Meanwhile, for no good or even barely adequate reason, I've been meditating on birth narratives as in, like, you know, maybe that the President was born in Kenya. As so often I suppose I'm behind the curve here, but it occurs to me to marvel at how common--and persistent--are the stories of our remarkable beginnings. Athena emerging the brow of Zeus, for example. Or Aphrodite rising from the waves (on Cyprus, the tour guides will point out the exact spot; Aphrodite seems to have moved on). Moses in the Bullrushes. Jesus in a manger, but under a star.
Sometimes, these stories meet with rude skepticism. Shakespeare's Owen Glendower says of his birth "The heavens were all on fire; the earth did tremble." Hotspur will have none of it:
...but one doubts that the speaker much moved by Hotspur's contempt. In this field as others, deconstruction by evidence is rarely a successful strategy. But there is another possibility here, hitherto unexplored: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I therefore propose that Obama was indeed born in Kenya--in a manger under a star. And the earth did shake when he was born.O, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,And not in fear of your nativity.Diseas'd nature oftentimes breaks forthIn strange eruptions; oft the teeming earthIs with a kind of colic pinched and vexedBy the imprisoning of unruly windWithin her womb, which, for enlargement striving,Shakes the old beldam earth and topples downSteeples and moss-grown towers. At your birthOur grandam earth, having this distemperature,In passion shook.
Oh, as to the guy who crossed the crocodile with the abalone: he wanted an abbadile but all he got was a crockabaloney.