A royal wedding, and the long-awaited release of a document from Hawaii. The week certainly does finish up with a feeling of genuine accomplishment, doesn’t it?

I say, not so fast. If there is any positive development for the civilized world this week, it is that a problem gnawing away at all of us, invisibly, undetected, has been brought to the surface. It stares at us defiantly threatening to destroy us if we do not destroy it first — if, that is, we are willing to look at it.

I like to foster a spirit of optimism about these things. But there is no call for it here, none whatsoever. Consider what just happened:

Pompous ass Barack Obama, who occasionally pretends to preside over the United States, finally released the long form birth certificate that has been causing all this trouble. The certificate He has been using as an instrument of disunity to cause all this trouble…for no good reason whatsoever…purely for partisan, politically strategic purposes. He said “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We have more important things to do. I have more important things to do.” Then flew off to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show.

The New York Times says it shouldn’t have happened. We should have taken Obama’s word for it and it’s a national tragedy that some among us did not.

With sardonic resignation, President Obama, an eminently rational man, stared directly into political irrationality on Wednesday and released his birth certificate to history. More than halfway through his term, the president felt obliged to prove that he was a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office. It was a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life.

The disbelief fairly dripped from Mr. Obama as he stood at the West Wing lectern. People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.

Mr. Obama practically begged the public to set aside these distractions, expressing hope that his gesture would end the “silliness” and allow a national debate about budget priorities. It won’t, of course.
It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious “other” would have been conducted against a white president.
Mr. Obama was tactically smart to release the certificate and marginalize those who continue to keep the matter alive. It is tragic that American politics is fueled by such poisonous fire. Mr. Trump quickly moved on to a new fixation, questioning Mr. Obama’s academic credentials. Mr. Boehner, and other party leaders, have a new reason to call a halt to the politics of paranoia and intolerance.

Now on the way to making my point, I ask that we just let this situation sit here while we go on to other things — other pompous asses. Forget about the Oprah point; the proves nothing except that our pompous ass of a President has a priority system that is all cocked up, or no priority system at all. Consider: Obama showed a document to make a controversy go away. Whether this is successful or not, the take-away is that we have some vocal critics who don’t think this should have been necessary and the feeling that it was, should be an embarrassment to those who asked for it and it represents some event of oppression against President Obama. With thick racial undertones. Or overtones.

President Obama should not have to prove things. That’s the take-away.

Pompous ass Robert Gibbs, who used to be the President’s Press Secretary, issued a challenge — a reminder, really — to pompous ass Donald Trump who is now claiming victory in the birth certficate matter: Where are the tax returns? The Donald said he’d release them if Pompous ass Obama would relent on the birth certificate question. Pompous ass trump pompously replied…

Asked later about Gibbs’ comments, Trump told POLITICO: “Gibbs is a loser.”

That’s an end, not a beginning. Go follow the link. If Trump said anything following the word “loser” it wasn’t anything worth including in the article. It was a brush-off.

Much as it amuses me to watch Gibbs get brushed off the way I’ve seen Gibbs brush off so many others — the man is a pompous ass, just like the other two, after all — I have to side with him on this one. Trump said he’d do X if the President did Y. Pompous ass Gibbs is just calling on pompous ass Trump to make good. But there’s a problem, see: Pompous ass Trump is above it. Just like pompous ass Obama was above releasing the damn birth certificate, or at least, the pompous asses at the New York Times thought He should’ve been.

Kate Middleton is marrying Prince William of Wales this morning. I’ve already given my thoughts on the inherent anti-Americanism of royal weddings, particularly this one. I hesitate to call this girl a pompous ass, from what I’ve seen of her she’s lovely, polite, well-mannered et al. Looks to me like the prince is getting a real prize. But I’ve had my fill of this:

Independent Woman: Kate Middleton Won’t ‘Obey’ Prince William

The future princess is reportedly following Diana’s footsteps in dropping the word from her wedding vows.

Diana broke from royal tradition and protocol when she left “obey” out of her vows to Prince Charles in 1981, and the decision caused much controversy. But befitting this royal wedding’s more modern tone, Middleton’s choice feels appropriate. She’ll promise to “love, comfort, honor and keep” her husband instead.

