Monday, July 28, 2008

What We'll Find Under Our Very Noses

The media have made no special note of the matter, but diligent observers have been startled to notice that prospective Democratic presidential nominee Barack H. Obama has returned from his trip to Berlin sporting a distinctive toothbrush mustache. He must have a lot of extra male hormones, to have managed the feat in so few days. So virile. Such a man, a mensch, so masterful, a leader of men, forward to the future, leading us onward ever onward to what grand destiny we dare not admit even to our secret selves, bare as we are before his probing, burning gaze, that cuts us to our souls, and he knows us as no one ever has, our needs, our hopes, leads us, leads us, our leader, our leader.

Berlin suits him.

I kid, of course. Obama isn't like Hitler. Thought is absurd. A mere coincidence of location and style. But isn't it odd, that a man of virtually no accomplishments should be so demanding? Have you noticed what his favorite word is? "Require".

"Eh huh well, you know … uh I think that there are … there are so many ... issues ... in which I am not an expert ... but REQUIRE ... you to be an expert uh that mm-mm the most important job that I will have as president is ... choosing ... excellent people tuh help to shape ... policy and provide me with a clear set of decisions."

"Barack Obama will REQUIRE you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism ... that you come out of your isolation. ... Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

"In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be REQUIRED to do more - not less. ... So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress REQUIRES constant work and sustained sacrifice. They REQUIRE sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They REQUIRE allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other."

If listening to Obama has taught us anything, it's that when he uses the passive voice or an impersonal pronoun, he is still the subject. Obama requires us to do more, to work constantly and sacrifice unremittingly, to share burdens and listen to, learn from and most of all to trust, him.

Much has been made, by Obama's campaign workers and his adherents in the media, of his selflessness. I spelled that correctly, right? Yes, selflessness. It has two L's, and no H. Not selfeshness. No, not at all. That's not even a word. But here's the thing. Obama did indeed take a job as a ... community organizer. Some sort of pay cut might have been involved. Seems like such self-sacrifice, no? Alas. Look what he's doing with his "sacrifice". Flogging it. Using it. Selling himself on it. How then is it not just part of a long-term plan? A fleshing out of his CV?

It's not after all as if he was recruited for the job. He pushed himself forward. Me first. A few inquiries by Massachusetts Brahmans, are you available, and he launches himself from his Springfield office onto the national stage like Ester Williams plummeting from the springboard into her specially-built backlot pool. It takes a certain amount of self-esteem -- like, all of it -- to suppose oneself worthy of the highest office in the world, pace Benedict. We can't object to ego. But we'd like it to be backed up by something other than rhythmic intonations methodically punctuated by repeated formulaic phrases. We must -- we must -- we must -- that's why-- that's why -- that's why -- they require --they require -- they require ...

Yep. That mustache suits him. Even if it is only on the inside.


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