nOBAlAMA P*ss Prize! Please help me! Or, laugh with me…


I used to read about great people, mostly scientists, but still people who’d had significant and positive IMPACT on the World. The likes of Einstein, Neils Bohr,
Schrödinger, Francis Aston, Har Gobind Khorana, and well the list could NOT go on… In ALL cases, I’d first read about their WORKS, and they’d invariably filled me with awe, and somehow inspired me. Then I would read they were all Nobel laureates! My respect had risen for the Nobel and other laureates that I didn’t even know!

My list mostly has physicists/chemists and not Medicine workers despite being a medico. It’s silly, but I used to nurse a desire to gain sufficient knowledge, to strive to become like them, and to win the Nobel. But NO MORE. The common reason is my reading about them BEFORE realizing this:

Behind any public recognition there are ugly factors. Factors–I don’t like to utter aloud, maybe whisper in the silent alleys of my frightened heart, which get drowned by the thundering applause that emanates from somewhere faraway where the heart cannot make itself go.

Last year reading about him, I’d found the contributions of Paul Ehrlich absolutely stunning, BUT poor guy, he’d managed to win a Nobel! And this time around to my own shock, I started seeing his contributions skeptically.

I’d to become apathetic to save myself. I couldn’t afford to care. But today, Obama’s won the Nobel Peace Prize!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d heard his most wonderful speech, which had changeD my heart, well almost, and I shouldn’t be harsh on him. His term’s just started, and he might end up a wonderful World-leader WHEN THE RESULTS SHOW. And that’s precisely the point! Has the quality of oratory become the yardstick for winning the Peace Nobel? My angst is at the Nobel Committee, not Him. Today, you’ve slapped all those scientists I’d respected, and all that I’d held dear in them.

Oh but wait, if you’re trying to say, “the World’s become so very bereft of those who ACTUALLY do some work of positive impact, and hence we’d to scale down our criterion to just POTENTIAL for greatness”, then I agree. Wholeheartedly, and heartlessly.

Ah but, we still have humor (click)!

What did World say to Obama on being asked for change?

Aagey badh; chhutta nahin hai! Par yeh rakh Nobel sikka.

[Move on; ain’t got change, but keep this Nobel medal]

Too bad, it’s just a joke. 😦

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22 thoughts on “nOBAlAMA P*ss Prize! Please help me! Or, laugh with me…

  1. and hence we’d to scale down our criterion to just POTENTIAL for greatness”

    nicely put 🙂

    I think the same things as you. he sure as hell doesn’t deserve a nobel considering the stature of the nobel laureates.

  2. Freudian Slip,

    Thanks for sharing your views and empathizing with me.

    Initially I was really anguished. This post, though is connected to whether Obama deserves the Nobel or not, is also about it’s so easy to distort public perception. He’ll go down the history as a great statesman, who’d won THE NOBEL PRIZE precociously.

    This issue is significantly tied to what shall I aspire for in life. Don’t get me wrong, I’d lost any desire for ‘indiscriminate’ fame long back. By indiscriminate, here, I mean, being known and considered great by those people who don’t know me personally or cannot even understand/appreciate my work. Such fame is useless for me. But the problem is majority of people understand only that kind of fame! How do I reconcile existence in such a world, without isolating myself?

    The second issue is with the humiliation brought to the likes I’ve mentioned, and others I’ve not–Ernest Rutherford, James D. Watson, Franci Crick, S. Chandrashekhar, etc. I’d valued them all a lot, and this humiliation has only aggravated me further.

    I don’t know if you’ve read Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’, but the dominant negative character in the story, Ellsworth Toohey, who’d sought to rule the World by destroying all greatness had these things to say on how to go about it:

    1. Kill a man’s values. Kill his ability to recognize greatness and achieve it.

    2. Don’t deny the conception of greateness. Destroy it from within. The great is the rare, the difficult, the exceptional. Set up the standards of achievement open to all, to the least, to the most inept–and you stop the impetus to effort in all men, great or small. You stop all incentive to improvement, to to excellence, to perfection.

    3. Don’t set out to raze all shrines–you’ll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity–and the shrines are razed.

    And no, I’m absolutely not suggesting that the Nobel Committee is trying to do all that. Somehow, we’ve allowed our society and values to evolve such that they themselved don’t realize they’re becoming instruments of that great agenda set in motion years back, by I don’t know who–fame being the measure of greatness, and thus an end in itself, as against, greatness being the means to excellence, and fame being an insignifican byproduct.

    Hope, I’ve not ranted too much, but as you could see, this thing was tied to things much deeper for me than whether Obama deserved it…

    TC.

  3. I know, right!
    Obama’s good and all but Nobel peace prize?
    A very good point you put across that he deserved the Nobel once he actually does something for Change.
    And do you know Mahatma Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel.
    But he didn’t get it.

  4. @ Anju ma’am:

    So, you took the easier step of laughing with me, rather than helping me! But I understand, it’s difficult to help me, I’m too cynical.

