That US Presidency Thing

Mr President, Copyright me, Chris Pink. I’m expecting this image to be stolen by someone, and if it isn’t, I may even be a little disappointed

From the other day:

It seems I’ve become a political dork. I’ve been reading and researching about the upcoming US Elections too much. I know this to be fact because last night, I dreamed I was an entirely unique version of the current US President (so unique, in fact, that I didn’t have a name or a face – I may even have lacked a discernible body to be honest – and for some reason this gave me a kind of mystery and edge which people seemed to like). It was terrifying, actually. But what was much more terrifying was my opponent – none other than imaginary republican presidential candidate Bill “The mule” Borat. Bill was an outrageous and formidable opponent, but first and foremost he had one superpower that I could not compete with or even begin to work out: at any given time, whenever the hell he wanted, usually when we were both in a heated presidential debate on national TV and I needed to keep my cool and not be distracted, he could transform into a mule. That’s right: a mule. The worrying thing wasn’t so much that he could transform into a mule at will – although I admit that I was very jealous for several decades, this being a long and very drawn-out dream – it was more that he was offering to give rides to the US general public for £5 each, on national TV or not (I should have become suspicious that it was £5 and not $5, but there you go, I was at the dream’s mercy). My God he was devious…he was giving them rides so they would like him more and vote for his stupid mule face, of course – why…the sneak, the downright villain! Bill Borat was one tough enemy alright. It seemed impossible that I could compete with his malevolent tactics, even if I could consume raw potatoes with ease (something which for some bizarre reason held a lot of importance and prestige within the confines of my dream).

Like I said, the dream was drawn-out, and things were about to go from bad to horrendous. Towards what felt like the end of it, when I was quite unsurprisingly starting to get really sick of eating raw potatoes, I realised, once and for all, that no matter what I did, I couldn’t win against Bill “The mule” Borat. In fact, I was in such a sorry mental condition that I ended up going for 2 rides on his back just to try and ease the pain a bit. Fortunately, being a mule at the time, Bill “The mule” Borat didn’t gloat or mock me. He didn’t even give me a bumpy ride, which was sensitive of him. Still though, it was hideous and unspeakably tragic. I also had paper-thin jeans on, which meant that within just a minute of the first ride I had terrible blisters on the insides of my thighs (I couldn’t get off and put some proper trousers on because a) this would make me look weak and pathetic and b) Bill “The mule” Borat would charge me again as this was considered a new ride. I was rich but I wasn’t having that).

How scary…I dreamed all this and yet I am a trillion-miles away – actually, no, I’m an incalculable distance away – from ever being the US President. Not to mention, fortunately for me, eating raw potatoes/going for a ride on a mule and getting terrible thigh blisters. And if I’m dreaming weird things like this right now, what the hell might it be like if I was really doing it? If I was actually Obama? I dread to think, yet think I still do…

Time for my Jerry Springer sentence, but don’t worry, it’s just a sentence: we watch the news and read about what’s happening and we think we know it all, don’t we? At least I sometimes do, and I definitely know a few people who do. But recently it has come to my attention that, yes, indeed, I have not a clue what it might be like to be the current US President. Firstly, I was not brought-up in a remotely religious manner, secondly I’ve never even set foot in the United States, and thirdly, I couldn’t be less black or mixed-race if I tried, so me trying to inhabit the mind of Barrack Obama is a difficult and ultimately almost pointless affair. Add to that only a basic understanding of politics — compared to some of my friends, who know much more — and a less-than-comprehensive knowledge of US history and the chances of me actually being able to assmiliate all the necessary information to make a solid conclusion about it all is highly compromised. It’s almost certainly impossible, actually. And here’s the really scary thing: even if I could somehow quickly gain enough information to call myself some kind of expert, I still wouldn’t really understand the finer implications of Obama or Romney winning the new Presidency — to do that I’d have to slog through hundreds, if not thousands of pages of papers, archives, statistics and news footage. While it’s possible for all of us to form an opinion and be reasonably sure about what we believe, the real issue is that when it comes to working out what’s best for the US for the next few years and how things will really play out should either candidate win, only the experts have a grasp of the minutiae of it all. In my opinion, many of us are just speculating, trying to make sense of what information we have been given, much of which has been massively manipulated to lead us in a certain direction. In other words, we see what we want to see and at the end of it, we can’t win.

