Dreaming strange dreams

In 8 years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, I dreamed about the man once, and it don’t remember feeling good or bad about it.

In 8 years of Bush’s presidency, I may have dreamed of him once. I think I did, but don’t really remember.

I know it is not unusual for people to dream of prominent folks in the news, particularly if they are being barraged with images, soundbites, headlines. For instance, back when he was (and not the AMA) was this administrations “evil dude/organization of the month” I had a funny dream about Rush Limbaugh, which I shared here.

I was surprised to wake up this morning, ’round 7 AM, from a dream so full of the goodness of Obama, the love of Obama, the grace of Obama, that I was strongly repelled. If I were the time to consider mass-hypnosis, I’d have wondered about it.

In my dream, I was teaching a class in a local school, and Obama came to visit. I was excited with the rest of the children, and he was wonderful. He rolled up his shirtsleeves and got down into the small desks, and helped them with reading, and math and I thought, “he’s a born-teacher; he should be in the classroom, where he shines. I just love him like this.” The students were in awe of him – they looked upon him, with the same mesmerized gaze of adoration we see in some members of the press, as though he was a god, and that brought me down to earth. “You should not encourage that,” I said to Obama. “You should stick to teaching.” And he looked up at me, smiled charmingly, but suddenly, my feelings went cold as I sensed a flick of cold steel within him. That’s the only way I can describe it. He looked at me, understood that my newly-discovered admiration had fled, and turned back to the children, saying, “We’re going to learn a new song. We’re going to sing a new song, are you ready?”

I awoke and jotted down the dream quickly, then fell back to sleep. This time, we were at a community pool, splashing in the water; everyone having fun. But people kept coming up to me, rising from beneath the water, clearing hair from their eyes and saying, “Obama is over there; he wants you to come by.” Obama was there, in a far corner, surrounded by many, all having a great time. I kept refusing. Then there was a party – a huge gathering and once again it was all about Obama, everyone was having a great time. Lots of famous people. At one point Bono offered to sing a song he’d written especially for the occasion if only someone would volunteer to play piano for him, and I thought, “he’s richer than Midas, and there are musicians struggling for work; why didn’t he just hire one to bring with him. Why does someone need to volunteer?” Bono, unable to find that volunteer, did not sing, and I looked around, gathered my family and tried to leave. Obama was at the microphone announcing that he would be talking to us every Sunday for the next three weeks, from every television channel, every available media outlet, and he set his agenda. “The third Sunday, we will be releasing a new song, called “Sing a new song,” and you will all want to learn it; we will all be singing together.” Some in the crowd cheered, but many looked around uncomfortably, and clapped perfunctorily and briefly. “You are not clapping,” a man said to me. “No, I’m keeping my hands free, so I can throw my copy of 1984 at the television screen for the next few Sundays.” The man smiled a tiny smile, and turned away.

I went off and tried to find greeting cards to welcome back a friend who had gone, and was due to return shortly. But the cards were all vapid poems or garishly sentimental, and I awoke.

Why am I sharing these? Well, partly because I think they’re funny and strange, partly because I have never had the experience of dreaming so much of a president. I suspect the dreams are occurring because the man is never not on television. And as a news junkie, I can tell you with some certainty, even though I haven’t numbers before me, that neither President Clinton nor Bush ever ran through the headlines or the videotape like Obama does. Clinton got a lot of coverage during a “vacation from history,” and daily announcements of his great polling numbers. Bush got as much negative coverage as could be written, but little videotape. Toward the last two years of his presidency, if I remember correctly, he would 60-90 seconds on the nightly news shows, if that much.

Obama, on the other hand…I have never seen one man get this much sustained coverage, swooning coverage, near-worshiping, unquestioning, let-us-turn-our-communications-tools-over-to-assist-you-in-your-legislative-goals coverage. And he doesn’t like it if anyone doesn’t swoon. Obama is literally ever-present. Like our sins he is “ever before our eyes,” wherever we turn.

So, I suppose that’s why I am dreaming strange dreams. I may try to take Freud’s advice and identify myself as “everything in” the dreams. I am the water; I am the greeting cards; I am the president; I am the crowd. I am…Bono?

