Thursday, June 7, 2018

2018 Nobel Literature Prize Delay – Could Bring Down The Swedish Academy?

Given that the “delay” of the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize is sex scandal related, could it eventually bring down the Swedish Academy?

By: Ringo Bones 

Maybe I’m not just the only one who was “slightly relieved” that this year’s Nobel Literature Prize announcement delay did not happen when the Swedish Academy awarded their prestigious accolade to the “most unseemly” recipient of them all – i.e. the iconic American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan back in 2016. But given the reason(s) behind this year’s delay, could this eventually bring down the Swedish Academy? 

Apparently, this all started when the academy’s permanent secretary, Prof. Sara Danius, resigned when divisions started to emerge back in November 2017 when French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault who ran a cultural project with funding from the Swedish Academy, was accused by 18 women of sexual assault. Several of the alleged incidents reportedly happened in properties belonging to the academy. Mr. Arnault denies the allegations. The delay of this year’s announcement for the Nobel Literature Prize laureate is largely due to the women members of the academy’s fear of a #MeToo backlash if they choose to run the academy like it’s “business as usual”. 

As a compromise, two prizes for literature will be awarded next year, one for 2018 and one for 2019. This is not the first time that this had happened. On five occasions, a prize for one year has been awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize. For example, American playwright Eugene O’Neill was given the 1936 Nobel Literature Prize in 1937. Unfortunately, this year’s delay for a Nobel Literature Prize laureate raised rumors of a “conspiracy” in various social media platforms when various prominent authors and playwrights around the world accused the academy of being “infiltrated” by a nefarious right-wing-white-supremacists organizations like Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica after the academy’s alleged postponement in considering Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o as the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize laureate.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi: A Changed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate?

Even though most Nobel Peace Prize laureates went on to become nation-building peacemakers, is Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi fast becoming the exception? 

By: Ringo Bones 

During the last two decades of the 20th Century, many of us assumed that Nobel Peace Prize laureates – like South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu – are nation-building peacemakers. But for those of us old enough to remember those good old days where Nobel Peace Prize laureates went on to do great things within the path of peace that are still of geopolitical importance, it seems that the recent Myanmar Rohingya Muslim refugee crisis has tarnished everyone’s expectations of Aung San Suu Kyi – who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize back in 1991 – and was supposedly would have transitioned Myanmar into a civilian run democracy since her appointment as State Counselor (a position akin to a Prime Minister) just like what Mandela and Tutu had done to South Africa by ending Apartheid peacefully. 

For those closely following her political career since the end of her house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi’s “silence” over the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minorities in Myanmar might be explained due to her need to gain support from the majority Bamar ethnicity as she was in the middle of a general election campaign back in 2015. But as the violence committed against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims and their exodus into neighboring Bangladesh recently got worse and worse and with video evidence reminiscent of the notorious ethnic cleansing incidences of the Balkans back in the mid 1990s, Suu Kyi’s recent UN General Assembly speech which was tinged with “both sides are to blame” Trumpisms had made many to question if she still deserves her Nobel Peace Prize or might the Nobel Committee be allowed to strip her of her prized accolade due to her adopting an ineffectual stance when it comes to the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bob Dylan: Most Unseemly Nobel Literature Laureate Ever?

Even though it is undeniable that Bob Dylan is one of the greatest songwriters in the great American songwriting tradition, but does this make the “old hippie” the most unseemly Nobel Literature laureate ever?

By: Ringo Bones 

When the news first broke out that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Literature Prize for 2016, many of my “audio-buddies” immediately quipped “who will the Nobel Committee award for next year’s Nobel Literature Prize – Tori Amos, Liz Phair?” Despite of the inextricably unprecedented move, the Nobel Committee did state their justification for awarding the 2016 Nobel Literature Prize to Bob Dylan – but is Bob Dylan, despite his great musical achievements since the 1960s, truly deserving of the Nobel Literature Prize? 

Bob Dylan’s place as one of the world’s greatest artistic figures was further elevated on Thursday, October 13, 2016 when Dylan was named the surprise winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. After the announcement, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, said it had “not been a difficult decision” and he hoped the Swedish Academy would not be criticized for its choice. 

On Bob Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Literature Prize win, Swedish Academy secretary Sara Danius advised those unfamiliar with the works of Dylan to start with the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde in which she said “I’s an extraordinary example of his brilliant way of rhyming, putting together refrains, and his pictorial way of thinking.” Though to me at least, Bob Dylan’s 1975 album The Basement Tapes is the one that faithfully captures Dylan as a singer songwriter. 

