Barack Obama is re-elected. The world will not end and I can finally watch the news without my asthma inhaler. Not a bad way to start one’s day, right? Even though I’m East European born and bred, I couldn’t afford to miss the American election D Day, especially since it managed to incorporate all the main elements of television broadcast: the absurdity of situation comedy, the suspense of high-tension drama and the verisimilitude of reality shows. It’s a veritable show business.
Presidential elections are another in the series of “products” that the Americans were able to successfully export all over the world. To offer you an example, did you hear the story about a young Kenyan mother who named her twin sons after the two presidential candidates? Rather excessive in my opinion, but it fits perfectly with the picture I’m trying to paint. The American elections have turned into a huge multi-million corporation. The ubiquity of the Stars-and-Stripes flag outside the United States borders sufficiently exposes the need all political peeping Toms have to indulge in electoral excessiveness.
I’m actually surprised I didn’t see Obama and Romney action figures (or effigies – after all, this is November, the month when famous people are ignominiously burned at the stake – a method very much popular with the old Roman Catholic Church). As much as burning innocent people for no valid reason may sound fun, let us return to the no less combustible debates that took place between Romney and Obama. It was the White House porn for the politically unaffiliated. For a while Romney was on top, then Obama, the whole thing resembled some sort of a rough fore-play.
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far far away …
Being a Star Wars enthusiast, I’m still unable to get over the excitement of seeing the endless fight between good and evil play itself out between Obama and Romney. A New Hope is how Obama’s 1st term in office was envisioned by the voters. The reality was much less glorious. In the upcoming sequel Return of the President, the Democrats promise a different and more importantly, a better future for the American Empire. Personally, I think Obama did what he could do after being confronted with the mess George Junior left behind. What I know for certain is that both of them satisfactorily presented their views in their respective autobiographies, another by-product of the presidential campaign. Even I own a copy of Hillary Clinton’s Memoirs (the updated edition of course) which takes under scrutiny her husband’s two consecutive terms in the Oval Office. The publishers know that these types of books sell like hot cakes.
(Photo Credit: http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?default.0.1320)
However, the Obama Drama doesn’t end there. On Tuesday we were all biting our nails to see which side would win because one MUST care about the USA (even if they only care about themselves). Our national television, for example, was closely monitoring the unfolding of events. The entire night (we are in a different time zone after all) was dedicated to analysing the candidates’ campaigns, the economy, voting habits of the U.S. citizens and many topics of peripheral interest to an European ear. When I tuned in, the distinguished guests in the studio were discussing Michelle Obama’s role as the nation’s fashion trendsetter. I’m glad they did a piece on her wardrobe and made an exhaustive report on her inauguration dress from four years ago because I nearly put on the same dress to go to the cinema. Imagine how embarrasing it would look.
Talking about cinema, it seems the presidential campaigns would feel incomplete without the ladies and gentlemen of Tinseltown. Celebrities seem anxious to show their support to the Chosen One. As tempted as I am to downplay their political prestige, I’m forced to admit that back in 2008 Oprah’s ardent support of Bronco Obama helped gather many female votes. This time around there wasn’t any drastic change either. Hollywood with the exception of Clint Eastwood and Chuck Norris stood quite firmly behind Obama. Film industry is not big on conservatism. (Besides, it would have seemed odd if the Cowboy Supreme and the Texas Ranger hadn’t gone south with Romney).
Indeed, there is no business like show business. Who better to exemplify this than the star of the reality show Apprentice. If nothing else, it was amusing to follow Trump’s reaction after the results from Ohio came in. Rarely does the occasion present itself when you can see Donald John Trump Sr. go through all the stages of grief in the space of an hour. It’s always diverting when multi-gillionaires or guilty millionaires (Oh Reverend Spooner your “transposition of initial sounds” makes me giggle) get all blue, no sorry (wrong colour) red in the face and have minor meltdowns on social networks.
All in all, the American elections took centre stage this week. My friends and family (the only people willing to talk to me) all picked sides. Everybody knew whom they would be supporting. This is particularly poignant since we also have presidential elections coming up this week, and I guarantee that there is still a great deal of vacillation among the voters. The Americans, on the other hand, have turned their presidential elections into a franchise. The winner takes it all. He is over-eulogized and expected to be the next Messiah or Skywalker. He is not seen as a person anymore, but becomes the main protagonist in a sci-fi film. The franchise turned its back on the hero it helped literally extol to the stars.
(Photo Credit: http://www.politifake.org/tags/wars)