Hmmmm…maybe I’ll take the Jungian track, instead.

And no, I don’t need 100 emails scolding me for calling the president “sin.” I’m not. I’m just having fun and playing on Psalm 51, there, but take it as you like it; people believe what they want to believe.

Bookworm: Wants to Boycott ABC for turning its news over to the White House.

Will be back later with some links to some very interesting, often troubling, news stories which many of us are not paying enough attention to, due to the events in Iran.

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  • Klaire

    That’s a mighty interesting dream Anchoress, thanks for sharing it! I’ll go with the JPII approach that there are NO coincidences, even dreams.

    To me it seems obvious that you “get him”, unlike many who don’t. Consequently, “not getting him”, if we don’t wake or sober up fast, is going to be the demise of America as we know and love it.

    It makes sense to me that one who gets Obama would dream such a dream, although yours sure is, in addition, very funny!

    Indeed both of the Obama’s are oversatuated ad nausium. The other day I was walking through Reagan Airport in DC, and it seemed like EVERY magazine at every newstand had one or both of the Obama’s on the cover. I found myself saying, out loud, (to the horror of many I’m sure), that I am SICK of the Obama’s. It’s like a bad dream that I can’t escape.

    Just as annoyed Obama asked during his campaign, “Can’t I just eat my waffle”, I would like to request, “Can’t I (we) just check out in a grocery store or walk through an airport without an Obama in my (our) face at every turn”?

    Thank goodness I usually don’t remember my dreams. The only Obama escape for me IS when I sleep.

    It’s getting harder and harder to have respect for the office of the POTUS. The White House IMO is like a bunch of teenagers left alone trashing the house while the parents are on vacation, having too much fun to even care if they get caught.

    As for boycotting ABC, I suggest we boycott ALL media driven TV. They only have the power if we tune in. It doens’t even make sense to even listen to Obama, regardless of the topic, being that he NEVER does what he says. I never believe his empty and misleading rhetoric, so why even listen?

  • kelleybee

    This is a funny, scary 1984ish, closer to the truth than many might believe, good read. I found the president’s whining, while smiling-golly gee whiz-I really don’t understand why the Foxnews guys HATE me 24/7…interview very troubling.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    A wise spiritual director once told me that in attending to dreams, don’t look for the obvious symbolism or the traditional meanings or any of that stuff. He said that each character (not objects) in our (significant) dreams is some aspect of ourselves, especially if the message comes more than once. He also said the emotions we feel and see in others in our dreams are even more indicative of our selves. So my thought is to go with Freud, and especially go with the repetition of the president.

    While I find dreams fascinating, these days I find myself a little embarrassed at reading or hearing of dreams of people I don’t know.

    That said, my sense of you is exactly like your dream sense of the president. A friend suggested I examine your archives for retreat material, and I recommended these links to a few friends who were looking for online resources. One person objected to your site, so I went back for a closer look. Your partisan politics were to me like the flick of cold steel your dream self experienced. My sense was that it really sullied a needed spiritual voice on the internet with a degree of mean-spiritedness that was painfully obvious.

    It may be that I’ve long ago freed myself from watching regular tv and I’m not under the influence of the media, as you describe it, so what I see is some otherwise good blogging people going on tilt over politics. It’s not pretty. I think your move to First Things was a error.

  • daveinmo

    Your descriptions of your dream eerily resonate with my own feelings about the president, especially when he “smiled charmingly, but suddenly, my feelings went cold as I sensed a flick of cold steel within him”. Too many people are listening to what he’s saying, and believing him because he’s “cool”, instead of watching what he’s doing, and realizing that many times it is the exact opposite of his words. Each time he proposes another set of actions or legislation, I think “Finally, THIS will make people realize how dangerously ambitious he is”, and then it passes, and it’s on to the next step in his effort to fundamentally change the structure of America. And the press seems more concerned with obsequiously marveling at his fly-killing abilities than questioning any of it…

  • YogusBearus

    Wow! My dreams aren’t nearly as interesting as yours. I hesitate to ask but need to know if everyone was clothed during these various events.

