Word of the day: peace (noun) The normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
So Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize.
There seems to be a fair amount of outrage and confusion and doubt about this. I'm not going to comment on this on either side because I really don't know enough about politics or the Nobel prizes or anything like that to make any kind of intelligent argument. What I do think, though, is that people can be as outraged and confused and doubtful as they want; they won't change anything. It's not that they don't want to change anything. It's that change takes time and no one is going to be interested in this long enough to try and make any changes.
Twitter and Facebook feeds will be full of indignation, people will blog away their frustration and tomorrow something else will come along and we'll all be consumed by some other unfairness. (Yes, I'm cynical. Deal with it.) Maybe some people will be happy about this. All I know is that I really can't bring myself to care one way or another. Maybe it's because I'm still recovering from my ear infections and I need to focus my energy on that. Or maybe it's because I'm neither American nor European and I don't really know what winning a Nobel prize means for Obama, other than a bunch of money and his name in the paper for a few days for something other than destroying America by bringing in health care.
This whole post is rather ill-informed (I'm not even bothering with the Wikipedia page about the Nobel Peace Prize) but if some Europeans want to give this to Obama, go for it. If it's their money, no problem. If it seems to lessen the achievements of previous winners who had actually done something to work towards peace, well, let's go lynch those awful people who gave Obama the award. And then we can form a Facebook group like "Petition to Revoke Obama's Peace Award!!!!!!!!!" or "Obama Hasn't Done ANYTHING for Peace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" or something like that. You know that all those exclamation points will make something happen.
My generation is smart and capable and involved but if it can't be done in 140 characters or less, it just doesn't seem to be worth the effort.
The best thing that will come of this is it will get people talking. And I don't mean arguing over whether or not he deserved it but actually having a dialogue about world politics and the current lack-of-peace situation and how that will affect us all. Obama has his prize and that's that. Talk about it, sure, but don't harp on it and get drunk and then hop on some soapbox and rant to the bar crowd about the unfairness of it all. Be interested, try to get informed, form an opinion, be able to defend it without insulting everyone else and respect those who may not agree. And when some celebrity dies tomorrow, you can go focus on that.
(Hey, maybe this is the Nobel committee's way of apologizing for hating on American literature. Now that the President has been honoured, they're pretty much covered.)