    What was your kind of laughter:

    1. Simple smile
    2. Simple laugh
    3. LOL or
    4. ROFL?

    Thanks for visiting!

    @ Srishti:
    I’d read your post on on Obama, and had also typed a comment, but at that point my cell phone decided to reboot. 😦 I’d lost that comment. Though, my comment was centered on the President of the other country that you’d mentioned. 😉

    It’s actually heartening to note that you consider Obama’s decoration a bit premature.

    But I did not have to apply very deep thinking to come to that conclusion. That was my most instinctive reaction. I cannot describe my state of shock on knowing that. This post that you see is one of the most spontaneous I’ve written, absolutely under emotional influence.

    And since, I want to try to give you a hint about how the World works, just think very carefully how you reached this conclusion–“I know, right! Obama’s good and all…” How do we reach these kind of conclusions?

    There are two ways in which we can know a person–directly through personal interaction, wherein their responses are most spontaneous, and we’ve a chance of drawing our own conclusion ORindirectly, wherein we know a person through others’ eyes/words, wherein their own impressions and motive of how they want to project a person are involved. The first category involves our parents, friends, relatives, etc.

    The second category includes public figures like entertainment industry celebrities, politicians, historical figures. And from my observation and analysis, all these accounts are notoriously unreliable.

    If you’ll go through the Indian Modern history, you’ll realize, many facts don’t add up! They don’t make sense at all!

    For the second issue you’ve raised and what I was trying to state above, I’d give you a hint as to what I feel. Visit the following page:

    There, read the post and my comments, and one of the Wikipedia links I’ve provided, or you may just read the Wikipedia article on ‘Bombay mutiny’, and if you wouldn’t be able to get what I was implying, then you read my comments on Quirky Indian’s blog. But all this would take around an hour. 🙂

    Plus, I hope you must’ve read my response above to Freudian Slip.

    Thanks a lot! 🙂

    TC.

  5. Vishwas,

    I was not suprised, I was supershocked!

    You not what Nobel in any field stands for, right? Think about it. It is an admission and declaration that “in a span of 365/366 days, it was found that the one winning that prize had made highest contribution of more than 6 billion people on this Earth in that given field.”

    I’m not sure if I would be able to explain completely my anguish here. Many people who’re shocked today might think, Oh okay, so what, let’s get on with our lives, but the same people when trying to recall this today’s moment, say 20 years later will not remember that they’d thought Obama was undeserving of the Prize, but just that Oh, he’s a Nobel laureate, he must have been great.

    I’d stopped believing in the ‘must be great part’ of any kind of public recognition, including the Nobel, but at least I used to take the award seriously. But with this announcement even that has ceased to be.

    You know just like ISI mark is used as a sign of safety in India, or hologram stickers are used as marks of authenticity, or peer-reviewed journal articles are taken as marks of authority in a specialty, Nobel was a mark of GREATNESS! There was a time, and still would be in future if you’d introduce a person as Nobel laureate, there would be an automatic respect ‘cuz of the trust people had laid in the process of selection. Now that trust has been totally breached (at least for me).

    If you find time please read my comments addressed to other readers, you might be better able to understand why am I so anguished, and IF you’d have at any point felt I’m overreacting.

    Also, if you find time, also do read ‘A journey called life’ where one of your comments is unanswered, and see if you find a relation with this post. I also request you to go through the link I’ve provided above to Srishti.

    I’ve made many requests to you, Vishwas, fully knowing you hardly find any time. So I won’t mind if you’re not able to read all those things. But if you do, you might just understand the reason behind my cynicism, and maybe understand the World also a bit better.

    Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

    TC.

  6. All Nobel Prize winners have a lot of media and PR work to do. In this case the prize belongs to the media PR team. And if Kissinger can get it, then Obama shouldn’t come as a surprise. This is more of a war deterrent Nobel than anything else.

  7. Welcome to the blog, Rehab!

    Yes, I’d been pretty naive for major part of my life thinking a public recognition automatically entailed purported greatness. But I know better now! 🙂 It’s ironic, how all those who have even remotely tried to justify awarding Obama have done so through bad precedents set by the Nobel Committee. Which might somewhat make this year’s decision look justified, but in my eyes, only further damages the credibility of the Nobel Prize, and all public recognitions, in general.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Take care.

  8. Ok Ketan, you know what, yes you had requested me to read a lot of stuff and I’ve not been able to do so! I won’t give any excuses! If possible do send me a list of all the requests you made and which I haven’t fulfilled! I have a bit of time now that my project is done! I will dedicate some time for your requests!

  9. Hi Ketan
    I think much of the world agrees with you. The other night I heard a journalist commenting that giving Obama the NPP is like giving a school kid the school dux (first) prize for completing Grade 1. Sure the kid may have done a good enough job so far…but still has many years to go before s/he deserves the award for completing school as the top student overall.
    Maybe Obama will give the $20M prize money to a good cause.
    S

  10. Sioneve,

    Actually, my point wasn’t about whether Obama deserves it or not. It was about if even public recognitions of the status of Nobel Prize have any credibility at all!

