Cats recently posted the Jib-Jab US election video featuring Senator Obama astride a Unicorn farting rainbows. Now I love Jib-Jab but there was something about that video that puzzled me and I’ve only figured it out now. Obviously it’s satire so the elderly, hawkish McCain has his age and militarism exaggerated. But with Obama I see no exaggeration. In the section where he is upon the technicolourly flatulent horn’d pony and spouting about “change” he actually sounds exactly like Barack Obama. The man is impossible to satirize because he’s done it himself already.
I am a news-junkie, quite interested in politics and a profound Ameriphile. I ought to know what Senator Obama stands for. I knew (vaguely, as a kid) what Walter Mondale stood for (the 1980 US election is as early as I remember in US politics apart from my Dad saying a rude word about a Georgian peanut farmer). Everyone knew what Ronnie stood for. George H W Bush and Bill Clinton were not exactly closed books to me either. But I have no idea what Obama is about. I also have no idea why he’s created such a media fuss. Some US politician last century (forget who) was asked on the stump about his economic policy and replied, “At this stage in the campaign giving a speech on economics would be like pissing down my leg - a nice warm sensation while it lasted”.
At some point, obviously, it isn’t about policies, it’s about character and who you trust with the launch codes but policy is an issue and I have no idea where Obama stands on anything.Â I mean, OK, he’s a Democrat so that gives a vague clue but other than that what does he believe? I have no idea. If you trust Oprah, Obama is a great orator. He might be personable, even charming but a great orator actually has something to say. The true test of an orator is whether or not the speech matters after their demise. I can imagine people reading Churchill or MLK and being inspired a hundred years from now. I can even imagine people still reading John Kennedy calling himself a doughnut but Obama?
I mean Obama is a great orator who… Can you think of an Obama quote a soundbite even? There is nothing. He might be black but he writes white. Not only is there no substance but there isn’t even any flair or rhetoric or anything. There is a constant mantra of “change” and that’s ya lot. It is so thoroughly meaningless as to be beyond parody. Let’s say I plan on change. Well, change what and change how? Change my hair? Change my socks? Change sex? Buy a Mac? What exactly am I changing?
In the October/November of 2006 I was in the USA and Obama was all over the telly like a rash. Obama says this, Obama does that, Obama gaps his spark-plugs, Obama is a breath of fresh air in the US political sphere. Except he isn’t. He’s nothing. He’s a suit full of bugger-all, a cipher, a zilch. I understand why he’s often seen as a Manchurian candidate or a crypto-muslim or an anti-white racist. He is all things to all people and because he is nothing he can be construed as everything. He can be the heroic first black president and he can be the worst nightmare of right-wingers. Of course what he really is a vacuum and whilst nature might abhor vacuums modern politics adores them. He reminds me of Dave Cameron in this respect. Although Cameron is smarter.
I recall in the 80s Ronnie getting repeatedly slagged for his gaffs and for the fact that he wasn’t exactly a great actor. The later I always thought was a bizarre criticism. Of course he wasn’t a great actor so he switched his talents to politics, D’Oh!. He had though, at least had a proper job before becoming head-honcho at the screen actors guild and then Governor of California. What has Obama ever done outside of politics? He was a lawyer and “community organiser” whatever the fucking hellski that is. Ronnie might have been acted off the sound stage by a chimp (twice) but at least the acting profession is one that you don’t have to draw a diagram to explain.Â I have no idea what a community organiser is or why anyone who attended Columbia and then Harvard would do it. Unless they were a bit thick for proper law and yes, I do think Obama is not the sharpest tool in the box.
I suspect America’s Obamania is just weird. It reminds me of the derangement in the UK following the demise of the Princess of Wails. Totally irrational. Obama is no more the saviour of the USA than Diana was the most beautiful woman in the World (TM). I’m struggling for terms of reference here. I really don’t know, towards the end of this post, how to begin. Except, Obama is a celebrity and by using that term I am poring scalding hot sulphuric acid on him. I cannot really comment further but I can drag-up two comparisons. Back to Diana. Amidst the utter embarrassment of our collective grief (TM) (I was sorry for Diana but the idea of people who never met her rending their garments was obscene. Well, I thought it obscene. I have no idea what her sons or her other family thought of it). It reminded me of the vicarious pleasure of watching utter shite on the telly like the moronically obnoxious Jeremy Kyle or Eastenders. It reminded me of Oprah who is championing Obama (obviously) because he’s black and moreover because he’s just as vacuous as she is. It is emoting without emotion. It is bollocks with no balls behind it. Obamania, the Diana phenomenon (am I the only Brit under forty who finds the grainy Pathe news-reel of the cranes on the Thames bowing as Churchill’s funeral barge passed infinitely more moving than the schlock-fest over Diana*). Vacuous I say but Obama’s biggest fan has a better word for it. He’s a vayjayjay. That is exactly Obama. I say “vagina” and Oprah says the abysmal, baby-talk drivel that is “vajayjay”. I shall skip a cheap “Obama is a twat” reference because he isn’t even that. He’s a vajayjay. He’s meaningless babble and baby-talk.
*In a letter to a broadsheet (not a tabloid) someone opined that Diana would now be in Heaven with Mother Theresa. And they would talk about what exactly? The Versace show in Milan? Catholicism? The potless dead and the dying?