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I, Obama
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 12 Sept 2008 | John Armor (Congressman Billybob)

Posted on 09/12/2008 2:10:24 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob

Remember the PBS series special on the Roman Emperor, Claudius? The title, which captured the style of his governance, “I, Claudius.” It was a 13-part series on Masterpiece Theater. How many of you saw it? Let’s not always see the same hands.

Well, almost all of you remember some of the history of the Roman Emperors. They ranged from mad and murderous, like Nero, to rational and effective, like Augustine. Hold that thought, and we’ll get to today’s subject.

A good friend, Duncan Parham, is a man of eclectic interests. One of those is rare coins. Last weekend he showed me a catalogue of a major New York dealer, which had coins going back to the Ptolemic regimes in Egypt and the Eutruscans in Italy. What particularly interested me were the Roman Emperor coins. They had coins depicting each the Emperors, many at reasonable prices.

Those coins had a common appearance, which you probably recall from memory. On the obverse of each coin was a silhouette of the leader in question, with an olive branch wreath. Both aspects had meaning.

The Emperor was not in the business of looking at his subjects, nor were the subjects encouraged to look into his eyes. Hence, the profile image in which the Emperor could be admired from a distance.

The olive wreath has several meanings. One denotes peace. Another comes from the ancient Olympics, in which the winners were crowned with such wreaths to show the respect they had just earned from the people. Peace and respect of the people were symbols that Roman Emperors might want, though the truth is that all of them gained power either by murdering their competitors, winning a war, or being descendants of ones who murdered or fought their way into power.

Now, think about a personal quirk of a presidential candidate, a quirk you have all seen dozens of times. When Barack Obama gives a speech he seldom looks squarely at the audience, either the live one or the TV one. With each of his ringing phrases, he looks first to the left, later to the right, showing just his profile to the audience.

Imagine an olive wreath on his brow, the way he would appear on a coin, sometime after he became President, if that ever occurs. Nothing like thinking ahead, now is there?

But, there is more to it than just that. Obama does not present a complete profile, he offers a three-quarters profile with his chin up, gazing into the middle distance. You have seen that pose before, also.

You saw it in “socialist realism” as favored by the dictators in the former USSR, and the dictator in Nazi Germany. It was not solely there. It is also in the religious art of the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. What is the common denominator of all those representations of “great” people?

The point of all those portrayals are that the subject, the person shown, is greater than your average man. He (it’s usually a man) also has a greater vision than your average man. And always, always, the viewer is expected to look up to, respect, or even revere the person in the portrait.

When these are religious paintings, only a person anointed by God would be favored with that pose by the artist. When the image is secular, as the famous poster of Vladimir Lenin, the inference is that the subject is anointed by truth in the form of history.

Of course, when the person in question is in the process of making history, he is self-anointed. And, if he strikes the pose on his own, without the intervention of an artist, well that’s the same as a Roman Emperor placing the wreath on his own head. A few Emperors, and an occasional King, was in such a hurry as to crown himself. In a democratic republic, which the United States supposedly is, no one is supposed to “crown” himself. But when you think about the public posing done by Obama as he speaks, is that anything other than a self-coronation?

History was not very kind to I. Claudius. It doesn’t look like history will be kind to I, Obama, either.

- 30 -

About the Author: John Armor practiced law in the US Supreme Court for 33 years. He now lives in Highlands, NC, and is working on a book on Thomas Paine. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu

- 30 -


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: coronation; godsgravesglyphs; obama; romanemperor; socialistrealism
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Since FreeRepublic is the happy home of Gods, Graves, and Glyphs, I thought y'all would enjoy a column that goes back as far as Ptolemic Egypt.

John / Billybob

1 posted on 09/12/2008 2:10:25 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
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To: Congressman Billybob

Mr. “I’m going to make government *cool* again.”

Because without government we wouldn’t have civil rights and our wonderful welfare system.


2 posted on 09/12/2008 2:13:16 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I, CHIHUAHUA!


3 posted on 09/12/2008 2:18:08 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (diogeneticistical...esque...ish...)
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To: Congressman Billybob
> How many of you saw it?

Oh yes. I saw it a couple of times, and read the book(s).

If it's still available, I would certainly recommend it.

