Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This is what I often see in the living room these days: Sam on the couch, reading New Yorker magazine. I'll be in the kitchen using my spatial, organizational, and muscular skills to pack boxes, and Sam will be getting caught up on his east coast liberal print media.

He apparently enjoyed one passage from our most recent issue as much as I did. It was written by Hendrik Hertzberg as part of his Talk of the Town piece celebrating the unlikely presidential election of someone with the name Barack Hussein Obama (sorry I don't know how to indent in html for such a long quote):

"...last week, sixty-five million Americans turned a liability---a moniker so politically inflammatory that the full recitation of it was considered foul play---into a global diplomatic asset, a symbol of the resurgence of Americas'a ability to astonish and inspire....Ten weeks from now, the President of the United States will be a person whose first name is a Swahili word derived from the Arabic (it means 'blessing'), whose middle name is that not only of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad but also of the original target of an ongoing American war, and whose last name rhymes nicely with 'Osama.' That's not a name, it's a catastrophe, at least in American politics. Or ought to have been."

Well, of course. I can tell you of another little citizen for whom our new President's name is definitely not a catastrophe. "Obama" is the perfect name for a neophyte English speaker of the toddler variety. It contains only those very basic sounds that a toddler can easily pronounce. In fact, I hear it all day long, with lots of grinning and pointing at the New Yorker, "Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!" That's right, Sam. A great name for an American President.

1 comment:

The Linerts said...

Anjali is also an ardent Obama fan and would be happy to chant the mantra with Sam: O-BAA-MAAAAAAA.