November 5, 2008

The last sentence in "Dreams from My Father"

The last pages of President-Elect Obama's autobiography take place at the reception for his wedding to Michelle in 1992. The last two pages begin:

The person who made me proudest of all, though, was [my brother] Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol. He still works at his accounting firm [in Washington D.C.], but talks about moving back to Kenya once he has enough money.

And ends:

My mother’s chin started to tremble again, and Abongo lifted up his glass of fruit punch for a toast. “To those who are not here with us,” he said.

“And to a happy ending,” I said.

We dribbled our drinks onto the checkered-tile floor. And for that moment, at least, I felt like the luckiest man alive.

I love that "And for that moment, at least."

Jeez, Obama, stop feeling so sorry for yourself. You are the luckiest man alive.

The last line of Dreams, by the way, is a pallid knockoff of baseball slugger Lou Gehrig's famous line from his last appearance at Yankee Stadium in 1939 after he had to leave the lineup after 2130 consecutive games.

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

When he said that, Lou was dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease. (Yeah, yeah, I know, he should have seen it coming.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

22 comments:

Garland said...

"When he said that, Lou was dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease."

Yeah, but at least he wasn't a black man in America.

Anonymous said...

so was this the 1st election in american history where a majority of whites voted for a candidate that ended up losing?

Mr. Anon said...

"Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Maybe Joe Biden wrote that for him.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Wait: Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig's disease??? What are the odds on that one?

Michael said...

In 1992 no way was Obama anywhere near the luckiest man alive. He was doing a lot better than a lot of people but he was only maybe in the top 5% of luck.

And calling the line a knock off is pretty stupid. Oh they are both lucky? Ending an autobiography with taking stock of your good fortune is pretty common. And the line does not have anything else much in common with Gherig's.

Born Again Democrat said...

Steve,

Obama's reception by many self-identified Republicans, such as yourself, reminds me of Reagan's reception on my side of the fence. On the day he was elected, a little voice went off in my head that said, "This man -- this Hollywood actor! -- has no business being President."

In retrospect I was wrong, though it took me years to admit it. Reagan's term in office turned out to be salutary. We were able to repair a lot of the damage done to our country by another Texan with a swaggering inferiority complex.

My point? I think that at best even the wisest among us are able to comprehend half the truth on any of the really important issues in life, not only in politics but in the family as well. I tell my wife this sometimes at the end of a particularly sharp disagreement. I may not be able to appreciate what that other half is very well. But I do admit on principle that it exists.

This is a good formula for liberals and conservative in our -- or any -- democratic society. Can't live with em, can't live without em.

Concerned said...

Don't you think it's time to stop charging that something Obama wrote 15 years ago is an accurate reflection of how he feels NOW?

You keep quoting from DREAMS and then addressing him in the present tense.

eh said...

If he wasn't soon going to be President I'd say he was a melodramatic, self-obsessed ass. Maybe I'll say it anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Don't you think it's time to stop charging that something Obama wrote 15 years ago is an accurate reflection of how he feels NOW?

You keep quoting from DREAMS and then addressing him in the present tense."

Did you see the Al Smith dinner? Look, we all have our flaws. Even Obama has them. Obama is extremely SWPL and being humorless and deadly serious about himself goes with that.

outlaw josey wales said...

What is the central prediction of your book? I don't get it. You argue that BO is all about race, and...what? He will give money to black people specifically?

Do you have an actual falsifiable hypothesis or set of predictions about how he will govern and what policies he will enact that are based on your book?

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's time to stop charging that something Obama wrote 15 years ago is an accurate reflection of how he feels NOW?

Well, "Mein Kampf" was written in 1925. I'm just saying...

Anonymous said...

BAD,
Steve has done the exact opposite of what you've accused him. Your reason seems to be that because you misjudged Reagan, Steve is probably misjudging Obama. You fell for psyops whereas Steve has undertaken an indepth study of Obama. In fact, it has been more thorough and careful than that of Obama's own boosters.
Had you taken more than a cursory glance back then, you would have known the following of Reagan:

*Reagan majored in economics and sociology in college (1932)
*He pursued a career in entertainment: acting, radio, etc. ('32-'64)
*During this, he joined the military ('37-'45)
*In 1941, his political career began in the screen actors guild. By 1947, he was SAG president.
*He drifted Rightward in the fifties and became the spokesperson for General Electric. He had to tour, meet workers, and give speeches, which he wrote himself ('57-'62).
*He joined Goldwater's campaign and became a movement conservative with his famous, "A Time for Choosing" speech in 1964.
*Reagan served two terms as the governor of California from '67 to '75.
*He ran and lost his presidential race in '76.

Anonymous said...

"Jeez, Obama, stop feeling so sorry for yourself. You are the luckiest man alive."

Um, Obama was NOT the president in 1992 or Senator. So how was he the luckiest man alive then?

Anonymous said...

"He will give money to black people specifically?"

Did you read the book? Obama wants to transfer money from "the wealthy" to a coalition of people, comprised mostly of blacks, but not exclusively so. Obviously there is no way, short of reparations, that Obama could give money specifically to blacks, and Sailer is smart enough not to make such an absurd argument.

Anonymous said...

I thought Lou Gehrig died from Catfish Hunter's disease.

Anonymous said...

What is the over/under on reparations?

Nippo-Americans got $20,000 for less than 4 years.

I say $500,000 to every 3rd generation African-American. The 3rd generation is nice and clean since Obama himself won't qualify but Michelle would get it and each of his children would get a half-share.

$1,000,000 to the Obamas. Cool.

Danindc said...

Some of Steve's commenters have got to get on the ball....maybe he should be the one making the jokes.

along those lines, I'm trying to be optimistic about the impending disaster but it would be easier to swallow if Obama had a sense of humor- I have not seen one, maybe Michele will not allow it- she does not look like a lot of fun.

Steve congrats on your book, but if you wanted to cash in on it you probably shouldn't offer it for free.... I read somewhere in an economic theory class that it's hard to profit from something that is free.

BTW- if all this talk about Fairness doctrine and curtails on speech ie mark Steyn in canada come to fruition here- Steve will be the first occupant of Guantanamo....not to fear though Steve they will still give you the requisite time to pray to Allah 5x a day.

Jun said...

Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam....

How was converting to Islam "reassert[ing] his African heritage?" Surely that would be reasserting an imported, Arab religion?

If he wanted to reassert his African heritage, shouldn't he have adopted Luo spirit worship or something?

Truth said...

"What is the over/under on reparations?"

And what exactly will be the role of the 500+ white members of congress, the white Supreme Court, the white VP and the mostly white cabinet on this miraculous piece of legislation, huh Einstein?

Truth said...

""This man -- this Hollywood actor! -- has no business being President."

In retrospect I was wrong,"

No Democrat, actually you were right, initially about Regan. All one has to do is look where he took the deficit and our military policy to see that he was one of the worst presidents. As far as Obama, only time will tell.

To some degree however all presidents are puppets, even moreso every year. If there is a hypothetical scale as far as what policies presidents can implement today, on a scale of 1-100, a modern president is probably limited to between 50-55.

Anonymous said...

Obama doen't even have a fraction of the character that Lou Gehrig had. I think him and his wife are cold and calculating. We know what they have in store for this country and it aint anything good.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Um, Obama was NOT the president in 1992 or Senator. So how was he the luckiest man alive then?"

Um, there are other ways of being lucky, other ways of prospering, besides becoming president. Obama grew up in Hawaii and went to prestigious schools, and made a good living.

And ultimately, he got elected to high office, culminating in the highest office in the land, all without much scrutiny paid to his extraordinarily left wing background and associations.

Lucky.