    [Yes, fully clothed. These dreams were not the erotic fantasies discussed in the NY Times. admin]

  • Anne

    Sounds like your subconscious is making sense of what has become a creepy reality.

    That’s why I think this guy is the final
    Antichrist or ‘the Beast’ of the Book of Revelation. (To some of you, especially those who voted for him-please try to stifle your laughter.)

    But if the final Antichrist is going to be followed and adored like no other-who could be bigger than Obama? I don’t see anyone else coming on the world scene out of nowhere who is as popular as he is.
    And don’t dare say anything against him!!! WEIRD. And getting weirder…

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  • Beverly

    I too had a dream about politicians a couple of nights ago — Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin involved in some sort of opinion poll. I can’t remember when I’ve had a dream about a public figure before. I attribute it to an ever present sense of anxiety about Obama and company. I often feel that I am living in an old sci-fi or horror movie where only a few can see that the pod people or whatever are trying to take over and change the world. Everyone once in a while Obama’s or Michelle’s mask will slip and I will see what I always knew was there. And I wonder why others don’t see what I see. Thank you for your blog and sharing your dream.

  • http://www.fatherallen.net Fr. Ken

    More revealing here is the subtle equating of Obama to the “Glory and Praise” Hymnal. Obama becomes as the Spirit of Vatican II, a disturbing symbol of all that is… well, disturbing.

    As well they both should be of course.

    And Bono…. or Good, can sing no more.

    Well, dream on.

  • http://newine.wordpress.com ultraguy

    I second Anne’s comment. If BHO is the AC, as I have concluded he most likely is, then any such dream must be evaluated in the context of satan making a last-ditch attempt to woo his sharpest and most effective critics and get them to moderate if not recant their views of him.

  • LCB

    Due to the repetition I would suggest focusing on the abstract elements.

    You are teaching, and then Obama comes to teach. Change. Makes sense, for Obama to represent change. At first the change is viewed as good, and you are supportive/positive. But when the change continues and goes in a new direction, you become rather afraid of it.

    My guess– there is some change in your life now (or coming) that you view as positive, but its long term consequences disturb you and are possibly very negative.

    Second dream, Obama is with people in a different place than you. So you are separated from what is popular. They are having a good time, and people want you to be a part of it, but you have moral problems with that. You try to take your family away from what is popular but immoral (this time represented by Obama), but find that it is everywhere… especially on holy days and in holy places. People directly confronted you on this, and you confronted them back.

    The 2nd definitely fits themes that are touched on in this blog. And a pool might be considered a public place, so it’s something that has happened in full view of others.

  • Martin

    I can’t stand listening to his voice, and haven’t listened since his speech on religion and politics prior to the election, which I analyzed and found very poor.

    N.Gingrich got it spot on ‘he uses his rhetorical skills not to illumine but to obfuscate’.

    Read transcripts of his statements, don’t listen to him is my position.

    I don’t own a TV so its easier for me.

  • Ellen

    Read R.H. Benson’s novel Lord of the World.
    The charismatic character Felsenburg from that novel reminds me very much of Obama. Scarily so.

  • Just_Saying

    I also think Obummer is surely an antichrist, if not the One. I can’t bear to see him or listen to him, so I don’t. These days, I glean news from various on-line sources, bloggers, and commentators. I distrust the fawning MSM. Thanks for posting your dreams. Q: do you fall asleep with the TV/radio on in the background? I wonder if that’s a factor…

    BTW, Anchoress, your new format requires one to scroll halfway down the screen (in Internet Explorer) to get to your column. Firefox is less awful. I agree with Todd that your move to First Things should be reconsidered.

    [Wasn't aware that the problem still existed in IE, and will pass that on. In firefox things look pretty good to me! :-) ]

  • http://www.erud-awakening.blogspot.com Gina

    Heh, Beverly- I have often thought of “pod people” during the past few months, too, and did again while reading this piece. I’ve realized that what has made me so angry about the election and the ensuing rush to socialism is not so much that the Democrats are doing it, it is the dopey resistance of people to acknowledge what is going on. You get the feeling that Obama could run stark naked down Constitution Avenue screaming gibberish and people would still be standing there with those goofy, starstruck smiles saying, “Isn’t he wonderful? Yes we can!”

