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America February 6, 2008
The Triumph of Hope Over Experience: Hillary vs. Obama
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

It's six in the morning Moscow, Russia time, and I've just finished watching the Democratic debate on my laptop. I thought I'd share with my fellow Americans one humble expatriate's opinion on the most important election since [ENTER DRAMATIC-SOUNDING EVEN-NUMBERED YEAR HERE]. From way out here in the land of "managed democracy" and retro menace, the spectacle of Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama standing together as the two candidates for the Democratic Party left me with one overriding impression: THEY'RE BORING!

Why wasn't I warned? Who decided that this was an election battle between old and new, between change and experience...or even more ludicrous, a choice between "hope" and "the new Richard Nixon"? Who's slapping these exciting-sounding narratives over a horrifically flat and undramatic reality? What's gotten into you people? Either the insurance lobby has been seeding America's atmosphere with laughing gas for the past few months, or you folks ("folks"-isn't that what you like to be called these days?) really are as stupid as you look from over here. And lemme tell you, if you look stupid from out here in the barbaric Eurasian steppes, then believe me you, you folks got a problem.

Before watching tonight's debate, I'd read about how electrifying and inspirational Barak Obama was supposed to be. I'd heard about the arenas jam packed with teary-eyed 20-somethings. I'd seen clips of a wild-eyed Chris Matthews salivating uncontrollably every time the word "Obama" was uttered, as if the slick Illinois senator was standing off-camera ringing a little bell. Indeed he's got about half of the younger-at-heart media demographic responding to that little bell of his, even people that I knew. I keep expecting to have Leonard Nimoy enter my apartment holding a small syringe and a ball of cotton, telling me to go to sleep, not to worry, I won't feel a thing, the next morning I'll be "inspired" by Obama too. Which is why I just crushed another Adderall...the hell if I'm going to sleep after seeing that debate.

Now that I've watched Barak Obama debate, and beheld this modern-day Martin Luther King Jr., this Kennedy-meets-Lincoln-by-way-of-John-The-Baptist, along with his co-star in this miserable prime time drama, Hillary Clinton, I gots ta ask: how can you people stand it? Forget about how either of those two could inspire emotions like love and hope and hatred-just physically, how can you watch it without wanting to kick something? That debate was the most boring television production since The Waltons. The best that could be said about the hour-plus I wasted watching that debate is that it made me feel less guilty about all the time I waste downloading porn.

But in making this judgment, I go on the false assumption that Americans have taste. Which you people don't. A country that spends 12 stressful underpaid hours a day in a cubicle for less and less pay, then returns home just in time to watch their favorite reality show about a group of hyper-ambitious business school reptiles sucking up to Donald Trump for a promotion is not a country whose tastes can be trusted. The Apprentice is the only explanation for Obama's appeal: his perfectly bland, business-friendly swagger makes him exactly the sort of African-American who'd earn Trump's approval...For a country that's spent the last 30 years sucking up to their bosses in direct proportion to the contempt that their bosses show to them, it's only fitting that they'd swoon over Obama.

And then there's the doomed co-star Hillary. Poor Hillary, no matter how sweetly she soups up her cheek implants or blonds up her gray roots, and no matter how blandly she tries to out-bland Barak with her flat monotone voice, she just can't break out of her character role as America's Misogyny Magnet: she's the bitchy-neighbor in the bad sitcom who always gets the live studio audience to crow "oooo": the minute the camera focuses on her, you feel a kind of unmediated hate that's completely beyond your control, a strain of perfectly preserved, primal misogyny locked up deep inside of just about every voting-age male's psyche (if you claim you haven't felt it, you're either a monstrous liar or else you're wearing a leather head harness with an inflatable mouth gag as you're reading this). Sure she's as bland as Barak, perhaps even marginally blander, but at the animal level, she triggers a neurochemical jet that sets off the very first hate you felt for a powerful and threatening woman (like, say, I dunno, your 4th grade teacher Mrs. McManus? or the dean Ms. Mead, the wrinkled-mouth Episcopalian baboon who kicked you out of school and told you you'd never amount to anything?-yep, that kind of hate, funny I should still remember it). For years now American men and the women who suck up to them have been trying to attach some sort of moral or political significance to their Hillary hatred, but safely out here in Eurasia, I can tell the simple plain truth about it: it's a misogyny that we can't control. We hate her because she's the embodiment of every woman we've ever hated since the time we opened our eyes. You can't explain it, which is why it's such an ugly yet pure hatred, and why everyone burns the candle on both ends to justify the hate in moralistic terms, or political terms, or anything but raw misogyny. She's been taking the misogyny heat for a good 25 years from roughly 150 million Americans, maybe more, and it's transformed her into the perfect male-ego punching bag, with just about as much soul and sensitivity as a thick leather bag full of padded stuffing can possibly have.

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The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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