From the Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton
Video:White House Press Conference - Nobel Peace Prize (Slepton.com Skit)
The Supreme Irony
“Irony- A figure of speech in which the literal meaning is the opposite of the intended meaning; used in ridicule, contempt or humor. Liter. A technique often used in writing satire; a method of expression in which the author veils his real meaning behind plot or character development which portrays the opposite. AN outcome opposed to that which one has been lead to expect.” - The New Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language
The gym where I work out has several television screens tuned to a variety of stations. I went to the gym early Friday because I had a full day of activities: a memorial service later that morning, I had to get back home to finish packing and head to Cheyney University for Homecoming Weekend. I was amused when I saw on the television monitor tuned to CNN that Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize! I have always wondered what the criteria was for one to be awarded the Noble Peace Prize? A Martin Luther King Jr or a Desmond Tutu I could see because they challenged extremely vicious systems of European oppression and genocide using non-violent tactics; so of course white folks would give them a prize. But over the years there have been some truly questionable picks for the Noble Peace Prize; like Henry Kissinger whose actions resulted in massive loss of life all around the world on behalf of Western imperialist geo-political and economic interests.
In literature there is a style of writing called irony whereby the writer’s words disguise: the true goings on, the motives of the characters, the outcome of their plotting or the resulting circumstances. In the real world, the Noble Prize is itself a form of irony. Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm Sweden in 1833. He was the son of an engineer. He too became an engineer, an inventor and entrepreneur. When I think of Alfred Noble, I think of destruction and devastation because he invented dynamite. Nobel’s father was an engineer who had developed naval mines, and explosives. Alfred Noble was sent to school to study chemical engineering. Upon graduation he worked for his father’s company which had contracts for both civil and military work. His father went bankrupt for a second time and Alfred Nobel went to work on a process to create a way to stabilize nitroglycerin which was an extremely volatile liquid. Noble eventually developed a way to turn it into a paste and make it practical by using a blasting or detonating cap. He kept at it and developed a totally new compound he called dynamite . Noble also invented smokeless gun powder.
Dynamite was first used as an excavating tool to blast heavy rock but it didn’t take long for a people who love war to use it as the most potent weapon of mass destruction of its day and well into the future. Noble traveled throughout Europe and America obtaining patents and setting up companies. He and his investment partners set up sixteen dynamite companies in fourteen countries. Noble flourished and became extremely wealthy. Mining, excavating and war were and are very lucrative businesses.
Due to the extensive travel required to maintain his business empire during that time, Noble’s health began to deteriorate. He developed a heart condition ans was forced to use nitroclycerine as a treatment (another irony). Noble, according to most accounts, never married and had no heirs. He died on December 10, 1896 in Sanremo Italy. In his will he ordered a committee be established to award monetary prizes for developments and accomplishments in the fields of: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and world peace.
The supreme irony is that Alfred Noble the man who helped make it easier for Europeans to terrorize and subjugate the world (keep in mind his father developed naval mines), became rich beyond measure and in his will decreed an award be given for those who work for “world peace”. There is no definitive evidence that I could find proving Alfred Noble was ever a pacifist. Certainly if Alfred Nobel a white man had been one during the late nineteenth century, he would have been an anomaly. Is it possible the establishment of the Noble prize was a PR ploy to clean up the legacy of the man who invented true weapons of mass destruction and human devastation. Keep in mind the Chinese invented gun powder and used it to make flame, as an esoteric elixir for immortality and for public celebrations hundreds of years before the Mongols and subsequently the Arabs developed and used it for weaponry. Europeans saw it and took it to a whole new level in terms of warfare and destruction.
This brings me back to Barack Obama. Here is a man who campaigned and won the US presidency in 2008 on the slogan of “change”, who as President continues his predecessor’s global imperialist wars. It’s diabolically ironic Obama was awarded the Noble Peace Prize despite: using drones to bomb and kill innocent people in Afghanistan and expand the war into Pakistan, is maintaining Iraq as a colony, is continuing a proxy war in Somalia, is threatening to use force against Iran for their pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy; meanwhile he never says anything about Israel’s nuclear arsenal or its mischief throughout the world?! Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize (an item of irony itself) is the epitome of Orwellian doublespeak; where war is peace, oppression is freedom and death is life.
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