October 12, 2007

At dawn in the seventh year, look to the West

You see this man? The one on the left? The one who appears entirely unfazed by the immediate presence of Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, hip-hop icon and sometimes actor? The one with the power tie and pale complexion and a steely glaze that could cut through mountains of granite? That man?He is a Nobel Laureate.He is other things, too, of course. A former congressman, senator and Vice President. An Academy Award-winning documentarian. A dutiful father and faithful husband despite the fact that he married a no-fun tsarina who thinks that Ice Cube and Dr. Dre are the downfall of western civilization. But for today at least, he is the late Alfred Nobel's handpicked choice for Pacifist of the year. In short, the man who invented dynamite thinks that Al Gore is, in fact, quite dynamite.From this point forward, most of the discussion of Gore's honor will likely devolve into whether or not he should run for president. I've weighed in on this before--At this point in his life, his career path has mirrored that of Gandalf the Grey, what with the early rise to prominence, subsequent fall into darkness and shadow, and rebirth as an unstoppable vehicle of change. The presidency just might be his for the taking, but like Gandalf, he could easily decide that the power would be too great, the stress too severe, for him to handle.The more immediate political reality is the giant, protruding middle finger Gore has just offered at everyone who has doubted him over the last 7+ years. After having his reputation thrown in the mud and his personality lampooned out of mostly unwarranted spite, he has now won the world's most prestigious award and been proven right on just about every major issue that he has dared open his mouth about. This Nobel is up there with Nas's takedown of Jay-Z on "Ether" and the ending of Gladiator when it comes to great acts of redemption. It takes the jubilation of David Beckham scoring against Greece, the vengeance of Roger Clemens striking out 16 in his first game at Fenway as a visitor, and the sense of purpose from Nelson Mandela's escape from Robbin's Island and brings them all together.The Democratic nomination is his for the taking if he wants it. Or, as Alec points out, he can play kingmaker. But after all he's been through, maybe he will just want to lie down for a while and let the good feeling sink in. He's certainly earned it.