The production values were kind of "soap opera-ish", but the acting was outstanding. You even get to see Patrick Stewart with hair as Lucius Sejanus.

I don't know whether History was kind to Claudius, but Robert Graves certainly was.

4 posted on 09/12/2008 2:22:14 PM PDT by dinasour (Obama wants to raise taxes and kill babies. Palin wants to raise babies and kill taxes)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Bracing for that intense laurel-vs.-olive controversy! ;)
Be strong.


5 posted on 09/12/2008 2:25:37 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

OMG! That photo looks just like Hussein! It’s the chin in the air thing that he does. And the ears!!


6 posted on 09/12/2008 2:26:20 PM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: OKSooner

Read tonite.


7 posted on 09/12/2008 2:26:37 PM PDT by OKSooner
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To: Congressman Billybob
EMPEROR ZERO

ZERO POSSUMUS ARUGULA


8 posted on 09/12/2008 2:27:48 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson
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To: dinasour

“Oh yes. I saw it a couple of times, and read the book(s).”

Our favorite was John Hurt as Caligula. “Typical!”

Great, great acting there all across the board. Not a weak performance in the bunch.

Tatt


9 posted on 09/12/2008 2:32:07 PM PDT by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." Dorothy Bernard)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Greatly amusing column on the self-anointed popstar king!

Obama is like a dreamy psychopompos out of some asiatic cult, perhaps the worst choice for a potential moral and military leader ever chosen in America.


10 posted on 09/12/2008 2:46:32 PM PDT by mdk1960
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To: Congressman Billybob

And his speach “I am the ONE” backs up everthing you wrote.


11 posted on 09/12/2008 2:52:26 PM PDT by just me (Liberals do not like children, and children are one of the reasons I like Sarah Palin.....)
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To: just me
This is not my day.....OOOPS

And his speech “I am the ONE” backs up everything you wrote.

12 posted on 09/12/2008 2:54:22 PM PDT by just me (Liberals do not like children, and children are one of the reasons I like Sarah Palin.....)
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To: Congressman Billybob

History was not very kind to I. Claudius


Huh? If you read books, Claudius definitely comes out as one of the better Roman emperors. And the “I, Claudius” series was awesome—some of the best television ever.


13 posted on 09/12/2008 2:55:44 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Congressman Billybob
How many of you saw it?

A good read, thanks!

Yes I do remember (I Claudius) on PBS. At the time there was a ground swell of viewers who were displeased with the raw content in the production.

If I remember correctly?/ the production was based on Roman writings of actual content found in some archaeological dig.

14 posted on 09/12/2008 3:05:36 PM PDT by buck61
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To: Congressman Billybob
Ahhh....the memories!....

Will it end the same way?....John F'n Kerry, the horse God.

15 posted on 09/12/2008 3:15:07 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: dinasour
If it's still available, I would certainly recommend it. ...but the acting was outstanding..

agree......Who could forget, (newly proclaimed, by the Palace Guards :) Claudius speech before the senate.....great stuff.

16 posted on 09/12/2008 3:21:42 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: buck61

Actually its a movie from a fiction trilogy written by British classicist, Robert Graves. I think I remember this right, Graves based the novels on Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus’s history, “The Lives of the Caesars” and maybe other sources I can’t recall. Claudius did purportedly write an autobiography, I think it was artistic license by Graves saying that Claudius hid the biography.


17 posted on 09/12/2008 3:24:08 PM PDT by Reily
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To: buck61

I Clau-Clau-Claudius!
Augustus meltdown: “Is there anyone here who has not slept with my daughter???”
(There wasn’t. Ok, one stayed awake...)
Great series. Look for it on ebay or amazon.


18 posted on 09/12/2008 3:41:02 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: Congressman Billybob

As someone quipped on FR, a Roman take on Obama would be ‘I Fraudius’


19 posted on 09/12/2008 3:48:14 PM PDT by kanawa (http://www.canadalovessarah.ca/)
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To: thesearethetimes...

Wonderfully evil Sian Phillips as Livia was mine....a Hillary role.


20 posted on 09/12/2008 3:51:45 PM PDT by xp38
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To: Graymatter
Is there anyone here who has not slept with my daughter???”

In I Claudius, if I remember correctly?/ Claduis’s wife challenged the biggest whore in Rome as to how many men she could treat. The wife of Claudius won, and when Claudius returned he had her killed.