    Plus, I don’t feel he has done anything substantial even in this one year! But of course, that’s partly because actually not much is in his hands! Ironically, we think it’s the powerful administrators that decide the course of history, but I’ve come to realize the real factors lay elsewhere, viz., the attitude of common people, and the decisions they make. Problems related to religious intolerance cannot be sorted out simply by delaying the launching of few missiles, or giving monetary aid to countries like Pakistan, which have largely been irresponsible in how they use that money without caring at all about accountability.

    The second issue that bothers me is of how perception of public figures could be altered through clever propaganda! Imagine, in this age of availability of immense information, the Nobel Committee could make a great statesman out of a good orator! Imagine, what the realities must be in case of those who’re long dead!

    Imagine, those who’re unborn today, but twenty years hence they’d simply say–“Kewl! Musta been one helluva rockin dude! Obama!” simply ‘cuz he’s won a Nobel today! Okay, I understand, the street language would change by that time! 😛

    Anyway, thanks a lot for commenting! And this once, I request you to actually go through the comments above, as they contain much more coherent ideas than in the post! 🙂

    TC.

  11. Wise Donkey and Quirky Indian,

    I had by mistake posted my responses to your above comments on my previous post. Am copy-pasting them here for you. Extremely about the goof up! 🙂 :

    @ Wise donkey:

    “not many blogs stun me..”

    I don’t know if my blog let you be at
    peace or stunned you 🙂 but either
    ways, thanks for commenting!

    And yes, that was the whole point
    that I used to think of the Nobels as
    the ultimate testimony of a person’s
    greatness. Not that what I think of
    the Nobel Prize or the laureates,
    makes a difference to to how I view
    myself, but it definitely had made
    difference to my personal
    aspirations.

    Take care.

    @ Quirky Indian:

    You are very right and that’s what
    I’d precisely pointed out, that this
    prize has only served to lower its
    perceived credibility–for some
    people for the first time, and for
    others, yet again.

    And see, this issue is also tied to
    what I wanted to you to opine on. That subsequent generations will
    look at Obama as great statesman
    partly because of his winning the
    Nobel irrespective of the actual
    outcome of his policies and efforts.

    And another piece of crap doing the
    rounds is Obama was unaware that
    he had been nominated by his
    administration!
    And the issues I raised, please don’t
    feel too pressurized to answer
    them, as I understand they are tied
    more to emotional aspects rather
    than that of pure reasoning.

    Thanks!

    TC.

  12. Yuck was my first reaction to that news. Even last year they did something like this by awarding the Nobel to Paul Krugman (Economics) with scores of other people really deserving the same.

    They want more celebrity winners to promote their medal, it seems.

    Cheers

  13. Sai,

    LOL, I didn’t know this Paul Krugman. Okay, looked him up on Wikipedia.

    Now I’m confused with your comparing his award with Obama’s. I’ve no idea of Economics, but going through the article, it looks like he has indeed done at least some original work in the field. Or were you implying that there were other contenders that had made more significant and original contributions? If it is so, I totally understand, and still Krugman could at the most be considered only less deserving than others, but Obama was totally, absolutely undeserving! 😦

    If true, it is highly ironic that The Nobel Prize should require celebrity endorsements! I always though it to be otherwise! 🙂

    And I guess “yuck” is the right word to describe his being awarded the Nobel, and maybe also another *rhyming word* 😉

    Cheers!

  14. Liked this line “hence we’d to scale down our criterion to just POTENTIAL for greatness”

    I am commenting a bit late, but still my views. When I heard the Obama Nobel Peace Prize news, I was like “For what joy!!!”

    Then I read part of his acceptance speech – “I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievements. Its also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes”

    I understood, it should not be surprising at all. Anyone who shouts that he wants world peace(without actually doing anything about it) absolutely deserves it. Good intentions man!! who has it nowadays? Impact or not, have aspirations.

    Well, one more point. Obama has not invaded any country yet, being the Us president. Is this not a good enough reason!!

    Next time, don’t be surprised if a Miss World walks away with Nobel Peace Prize, they all make empty speeches, don’t they?

    hope you got all of my sarcasms here 🙂

  15. Insignia,

    For a few hours, this event had affected me very deeply. And hence, such a passionately angry tone in this post.

    Well I guess, you must be staying pretty busy, but if find time, please do read the comments above, too. They will give you a better idea of what I felt.

    Plus, you must also know that when nominated, he had only been 12 days into the office!

    So for me, this issue will never really become old, though I’ve reached yet another equilibrium in life in my attempt to coming to terms with the shock.

    I was going to ask you if certain portions of your comment were sarcastic! Good, you anticipated this in advance. 🙂

    Thanks for your view!

    TC.

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