Rashomon: Was Obama the Gate or the Gateway?


Rashomon:(the south entrance gate to Kyoto) no longer exists.  It fell into decay and suffered and crumbled under the ebb and flow of many civil wars centuries ago.  But I’ve been to where it was:  now just a stone marker in a small playground, about a 5-10 minute walk from Toji Temple.  

“Rashomon” was also a film by Director Akira Kurosawa.  

I discuss the “Rashomon Effect” below.


 I used to litigate.  No more.  I still keep a hand in “traditional” law with Will drafting, contract matters, employment policy drafting and consultation, etc., but I focus more and more on international business matching and related work.

 I say all that (in the preceding paragraph) to say, well, I used to litigate (I’m thinking this comment may just get turned into an essay).  And in litigation one quickly learns the practical side of what everybody instinctively knows about the Rashomon Effect:  people can see and experience virtually the same thing and, yet, see and experience very different things!

 This is why we have trials:  two witnesses to a car accident standing next to one another and both looking at the light at the same time.  One swears it was yellow and the other swears it was read.  The outcome of the thing depends on who the jury thinks is more credible.  Neither is lying; they both believe they’re telling the utter truth. So we have to (for example, through cross examination) test their respective perceptions.

 While there were and are as many varied viewpoints of Barack Obama, among those who viewed him favorably, who supported his candidacy in the fall of 2008, I see two general views that emerged (I actually saw this back then and diaried to some degree or another several times on this over at orange; I feel that my conclusions then have been confirmed countless times since then, right up to today):

  1. The Gateway.  He is a vehicle through which desired changes will come.  A conduit by and through which reforms will be made.  He is bright and capable and should be given (it was right, perhaps, to have given him) a shot at effectuating real, substantive progressive changes in government, economic priorities, and even to the American zeitgeist.  He has the brains, the background, the skills needed and the motivation to bring about the desired (by progressives, Democrats) systemic changes.

  2.  The Gate.  He himself is a person to be followed and implicitly trusted and believed in.  Whatever setbacks or (perceived) failings that may occur along the way would be (are, have been) owing either (a) to other people failing him and/or failing to have faith in him; or, (b) a misperception among critics and cynics that he has failed, when, in fact, nothing he does falls short of the mark and that his wisdom and vision should not be questioned; that he “gets” the Big Picture in a way and to a depth that his detractors cannot begin to understand (how can an ant in Alabama understand how the Taj Mahal was constructed?).


 Well, need I go further?  

 I was there in Mile High Stadium in Denver when he gave his acceptance speech.  I got choked up many times over, not so much in listening to Barack Obama, but in seeing the tens of thousands of people who believed that he would usher in a new and better day for the United States.  Little did I really, really “get” that I was not seeing a unified body (except unified in the desire and determination to get him elected).  I was seeing people who, individual variations notwithstanding, who either believed he was an agent for change, or that he was The One.

 The light was Yellow, no, the light was Red!


With my camera pointed at the People, not the Podium.



Were they looking at a Gateway, or a Gate?




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    • Mu on November 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm


     Orange Blog:  the Gate.

     Blue Blog:      the Gateway.


    • Mu on November 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm


     Well, that’s how many of us — who’ve always seen Obama as the Gateway, not the Gate — feel:


  1. the light was yellow

    or was it red, Obama

    the seagull dropped a clamshell on our heads

  2. for his campaign because of his FISA vote, and his casual reponse to objectors ‘If it’s a deal breaker so be it’. When I called my precinct boss she said she understood and that to keep in mind that Obama himself was not important it was the movement he engendered that was going to be the change. I met no one there at O head quarters who was a bot.

    I did meet a lot of people all ages gender and race who felt that they were the change they had been waiting for. They weren’t all even Democrat’s, but they knew what was happening to their country, they saw the fierce urgency. They believed they could stop it through the electoral system and a coalition that was too large to be ignored. I think of them often and wondered yesterday if they voted.

    I like your breakdown but I think those that see him as the gate never made it though, never were looking for the way through. I find them more dangerous politically then teabaggers as they have absolutely no understanding of self governance or democracy and no respect for the rule of law. They are odd authoritarians because their anointed leader has no center he is a nebulous concoction who wields no authority. He can’t even hold his audience in sway anymore unless they are the faithful followers.

    Tuesday I felt relieved and hopeful as I drove home from delivering my ballot and noticed that their were no yard signs this election in my Democratic liberal neighborhood I’m glad fear did not activate the movement and coalition  that ushered him in. Most of the gate keepers seem to be concentrated online at dkos and OFA. The movement that came together for change is still out there. The now is getting even fiercer and more urgent then ever. And I think people  will once again find a gate, a way to use their power. It may not be via the Democratic party but the pols and their owners, cannot block the gate because the gate is the people themselves. The bots cannot stop the truth it’s too fierce and too obvious.

    Your right this is a great essay, a good piece of writing                

  3. Standard school of the Illuminati definition is one who propagandizes for either social engineering think tanks.

    Left gatekeepers include Racheal Maddow and Noam Chomski, right gatekeepers are Glenn Beck and the Faux News crowd.

    I like the newer personalities Gerald Celente, Cathrine Austin Fitts and Paul Craig Roberts.

    As far as “change” agents who better than Noble Peace Prize supporter and expander of Bush’s War of Error and the Elvis bin Laden Flying Circus to expand people’s minds.  A wholesale looting of the economic treasury for that ultimate microchipped under surveillance dystopia world.  And I have not even mentioned the new 1099s paying for mandatory swine flu depopulation vaccines, the promotion of frankenfoods, big agriculture and gun grabbing.

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