This was a very interesting series for PBS at the time.

21 posted on 09/12/2008 4:22:20 PM PDT by buck61
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To: Congressman Billybob
"The point of all those portrayals are that the subject, the person shown, is greater than your average man. He (it’s usually a man) also has a greater vision than your average man. And always, always, the viewer is expected to look up to, respect, or even revere the person in the portrait."

Very astute!

Obama is a 'poser' in more ways than one.

STE=Q

22 posted on 09/12/2008 7:39:36 PM PDT by STE=Q ("These are the times that try men's souls." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: dinasour
http://www.amazon.com/I-Claudius-Derek-Jacobi/dp/B00004U12X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1221314635&sr=8-1
23 posted on 09/13/2008 7:08:26 AM PDT by Cheburashka (Democratic Underground: where PCP is not just for breakfast anymore.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Like, *PING*, dude.

Cheers!

24 posted on 09/13/2008 2:58:14 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Subtle.

But do today's socialists (intetrnational socialists really, though their previous international communist label is only barely no longer applicable) relate to the Roman Emperors?

The icon graphic is the same. But is that because of their same root in the “glory of the ruler” that Stalin, Lenin, and Mao held sway?

25 posted on 09/13/2008 3:43:30 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Thanks for your comment.

I'm not saying the politics or economics are the same. But “the glory of the ruler” is exactly the same.

John / Billybob

26 posted on 09/13/2008 3:49:13 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.theacru.org)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Oh, no, the situations were nothing at all alike! Claudius, after all, had to follow a glad-handing con man who methodically eliminated his enemies and his wife, who was a mean, manipulative, murderous, vindictive woman who wanted to be Emperor herself, and...

Oh.

Never mind.

27 posted on 09/13/2008 4:04:59 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Congressman Billybob
With each of his ringing phrases, he looks first to the left, later to the right, showing just his profile to the audience.

That is where the teleprompters are.

28 posted on 09/13/2008 4:09:57 PM PDT by fanfan (SCC:Canadians have constitutional protection to all opinions, as long as they are based on the facts)
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To: fanfan
I know that's where the teleprompters are. However, most speakers try to hide the fact that they are using the teleprompters. A glance when necessary.

No, Obama is posing on purpose. Note that he is not looking at the teleprompters. He's looking above them and into the middle distance. That's the heroic pose.

John / Billybob

29 posted on 09/13/2008 5:04:59 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.theacru.org)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Certainly, the “bread and circuses” is exactly the same: Even to the point of today’s ever-more-salicious “American Gladiator” (instead of pro sports) “caged death matches” (instead of wrestling or boxing), the video games that DO kill and main and rob and assault, the reality (instant gratification) shows and the professional welfare class.


30 posted on 09/13/2008 5:23:19 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Charles Henrickson

Captain Kirk meet Obama
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGXkHYw1cyI


31 posted on 09/13/2008 7:21:33 PM PDT by garjog (Used to be liberals were just people to disagree with. Now they are a threat to our existence.)
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To: grey_whiskers; Congressman Billybob

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks grey_whiskers for the ping, and Congressman Billybob for the plug to GGG. :')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


32 posted on 09/13/2008 9:29:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Then again, perhaps Obama's model is a bit more recent...

33 posted on 09/13/2008 9:49:19 PM PDT by Interesting Times (Swiftboating, you say? Check out ToSetTheRecordStraight.com)
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To: Charles Henrickson

Love the arugala! Nice touch, that.


34 posted on 09/14/2008 1:55:03 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Good post/thread. How ‘bout a steel cage death match between myself and Bill Ayers to satisfy the masses?


