Thursday, November 20, 2008

Epic fail

I'm a devoted fan of fiction author Ken Follett. Something that's distinctive about Follett's writing is that his villains are very well drawn, their perspective is clearly outlined, and Follett does a good job of establishing what motivates them. So after setting up the villain as a terrible person over a period of years in the story, this perspective often helps to create a moment of great enjoyment at the end of the book, when the villain receives exactly the punishment that he fears the most, and sees all of his plans fail in the most catastrophic way possible.

I was reminded of the "epic failure" moment for a Ken Follett villain as I watched this video.

As I see it, the character of "George W. Bush" is driven by a desire to be respected and feared. We in the reality-based community have been dismissed for years as irrelevant, because while we pay attention to things like "facts," team Bush has believed themselves to be above such mundanities. They believed that the actions they took would fundamentally change the way the world works. They ridiculed the idea that we should care how the rest of the world perceives us, because they will be judged in the light of history as having made brilliant steps towards saving mankind.

The conga line of humiliation shown in the video, I think, is a neat summary of where this has gotten us. The other leaders aren't acting angry, or scared of George Bush. They're just... not interested in him. He's a lame duck in every sense of the word. They're waiting to deal with Barack Obama, to see if he's capable of dragging America out of the mess that he got us into.

Yeah, history will judge us all right... let the first few paragraphs be written now.


  1. This is totally off topic, but I just have to ask: Is there a written version of your talk "How to be an effective evangelical atheist" or a video of it online?

    If not, I'd appreciate it if you'd write a post on that sometime.

    You can reply to me by leaving a comment on my blog if you like:

  2. Great clip. I cannot watch it with that much joy because Mr. Bush is still our president and his shame reflects on all of us. Enough of us bought into his vision of the world to reelect him. I mistakenly thought that no one could be worse than Al Gore. When I was proven wrong there was nothing I could do to change things.

    Let's hope Mr. Obama is more than image.

  3. I wonder how Bush rationalized that.

  4. Anonymous5:19 PM

    And I wonder how Fox News reported this. Probably used the footage only from when Bush had stopped walking, or just re-used some old footage. I dubt their hardcore viewers would ever have noticed that.