Give it a rest, you pompous asses. If Diana did the same thing, there is nothing ground-breaking here.

It isn’t that I want wives to “obey” their husbands, it’s that the entire fuss misses the point. Wives and husbands, at least on the big stuff, need to come to agreement on things. It really doesn’t matter if they do that by means of her obeying him or him obeying her, or a midnight round table, plates breaking, whatever. The problem is — and this was the problem back in Diana’s day, as well — there are a whole bunch of messages coming out of this “Kate won’t vow to obey” story.

I happen to agree that “obey” is antiquated, so in my view one of those messages might be called the right one. All the rest are bollywonkers though. And you just know the one message that is most popularly received, is that wives & husbands don’t need to agree on a damn thing. Followed closely by: Wives don’t need to obey husbands, husbands need to obey wives.

Because wives are above. This is the common feeling of female pompous asses.

Those of you still just starting to recover from the topic-change whiplash of a few paragraphs above, I think can now see the logical connection. Sad, pathetic, dissatisfied people — homely fat women who wish they had the nerve to rebel in some way against their husbands — are living vicariously through Kate Middleton. Just as sad sacks who wish they could tell someone to “take this job and shove it,” or something, are living vicariously through President Obama. Or Donald Trump. This ceremony of “I don’t owe you” spectacles is all about proxy living.

That’s the monster of which I speak. It threatens to destroy civilization.

The Last Son of Krypton, Man of Steel, Man of Tomorrow, Scion of the House of El, renounced his American citizenship or at least announced that he’ll renounce. What a pompous ass. Superman, you see, is tired of having his actions construed as maneuverings by the United States government, and so (from what I understand) he is taking this action to gift himself to the world as a “citizen of the universe.”

I’m somewhat sympathetic with this, actually, if only in the sense that yes this is probably what would happen. Superman flies off to Libya to help overthrow the evil government of Khadaffi, and the angry voices from around the world say…the United States, through its spy Superman, went and did this thing. I don’t agree with the solution but I can recognize the problem.

Before we get to that, though, a real-life Superman would run into the problems faced by The Incredibles, wouldn’t he? The liability. (“I saved your life!” “You ruined my death!”)

But the hyper-nationalism, the blame-America-first-ish-ness…let us call it “anti-patriotism”…that isn’t the biggest problem. It’s a problem, to be sure, but I see a bigger one: Superman being above the citizenship. See, there’s that word again. Pompous ass Superman is just too big to fit into a country.

The theme persists. We’ve got an awful lot of pompous asses being above things.

The problem is that western civilization is made possible by the opposite sentiment. What we have built runs on a foundation of “as a matter of fact, I do owe you something.” Or, “for value received, I am going to do X.” This permeating stench of a story, that some modern Ivanhoe or Perseus is just so super-duper wonderful that nobody should ask anything of him, is contradictory to the motor that has moved everything in any way that has ever helped us. Even the ancient Greeks, who inspired us in so many ways, believed in it. Twelve labors of Hercules and all that. Jason can’t have the Golden Fleece until he does X, says King Aeetes of Colchis. Jason doesn’t say “Omigaw! That’s so unfair!” Jason does the labors and then King Aeetes doesn’t say “Yeah but you’re a loser!”

Actually he does if you read the mythology. But that’s part of what makes him the villain.

Fast forward to 2011 Common Era and we see yesterday’s villain is today’s hero. We worship the pompous ass who can’t be counted on for anything because he thinks all this stuff is beneath him. The golf-playing trust fund baby jackass.

It implies something toxic about us that all these examples are crammed into one awful, odious, pompous-ass-filled week. Implies but doesn’t prove — it might all be a coincidence. But if it is, we should make the most of it. We have met the enemy and he is us; our tolerance for pompous asses who regard themselves as being above things…who insist that the rest of us also regard them as being above things…is our undoing. We are far too deferential to these pompous asses.

And they aren’t above jack squat. Not in America, at least. Maybe it’s time we reminded ourselves of this simple egalitarian fact of life, and then after we’re done doing that, we can clue the pompous asses in on it as well.

Civilization requires it.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Washington Rebel.

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