Dear Dirty America


DNC 2012: A Lot of Bad Acting

September 07
04:08 2012
Los Angeles

Caricature of Obama taken from the work of  DonkeyHotey

I have not touched the Democratic National Convention here, but Walter Kirn wrote a really intriguing, thoughtful piece about the 2012 DNC at The New Republic. I once had the pleasure of listening to Kirn give a reading in Los Angeles. He is a very funny, honest man, and that shines through in the article from which I’m going to quote.

Kirn called the First Lady’s speech Tuesday night speech “a wandering, vaporous, contrived display of middle-brow sentimentality and word-goo….” He admits he might have misinterpreted her speech, judging from what the rest of the political reporters and pundits were saying. Or else “everyone else had misinterpreted it, perhaps, which comes to the same thing.”

Kirn writes:

“I think it’s lousy,” I whisper during Michelle Obama’s appearance Tuesday night to a colleague who’s sitting rapt before his monitor obviously thinking just the opposite. When I get no response, I elaborate, expand. “She’s overacting. Two gestures for every word. I don’t like all the family nostalgia either: the ‘we were so poor and in debt’ stuff. It’s corny. Patronizing. She’s trying to do some hypnotic regression thing, too, where we all fall in love with the old ‘08 Obama again and block out everything that’s happened since.”

Other than looking spectacular, Michelle Obama’s speech was “word-goo”, and silly. I watched thirty minutes of Barack Obama’s speech. That’s all I could stand. It was being broadcast live on the Huffington Post‘s front page. Farther down, there were stories about nipple slips similar to that famous, well-written piece about an orange bra being exposed on an innocent Jennifer Lawrence.

So, if the president’s DNC speech isn’t for you, you could always get a hot glance at Kim Kardashian’s breathtaking cleavage.

Either way, back to life on planet earth. Back to minimum-wage reality. I couldn’t watch Obama’s speech for more than thirty seconds, and for the same reasons Kirn couldn’t stand Michelle’s over-gesticulations. She was reading from a teleprompter. They could’ve written a speech for Kardashian and let her read it over the goddamned teleprompter. Same thing.

If Kirn is like me, he’s thinking Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. If the 2012 RNC was a lot of horseshit, the DNC is not much better. Elizabeth Warren was good, but only because she’s truly fought for the middle class and poor. She seems honest in her endeavors.

If Barack Obama really wants to restore the American Dream, then he would have squashed the GOP when he first took office. He would have made certain that those on Wall Street responsible for our financial collapse would have been prosecuted. He would have directed meaningful Wall Street reform. Obama would have curbed the War on Drugs, instead of unleashing the contemptible Eric Holder onto medical marijuana users — many of whom had voted for Obama to get elected.

So when the president talks of a fair shot for all people — from Main Street to Wall Street — I don’t believe him. Why should I? Why should you?

Obama’s Department of Justice wouldn’t have just closed any chance for criminal charges to be brought against the CIA for their roles in torture, like waterboarding. The president also would have at least publicly censured the Bush Administration for their roles in sending American troops into a fake war that had very real and deadly results for both sides involved.

When the president talks about making decisions in this upcoming election about war or peace, why should we think he’s going to uphold the latter? Because he won the Nobel Peace Prize? What does peace look like to Barack Obama? Twenty-one women, and fourteen children dead after a US Tomahawk missile cruise on the village of Al-Majalah? If that were the only civilian-casualty-heavy strike our president had commanded.

That’s why, no matter how charismatic Barack Obama reads words off his teleprompter, I will only think Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. In 2008, he had the nation behind him. Ten million votes strong. Real hope and change could have been enacted. Wars ended. No predator drones taking out whole villages in Yemen and Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Walter Kirn, at the end of his article, stated that “disagreeing with the conventional wisdom even as it’s born around you…is a profoundly disorienting experience.”

I find it disorienting to listen to liberals praise president Obama. It makes me wonder what world I’m living in. But what world are they living in? Are people that impervious to the egregious actions of the Obama administration? Even though many of those same people hotly refuted and complained of the Bush era’s Patriot Act, never ending wars, and rapidly developing surveillance state?

Dear Jesus, America! We think this is the Superbowl. Red versus Blue. Only two teams, so if you want in on the action, you’d better get into the stadium, choose your side, and cheer like hell.

Why can’t people realize there is an entire reality outside of the stadium? Why can’t Americans realize they really haven’t been given the blessing of choice. The only choice we have has been granted to us by Wall Street. It’s between cold shit and warm shit. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, respectively.

If you’re happy with warm shit, then fine. This country is doomed. We’ll never break the cycle of illusion.

I must give credit for the cold/warm shit metaphor to Charles Bukowski. He said that about America, and he was right.


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  1. Tomás Hradcky
    Tomás Hradcky September 07, 05:08

    Reposting from my FB comment:

    Adam, really well written. Thanks for sharing this. I really don’t want to take away or harsh anyone’s enthusiasm. In reality, though, it is easier to fall into line when we are continually shown only the two choices.

    It is a sad state of affairs that the better “choice” has not done what he promised and is asking for 4 more years with new (or regurgitated) promises. Broken promises of holding the proverbial peoples feet responsible for harming this/our country to the fire while skirting his own feet out of the way for his open failures.

    It’s unfortunately easier to accept the “better” choice when choosing between gas for the car, to get to the shitty job paying less than work of twenty or even thirty years ago, or food for the kids. Sadly just easier.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dan Rudy
    Dan Rudy September 08, 02:29

    I do agree, and very poignantly written. But then one is forced to ask – if not Obama, then who? Romney’d be a nightmare, if only because he lacks a clear sense of self. We’d be ball-grasped by the inimitable Tea Party. It would be a four-year agony, sir.

    Reply to this comment

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