There was a wonderful and hilarious article by Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, published in the Indian Express soon after Obama won the Nobel award…(originally published in the New York Times – see here)

I am reproducing it here in case you missed it:
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Why this column deserves the Nobel
Beautiful thoughts, wondrous words. What more is needed?


I want this column to be good. I want it to be so good, it wins a prize. One of those big prizes, like the ones they hand out every year in Stockholm.


I want it to be subtle and full of goodness and infuse all humankind with hope. Let me be clear: I want it to be uplifting, conciliatory and bold. In fact I want it to carry some miraculous quality.

I’ve traveled the world, seen the forgotten silos on the plains, the rusting railroad cars, the forbidding watchtowers, the scavengers in the garbage, the fatigue-smudged faces, the refugees sprawled on the school room floor, the lonely lingerers, the freighters hardening the horizon, the beautiful and the damned.


Along the way I’ve learned this: We deny our connectedness at our peril. Let me be clear: This is the 21st century.
I’ve heard the infant’s cry, the sobbing of the bereaved, the old man’s sigh, the whispering of the valley, the stirring of desire, the echo of war, the village bells, the ram’s horn rising, the muezzin’s pre-dawn call to prayer.
That’s a lot of different sounds. So let me be clear: As children of Abraham we are all responsible for one another. This is the age of responsibility.
I’ve known the walls that divide us, the propaganda of hate, the crops that wither, the seas that rise, the networks that go down, the tires that go flat, the light bulbs that go out, the subways that stop and the delays at O’Hare Airport.
I’ve heard the infant’s cry, the sobbing of the bereaved, the old man’s sigh, the whispering of the valley, the stirring of desire, the echo of war, the village bells, the ram’s horn rising, the muezzin’s pre-dawn call to prayer.
That’s a lot of different sounds. So let me be clear: As children of Abraham we are all responsible for one another. This is the age of responsibility.
I’ve known the walls that divide us, the propaganda of hate, the crops that wither, the seas that rise, the networks that go down, the tires that go flat, the light bulbs that go out, the subways that stop and the delays at O’Hare Airport.
Let there be no doubt: I want Turks and Armenians to embrace, something good for South Ossetia, and peace sans pyg
mi
es — forgive me, sans persecutions — in Pyongyang. May the spirit of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad — peace be upon them — too spread in the Holy Land.
Some will say I’m a dreamer. Some might find themselves unable to engage with these engaging aspirations even if this is the age of engagement. But there is no alternative to engagement except, perhaps, divorce, alienation, separation, enmity, competition, rivalry, envy, misunderstanding, threats, intimidation and rage — all of which I reject on principle.
There have always been doubters, skeptics, losers — and Republicans. But I say to them: The hopeful will inherit the earth. And I say to them: Read my mass e-mailings or see me on Twitter.
I know, Philip Roth writes more than two dozen novels and can’t get a Nobel. But I’m sure I think more beautiful thoughts. If my thoughts were dark I might want to be a novelist rather than a columnist.
I know, Nelson Mandela spent more than two dozen years imprisoned and he did get a Nobel. But, well, I’ve lost my train of thought.
What I know is this: The hypothetical is worthless in history. And I’m sure many of you are saying to yourselves: It’s just fine and dandy hoping for all these wonderful things, but what about deeds, actions, achievements, results?
Forgive me, but that’s so 20th century. We live in a virtual age. We are the Wii-players of history! Our medium is thin air. We don’t have to get our fingers dirty for things to move in the direction we desire.
In conclusion, I know this column has fallen short. I am aware of its shortcomings, its banality and its immodesty. I am humbled by all the great practitioners of this 820-word craft — “art” would be going too far — in whose illustrious footsteps I tread. But I know this: If I’ve given momentum to some global fantasy, my time has not been wasted.
You know, I love Sweden. It’s the anti-Denmark. I love its glistening lakes and its countless Iraqi refugees. The lakes remind us of the beauty of the planet we all share. The refugees express the agony of the human condition — but forget that. Hope trumps experience every time.
Finally, let me be clear: All prize money is payable to me.
Source: The Indian Express columnWednesday, Oct 14, 2009
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~ Kaustubh

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