  • Klaire

    FYI I very much like and appreicate the move to Firsthings. Also, FYI, I use IE and all works well, in fact, much better. The old website often took so long to load I would switch to another screen and sometimes forget to come back.

  • Dean Adelle

    A change of medications might do you some good.

  • http://www.eddiemcdonald.com Ed

    I thinking less television would help. I don’t watch tv except for racin’ and Conan and I haven’t had a dream about Obama yet.

  • The Dark Avenger

    From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    Modern theologians, whilst profiting by the progress of psychological research, continue to admit the possibility of dreams supernatural in their origin, and consequently the possibility of dream-interpretation depending on supernatural communications. As to ordinary dreams, they readily grant that, because the imaginative faculties of man acquire sometimes a keenness which they do not possess otherwise, it is possible in such cases to conjecture with a certain degree of probability some future events; but in all other cases, by far the most common, it is useless and illogical to attempt any interpretation. As a matter of factdreams are now — we speak of civilized peoples — seldom heeded; only very ignorant and superstitious persons ponder over the “dictionaries of dreams” and the “keys to the interpretation of dreams” once so much in favour. “As idle as a dream” has become a proverb expressive of the popular mind on the subject, and indicating sufficiently that there is little need nowadays to revive the laws and canons enacted in past ages against divination through dreams.

  • Joseph Marshall

    I have found that Jung’s rule of thumb is generally correct that dreams, and especially “big dreams” of exceptional vividness and emotional impact, are largely compensatory for the cognitive dissonance between our conscious beliefs and the facts.

    The key phrase in your description is this: “from a dream so full of the goodness of Obama, the love of Obama, the grace of Obama, that I was strongly repelled.”

    The question can be stated simply: Why does the possibility that Obama even might be a good man so repel you? Is it possible that the mass hypnosis involved is that of the emotional desire to view him as bad under any circumstances and at all costs?

    I must say that I think the constant harping on the view of him as the Antichrist which I see in your comments is simply delusional.

    I think the fact of the matter is simple. Obama likes schoolchildren, his children, his wife, and cute puppydogs as much as any normal human being, because he is, largely, a normal human being, whose political views merely happen to contradict yours at every turn.

    When and if the Antichrist comes, I think it unlikely that he will be so normal as to still be sensitive, in his forties and at the apogee of his worldly success, about his overlarge ears.

    Any normal human being will be exceptional in specific ways, unique to each of us. Obama is exceptional in intelligence, determination, and patience. In “steel”, in short.

    I would suggest that the reason you find this so emotionally repelling is that it also contradicts the greatly cherished collective delusion that people with Liberal political views are always and everywhere weak, incoherent, and ineffective fools. And that any apparent exceptions in public life are dangerous, if disguised, moral reprobates.

    Until you finally come to terms with the fact that the only things “wrong” with Obama are his political beliefs, and that, in fact, if he happened to have the “right” political beliefs you would likely find him to be an ordinary man with some admirable personal qualities, he will always have you at an emotional disadvantage.

    I would point out that this emotional disadvantage is also one of practical politics. It, frankly, makes you folks sound like fools. For the only intelligent way to confront “wrong” views held by normal people is to argue persuasively, and in a way convincing to a majority of people, about why your views are “right”.

    The argument that someone with Liberal politics must be exceptionally bad when many of the things he does are, to all appearances, either normal or admirable, is really not very convincing.

    Persuasive argument takes careful thought and real work–care and work which folks of the conservative persuasion have largely been released from for about 28 years.

    Maybe it’s time to return to the intellectual gym.

    [Personally, I think my subconscious was simply reflecting my conscious disgust of the unseemly and repellent worship of this man by the press. What I think is really interesting is everyone else's interpretation of my dream, how each interprets it according to his/her own agenda/feelings and then lectures me thusly! :-) - admin]