Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
The Nobel banquet must be one of the most extravagant annual dinner events on the planet. Every year the organisers allow a few journalists to join the festivities and rub shoulders with prize winners, royalty and other notables. This year, I got to go. The food and wine were certainly fit for a king (a good thing, too, since there was a king dining among us), and there is really nothing quite like dancing to a 20-person brass band. In a time-honoured journalist tradition, I’ve made a “top 10 list”.
10. Bling. Everywhere. Jewel-encrusted handbags, gold tableware and all those tiaras. I was blinded.
9. And yet, humility. Dale Mortensen, an American economics laureate, thanked all his teachers and said winning the prize reminded him of a quote by Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
8. Numbers. How do you pull off a three-course, sit-down dinner for 1,350 people? With more than 260 waiters, 45 cooks, 7,000 pieces of porcelain, 5,000 glasses and 10,000 items of silverware (some which apparently go mysteriously missing every year).
If there were a Nobel Prize for Theology, large parts of President Barack Obama's Oslo speech could be cut and pasted into an acceptance speech for it. The Peace Prize speech dealt with war and he made a clear case from the start for the use of force when necessary. While he began with political arguments for this position, his rationale took on an increasingly religious tone as the speech echoed faith leaders and theologians going back to the origins of Christianity.
It started with a hat-tip to Rev. Martin Luther King when he said "our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice" -- echoes of King's 25 March 1965 Montgomery speech saying "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."