioners would no doubt cheer loudly to condemnation from the pulpit of this gross theft of culture shows the serious and dangerous disconnect between his Berkenstock-wearing, latte-swilling, Prius-driving  followers and the man they revere.  

We are all at the mercy of this freak show for four years!!!

Om. Hillary Clinton. Om. 

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