Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance,
Tumble in the
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue.
It’s no “The Red Wheelbarrow.” But wingnut semiotician Jack Cashill thinks there may be scandalous political meanings hidden in the mediocre poem that Obama wrote when he was 19. In his dumb book about how William Ayers wrote Obama’s Dreams for My Father, Cashill briefly mentioned the poem but disregarded it at the time. But now he says further evidence — maybe Obama’s narrow lead in Ohio polling — leads him to look at it more closely. You will be astonished to learn that he now thinks the poem is just chock-full of meaning, and scary Muslimy meaning at that.
Cashill’s friend Jim O’Hagan, “who has made a study of the poem” — talk about an accomplishment! — discovered some astonishing coincidences:
He points out that both of the poem’s most conspicuous symbols, apes and figs, are mentioned in the Qur’an. Middle Eastern scholar Bernard Lewis has argued that although Muslims were relatively tolerant of Jews, there are at least three passages in the Qur’an in which Jews are denounced as “apes.”
But there is more — far more — to the case! Cashill also points out that
The reference to “figs” strengthens O’Hagan’s case that the “apes” refer to Jews, or at least to Israeli Jews. He cites the 95th sura of the Quran, “At-Tin,” which translates as “fig” or “fig tree.” It reads in part: “[I Swear] By the fig and [by] the olive/ And [I Swear by] Mount Sinai/ And [I Swear by] this secure land [of the city of Makkah].”
Wow. Is that a “macaca” reference, too? Cashill carefully points out that fig and olive trees predominate in “the countries bordering on the eastern part of the Mediterranean, especially Palestine and Syria.” This is pretty damning stuff! Please, go on!
it seems altogether possible that the poet believes that these warlike apes, the Jews of Israel, are exploiting, even despoiling the land in which they have settled. Note that the apes both “eat” the figs and are “stepping on” them.
O’Hagan make a case that the “grottos” in question refer to the famous Rosh HaNikra grottos in Israel, located on the Mediterranean just south of the Lebanese border. The grottos are known for their startlingly blue waters, but blue is also the traditional color of Israel as manifested in the Israeli flag…
The apes don’t jump in the water, the “blue.” They “tumble” in, but only after howling and baring their fangs, a gesture of war. Consider Isaiah 9:12, New Living Translation: “The Syrians from the east and the Philistines from the west will bare their fangs and devour Israel.”
“Was it a wish, a dream,” O’Hagan writes of the poem, “a prediction that the Palestinian Arabs would rise up in Israel and drive the Jews into the Sea?” It might well be.
We would argue that O’Hagan has just barely scratched the surface here. “Blue,” it must also be noted, is the Yoko Kanno song in the finale of the epic anime series Cowboy BeBop, a masterful tale of interplanetary bounty hunters. Further, Darth Vader also hired bounty hunters to track down and capture Luke Skywalker and his friends. This week, just seven days before the election, the Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4 billion, a purchase which includes Skywalker Sound and the Skywalker Ranch production facility. And what replica of a historic tall ship sank earlier this week? The HMS Bounty! Chilling, isn’t it? But that’s not all: What would we expect to find on the floor of a beachside grotto? SAND, of course. And what storm sank the Bounty? Hurricane SANDY, a storm with a name of indeterminate gender.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we see in this poem the roots not merely of Barack Obama’s betrayal of the State of Israel, but also of his bisexual affairs and his unquestioning support of the Sandpeople, who are easily startled but will soon be back — and in greater numbers.