Whether or not Bob Dylan is truly deserving of the 2016 Nobel Literature Prize could be down to how the Swedish Academy interpreted Alfred Nobel’s original will governing the rules of awarding the Nobel Literature Prize. Originally interpreted as embracing not only writings in the field of belles-lettres (i.e. beautiful writing of artistic merit), but also of other works provided they possessed literary merit. Given this rather still-ambiguous clarification, Bob Dylan winning the 2016 Nobel Literature Prize could be justified – but should Tori Amos and Liz Phair or other great singer-songwriters should be in the running for the Nobel Literature Prize? 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Did Some Joker Just Nominated Donald J. Trump For The Nobel Peace Prize?

As if his bid for the U.S. Republican Party wasn’t yet enough of a joke, did you know that some joker just nominated Donald J. Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize?

By: Ringo Bones 

When the new year began, the roster for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize included residents of the Greek island of Lesbos who aided the Syrian refugees washed up on their shores, an escaped sex slave of the so-called Islamic State turned women’s rights activist, the negotiators who ended five decades of civil war in Colombia, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and them some joker just nominated the U.S. Republican Party’s presidential joke candidate Donald J. Trump. The social media is indeed alight of comments of “W.T.F.?!!!” indeed. But is Donald J. Trump a valid nominee for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize? 

A respected Nobel watcher and director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo named Kristian Berg Harpviken told CNN back in February 3, 2016 that a “mystery patron” nominated Donald J. Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Even though Harpviken made a promise / deal not to reveal the nominator’s name, Harpviken did reveal the reasons on why the mystery patron nominated Donald J. Trump for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize as the mystery patron cited Donald J. Trump’s Ronald Reagan influenced “Peace Through Strength” ideology and using the U.S. Armed Forces as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, the so-called Islamic State, Iran’s iffy nuclear deal and Mainland China’s undermining of the United States’ economic well-being. More famous as a brash reality show host and as a billionaire with a somewhat cavalier attitude towards women’s issues back in the 1980s and the 1990s, Donald J. Trump is indeed an odd nominee for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize given the current political outlook of the new generation of so-called millennials.  

The Nobel Committee, which does not reveal the details of its decision-making process, typically offers thousands of people opportunity to nominate notable organizations and individuals for the award, which counts among its notable recipients Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Red Cross and in 2009, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama. Donald J. Trump, however, is not on Harpviken’s shortlist, which is currently topped by Edward Snowden and two U.S. and Iranian nuclear negotiators. Others that were nominated in the past but did not receive their Nobel Peace Prize include Mahatma Gandhi, Pope Francis, Adolf Hitler and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. Given his disparaging comments on Mexicans and Muslims on U.S. soil – many cite Donald J. Trump is more akin to the reasons why Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Should The Residents Of The Greek Island of Lesbos Receive The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize?

Given that they’ve been helping Syrian and Iraqi war refugees fleeing from the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State, should Lesbians receive the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Ever since the flood of war refugees, mostly from Syria and Iraq fleeing from the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State and Syrian strongman Bashar Al Assad’s ill-advised military adventurism to rid of his country of his “political enemies” started to arrive on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, it seems that the island’s residents have gone out of there way to help these needy people who just want a safe haven for themselves and their families until the peace and order situation of their respective home countries improve. But unbeknown to the rest of the world, the central government in Athens had been threatening jail time to Lesbians who give aid to the arriving refugees citing the countries seldom-enforced anti-mendicancy laws. Despite of this, the residents of the Greek island of Lesbos continued to give aid to the tide of refugees for several years now and given their unrelenting show of humanity, should the residents of the Greek island of Lesbos who give aid to arriving refugees be awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize? 

There has already been a petition on the major social media networks calling for the awarding of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to the Lesbians who aid the arriving refugees. Even though awarding groups who performed exemplary acts worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize is nothing new – i.e. during the mid 1980s, they have been calls to give the Afghan Mujahedin the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan back then – the “compassion” shown by the residents of the Greek island of Lesbos towards the Iraqi, Syrian and other war refugees arriving on their shores is more “Nobel Peace Prize worthy” by today’s standards. While the right-wing Evangelical portion of America have been calling a temporary ban of Arab Muslim refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict of Syria and Iraq requesting for asylum in the United States as a pledge of allegiance to their White Supremacist Jesus or something, the Lesbians seem to be more pragmatic when it comes to showing their humanity to the refugees. Sometimes, I wonder if the residents of the Greek island of Lesbos helping refugees is what inspired Egyptian telecommunications billionaire Naguib Sawiris to spend his own money to do his own part in helping refugees fleeing from the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State form Syria and Iraq.