Actually, that turned out to be a Jerry Springer paragraph. Apologies.

Another important consideration is chance and how huge a part that plays in every-day life for all of us. Some people believe that we hold more or less all the power to manipulate our choices and environment. That everything is mainly within our control. But I’ve never really believed that. Chance can come along and make a mockery of everything you know to be true, and where the US Presidency is concerned, chance is likely to play a huge part for whomever wins it and what they’re able to accomplish (or destroy…). For example, what if Obama wins and, one day, he accidentally kills a deer while out joy-riding one night (he’s joy-riding because he’s fed-up with security following him around and also his wife has been nagging him again, which nobody ever reads about in the papers, which only makes him feel worse and more alone, again…). One of his security, catching-up with him – Obama was doing nearly 200mph so it took a while – sees the deer lying on the floor and breaks down. Mentally, I mean, because he’s a massive deer lover. This makes Obama extremely angry, but it’s fine because he’s all alone in the middle of nowhere and he can feel safe in the knowledge that nobody will ever see what’s about to happen. He can do more or less whatever he pleases. Except chance has other ideas. Sadly for Obama, a photographer was hiding in the bushes all along, and out he jumps now, snapping a picture of Obama kicking the security guy right in the face and also simultaneously right in the bollocks with his other foot (Obama is proud of this cool new trick which he’s been perfecting for a while with the help of an ageing Steven Seagal). Not cool for Obama, as chance has it that the papers the next day show the US President as a face-kicking, needs-anger-management-FAST type of a person. In a matter of hours, he’s viewed as violent and dangerous for anyone with testicles and a love of animals. In a matter of days, nobody likes Obama any more, and deer lovers are at the front of the angry queue (although Obama’s stunt has resulted in a mass increase in the number of box’s sold, which manufacturers of plastic genital protection kits are very happy about).

Or it could be Romney. Chance is equally cruel to everyone, even smooth-talking republicans who are almost as rich as some small countries. If Romney gets in then he could be having a bath one day when he decides that he’d quite like to get out and shave all his genital pubic hair off (he hasn’t discussed this with any of his Mormon friends, as they would not approve). Except just at the moment Romney is doing this with a straight-razor, his big stupid clumsy dog comes bounding through the door, smashing it open, with Romney slipping and accidentally slicing his own penis off in the process — woops! Predictably, the dog then grabs hold of the severed member, mistaking it for a rather pale sausage, and runs out of the house feeling really quite pleased with himself, wanting to show it off to all his doggyfriends. Romney follows, spurting blood all over the place, and the second he makes it outside and is inches away from the dog, a photographer takes a picture, the opportunistic bastard-of-a-git: it shows Romney naked chasing a dog, bleeding to death and looking more than a bit incompetent. Not to mention incontinent. That’s quite a serious fuck-up, even for someone who has made more of those in the past few months than probably all of the other US presidential hopefuls in US history combined, perhaps (although the madness of the move does result in Romney, sans penis, being offered a part in a Halloween horror movie with a similar plot. It doesn’t bring his penis back to life, of course, but it does at least give him something to focus on while the new fake penis is being modelled and created and readied to be sewn back on).

But let’s not get bogged-down in Romney accidentally slicing his own penis off and Obama’s obsession with Steven Seagal which ended in big problems. We haven’t even talked about the pressure of being on the campaign-trail yet, let alone being in-power. It’s easy to say how useless both the president and Romney have been at various recent times, but to consider being on the campaign-trail as an easy thing would be naïve. Actually, it’s be downright dumb. First you have the intense lack of sleep while travelling the length and breadth of the country, then you have the paralysing issue of having to think constantly, every second, about what’s coming or about to come out of your mouth. Put one word in the wrong place and it could lead to not one but several or more problems further down the line. Questions you don’t want to answer, issues you don’t want to deal with, and people you definitely don’t want to face. All that and we haven’t even discussed the fact that while all this is happening, you’re trying to hold down a marriage, be a father, reassure everyone in America that you’re the man for the job and avoid looking at everything negative that is being written about you (which if you are the one who sliced his own penis off by accident, might be a lot…). It’s one hell of a task. I’m definitely glad that I don’t have to deal with it and you should be, too.

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