35 posted on 09/15/2008 11:37:34 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: Congressman Billybob
One day [Caligula] was on the Oration Platform in the Market Place dressed as Jove and making a speech. “I intend shortly,” he said, “to build a city for my occupation on top of the Alps. We Gods prefer mountain-tops to unhealthy river-valleys. From the Alps I shall have a wider view of my Empire—France, Italy, Switzerland, the Tyrol and Germany. If I see any treason hatching anywhere below me, I shall give a warning growl of thunder so! (He growled in his throat.) If the warning is disregarded I shall blast the traitor with this lightning of mine, so! (He hurled his piece of lightning at the crowd. It hit a statue and bounced off harmlessly.) A stranger in the crowd, a shoemaker from Marseilles on a sight-seeing visit to Rome, burst out laughing. Caligula had the fellow arrested and brought nearer the platform, then bending down he asked frowning: “Who do I seem to you to be?” “A big humbug,” said the shoemaker. Caligula was puzzled. “Humbug?” he repeated. “I, a humbug!” “Yes,” said the Frenchman, “I’m only a poor French shoemaker and this is my first visit to Rome. And I don’t know any better. If anyone at home did what you’re doing he’d be a big humbug.”

Caligula began to laugh too. “You poor half-wit,” he said. “Of course he would be. That’s just the difference.”

— Robert Graves, I, Claudius.


36 posted on 09/15/2008 11:47:26 AM PDT by dighton
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To: Interesting Times; Congressman Billybob; potlatch; devolve; ntnychik; MeekOneGOP; Grampa Dave

CAESAR TELEPROMPTUS

37 posted on 09/15/2008 11:50:09 AM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: devolve; ntnychik; PhilDragoo; dixiechick2000; MeekOneGOP; Congressman Billybob; FARS; All
 


38 posted on 09/15/2008 1:53:40 PM PDT by potlatch ("OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE REMAIN SILENT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTER")
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To: potlatch

.

LOL!

A classic potlatch

I wonder if I can.....


39 posted on 09/15/2008 2:05:36 PM PDT by devolve ( "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." - Elect a cokehead *08 !)
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To: devolve

Remember, I used that dog with the shrinking Hillary? But I composited that one.

Hope this doesn’t post twice!!


40 posted on 09/15/2008 2:08:36 PM PDT by potlatch ("OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE REMAIN SILENT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTER")
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To: potlatch

.

Yup

The number of frames in the dog .gif is what I have to use in a base BG animation of both together
Just a bit more Magick involved


41 posted on 09/15/2008 2:23:40 PM PDT by devolve ( "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." - Elect a cokehead *08 !)
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To: devolve

He doesn’t have to ‘walk’ that much, remove a frame or two. I haven’t checked how many. Let me know if I can do it.


42 posted on 09/15/2008 2:26:20 PM PDT by potlatch ("OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE REMAIN SILENT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTER")
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To: potlatch

.

I send them to you in a sec


43 posted on 09/15/2008 3:28:12 PM PDT by devolve ( "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." - Elect a cokehead *08 !)
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To: devolve

Lol, I have them! I have to ‘get’ from the computer, not urls.


44 posted on 09/15/2008 3:30:26 PM PDT by potlatch ("OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE REMAIN SILENT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTER")
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To: potlatch

.

I made up 7 “still” frames

0-1-2-3-4-5-6


45 posted on 09/15/2008 3:38:47 PM PDT by devolve ( "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." - Elect a cokehead *08 !)
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To: PhilDragoo; Congressman Billybob; Interesting Times; potlatch; devolve; ntnychik; Grampa Dave
I, Alfred E. Obama !!


46 posted on 09/15/2008 10:03:13 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Obama, WHO is Bill Ayers and WHY are you still friends with him? Please RSVP asap!)
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To: Charles Henrickson

That is so good! Emperor Zero! I’m still laughing! The “O” as halo around his head!


47 posted on 09/16/2008 8:32:48 AM PDT by FrdmLvr ("I don't know of a single thing Obama has done except talk and write". -- Newt Gingrich)
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To: MeekOneGOP

Thank you! I’ve been hoping someone would do an Alfred E. Newman take off. You need to do a cover of the plummeting poll numbers for Obama and ad the “What, me worry?” line.


48 posted on 09/16/2008 8:39:51 AM PDT by FrdmLvr ("I don't know of a single thing Obama has done except talk and write". -- Newt Gingrich)
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To: rbg81; Congressman Billybob

After Trajun and Hadrian?


49 posted on 09/16/2008 9:41:37 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Drill ANWR, Personal Accounts NOW ,)
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To: wolfcreek


I’m going to make government cool again....
Got an ashtray?

50 posted on 09/16/2008 1:29:52 PM PDT by BigEdLB (Let's get serious - there is only one choice - McCain/Palin 2008)
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