Cynical, Moi?

I gave up on Eastenders a few weeks back, and, although I swore to myself that I wouldn’t, I’ve been following the race for the US Democratic Presidential candidacy with no small amount of interest. This is totally at odds with my deepening conviction that there shouldn’t be a President of the United States at all, but since you get drummed into you from an early age, via deferential news reports and movies and such, that having one is absolutely necessary because either the world would destroy itself or aliens would destroy it otherwise (I recall one particularly vivid Captain America comic of the 1980s where the President turns into a lizard, and being very worried at the prospect), it’s very difficult to stop getting sucked back into the spectacle.

And I do have a preferred candidate. Mindful of the sheer potential for destruction that the office holds, and of how much it is dominated by the demands of corporate interest, I think Americans and the world in general would be better off if Barack Obama were President, for quite a few reasons, none of which I shall go into here, because what I’m concerned with is the spectacle, not the politics.

So, the last few days Obama has been taking a hammering from the Clinton camp, and the mainstream media, on account of some remarks he made about people in Western Pennsylvania towns being bitter and clinging to guns, religion and fear of immigrants, things like that. Clinton is showing barnacle-like tenacity in refusing to give in, even though she has lost by fair means, which leaves foul. She has cast herself as the doughty champion of the underdog or something. Some are saying she knows he is going to win, but is out to destroy his presidential campaign so that she can get elected in 2012 after McCain. I don’t actually care if this is true or not, but I am assuming it is, because it makes things more exciting.

Obama is getting tagged as an ‘elitist’, which, from what I can make out from my reading of American political discourse, is only marginally preferable to getting tagged as a paedophile, or someone who has sex with animals, whatever the agent noun for that is. And then there’s the fact of all the media-borne suspicions about his supposed ‘Muslim’ background, his dalliances with radical clerics, his willingness to sleep with the President of Iran, and heaven knows what else. What is impressive, I think, is how he takes all this shit in his stride. In doing so, he even manages to give speeches where he makes sense and says stuff I agree with, which is impressive.

The latest development, which is like the coolest thing since the last cool thing happened, is that Bruce Springsteen has endorsed him. Now I don’t fully understand the significance of this endorsement business, but it does seem to have some discernible effect in developing the image of a person people might like to vote for. Personally, I would probably go out and vote for a purple unicorn if Bruce Springsteen told me to, so I’m hoping Obama wins even more now. He is better than a boot up the hole.

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