March 19, 2013

Obama As Satan Is A Provocative Statement

Will Hollywood cast this actor for a future Obama biopic?

A lot has been made about the character of Satan in History Channel's miniseries 'The Bible' looking a lot like President Barack Obama. Twitter was ablaze yesterday about this. But the creators of the hit show are saying that any suggestion that Obama looks like Satan is "utter nonsense." They're obviously not good liars. One look at the photo above and the first thing that crosses your mind is, "that's Barack Obama."

Were the creators of 'The Bible' making a statement by casting an Obama look-alike as Satan? How can they argue that they didn't see any resemblance?

This was no doubt done intentionally. It makes perfect sense. Obama is the devil because he is the world's biggest liar. That's his job. The President of the United States is the Great Satan by default. It goes with the territory. You can't run an empire being the nice neighbour on the block. America was the good guy in WWII, but post-9/11? There is no question the President is evil incarnate.


Below is an excerpt from the book, "Eyes, Lies and Illusions: The Art of Deception," by Laurent Mannoni, Werner Nekes, and Marina Warner. 2004. Lund Humphries Publishers. Hayward Gallery. Pg. 13-14. The author of this excerpt is Marina Warner.
"In the medieval Christian tradition, the Devil is a mimic, an actor, a performance artist, and he imitates the wonders of nature and the divine work of creation. His medium is illusion. Unlike God, the Fathers of the Church argued, the Devil cannot perform real miracles or really alter phenomena. He is the mere ape of God, the master of lies, of imitating and simulating and pretending -- but he is impotent when it comes to transforming substance and matter. He can only conjure visions as illusions, as he did when, in the person of Mephistopheles, he summoned the pageant of the deadly sins for Doctor Faustus and then seduced him with the bewitching appearance of Helen of Troy. The Devil summons images in the mind's eye, playing on desires and weaknesses. He toys with us, especially when creating spectacles that are not there, for the word 'illusion' itself comes from 'ludere', 'to play' in Latin. Conjurors mimic his tricks: an early Christian Father, in the midst of furiously denouncing magicians, gives a surprisingly vivid account of their stratagems, of the lamps and mirrors or basins of water they used, how they even conjured the stars by sticking fish scales or the skins of sea horses to the ceiling. Writers on dreams warned that the sleeping mind could suffer delusions too: the suffocating succubi, incubi and 'ephialtes' of pagan mythology were borrowed into Christian belief and flourished there as nightmares inflicted by personal demons. 

'Dreams are toys ...' exclaims Antilochus in The Winter's Tale, when he's frightened by the apparition of Hermione in the night. Toys used not to be mere trifles for children only, but belonged in that country of uncertainty where human perception keeps its precarious existence. From the first showings of magic lantern slides, optical illusions were ascribed to the Devil's mischief."
If you want to read more, check out, "The desert of the real," by Marina Warner (The Guardian, September 25, 2004).