vendredi, juillet 25, 2008

Mr. Clouds/Mr. Sunshine

The standard formula for political discourse hasn't changed since the disgusting idea of being a politician entered into the first Greek head. It goes something like this:

Part 1) Let me tell you about all the problems (if there aren't any, I'm the incumbent).
Part 2) Let me tell you how I'm going to fix the problems.

Simple enough. But a good politician doesn't just follow the flow chart. A really slick one makes it seem like there isn't any formula at all. A legendary one speaks from the heart, where a bedrock of firm principles and well conceived, actionable plans dictate words we won't soon forget. A bad one has only the formula to offer.

And then there is Barack Obama.

With full apologies to the intelligent, forward thinking, principled people who have latched on to idea of change in American Politics (and NO APOLOGY WHATSOEVER to the orgasmic hoards who mindlessly worship him as the Great and Eloquent Messiah who shall deliver us from the Abominable Satanbush--this second group includes a sizable portion of the American Press Corps), I find myself in the regrettable position of having to do some playah hatin'.

Let me first admit that I found myself drawn to the man. Seriously. I'm not setting up a punchline. I wanted to believe in him. Despite his almost total lack of relevant experience (just over a hundred days in the senate is his only official qualification), and willing to turn a blind eye to his truly ridiculous affiliations with really horrible people, I found myself listening to his speeches, becoming really enamored with the idea of a President who was also an effective public speaker. I was so into his early offerings that I was even willing to overlook the sneering comments of his wife, who took it upon herself to go on record saying that she was never proud of her country until it started salivating over her husband. I liked the tone of his voice. I liked his look. I liked the way he handled the female embodiment of all that is evil in the universe. Had my affection continued, I might have even been ready to forgive the way he defiled sacred spots in Israel with campaign posters for a photo op, or the way he mumbled and fumbled his way through a recent press conference in Jordan (where, between unquotable hesitations, he ingeniously observed that "Israel is a friend to Israel.") [editor's note: the author is not Jewish. Obama just happens to have been most recently in the middle east.] I was even completely ready to overlook the fact that he is, technically speaking, whiter than Tiger Woods. The fact is, the man had my ear. I was listening.

The problem is that I kept listening, and began, almost against my will, to perceive his transparent use of certain rhetorical traditions. I don't begrudge him using the formula--they all must--but I am bound to despise the shameless sophistry with which he employs it. Every speech he gives comes down to a shallow litany of how bad America is, followed by him filling a hot air balloon made of gold colored tin foil with billowy clouds of empty ersatz eloquence.

The OOPAPOTS translation of any randomly selected Obama speech comes out as the following. (Please read it in your best Obama voice replication pattern).

This horrible place cannot be allowed to exist as it does any longer. Show me your guilt button, I will push it. Don't tell me you're not suffering--you are. Show me your panic button, and I will massage it for a moment before lowering my fist upon it with a mighty force. Now everybody drop your pants and bend over. I'm about to blow copious amounts of warm, meaningless sunshine up your ass and you're going to love it. It feels so good. It will not satisfy your mind. It cannot. But you will feel uplifted. NOW. Did you hear me? I said feel uplifted! YES! I AM THE WALRUS!

He is, when you get right down to it, damned insulting. Why not just say "if you vote for me, all your wildest dreams will come true" and then get Napoleon to dance? He says nothing. I don't care anymore if he delivers it well. What good has ever come of a politician whose message amounts to "close your mind and open your anus"? I'm not by any means endorsing McCain. But I've had enough warm gilded air, thanks.

2 commentaires:

.när'sĭ-sĭz'əm. a dit...

if i could write nearly this good i would have said the same damn thing.

heres me in a pool of tepid disappointment as my democrat fails me and slides wool over so many eyes and fist bumps his wife.


what now?

s.k.namanny a dit...

What now. I hate the fact that the question "What now?" is even a little depressing at this point. It should be an optimistic question.

But it doesn't require optimism to point out that a morbidly bad generation of politicians almost always gives birth to at least a few good ones. Here's hoping that the next generation (which Obama has proven he is not) will give us men and women who don't insult us.