Saturday, September 13, 2008


Oprah Winfrey, misnamed due to a clerical error, meant to be Orpah, companion of Ruth, putative princess of Moab and mother of four Philistian giants. So there you go then. An ambiguous character, sometimes faithful, sometimes associated with the enemies of God. Which brings us to Obama, for whom Obrah has so vigorously campaigned, anointing him The One.

Obama. An interesting name. Barack Hussain Obama. "Baruch" means blessed in Hebrew. Baruch haba b'shem ADONAI. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. It was the name of Jeremiah's servant, author of the deuterocanonical Book of Baruch. In Arabic, "al Baraq" was the name of Mohammad's phantasmic winged horse, by which he spread the faith of Islam. "Barek" is Arabic for noble. "Hussain" of course means beautiful or fair.

Are we to feel dismay at the Semitic derivation of these names? Certainly not. Tom and Sam and Dan and Ben and Jim and, uh, Adam -- all Semitic. Shall we feel uneasy over the fact of Obama's Moslem ancestry? Of course not. John McCain's adopted daughter Bridget derives from Bangladesh -- East Pakistan. Genetic associations do not taint our character. The Constitution specifically forbids a corruption of blood -- the punishing of children for the guilt of their parents.

The name "Obama" derives from the Luo tribe of the Nyanza province of southwest Kenya. The Luos have been in the news recently, rioting over their second-place showing in the presidential election; in one instance, Luos locked 50 Kikuyu men, women and children inside a church and burned it to the ground. All this was over the Kenyan election. There will be no rioting in America, when the Luon comes in second. And what does the name mean? Obama? Well. To put it bluntly, it means twisted. Crooked. Bent. We might say, meandering or serpentine, but there is the idea of angles and edges. Like the lanky Obama himself.

It isn't names or country of origin that determines who we are. It's our actions. So when Oprah refuses to allow Sarah onto her show, because it would be political or something, we have to question her sincerity. She used all of her influence to hoist Obama over the primary hump, siding with a black man over a white woman. Now she's doing it again. How very transparent seeming. But Oprah is the soul of integrity and intelligent introspection. Right? She must know what she's doing. Therefore, appearances must be deceiving. How bothersome.

Sarah. A name of Semitic origin, like John and Barack and Joe and Oprah. Isn't it interesting, how everything is so connected, or at least seems to be?


No comments: