Maybe there’s something to be said for decadence. The same pop culture that created and, to some degree, still sustains Obama’s cult of personality may, in the end, turn out to be His public relations Waterloo (to borrow a phrase from Senator Demint). Thank God—the real one, that is—for all those insipid Americans that suffer from an attention span so short it sometimes needs to be measured in nanoseconds.
Obama continues to play to His strength: His much-vaunted, “extraordinary” ability to make great speeches that stir the soul of America, eloquent calls to action to effect the Change We’ve All Been Waiting For (whatever that means). We’ve discovered, though, there’s a caveat. Without David Axelrod’s speechwriting, the ever-present teleprompter and the networks’ stellar production values, Barry can often be underwhelming, at times even giving W a run for his money in the sputtering, stumbling and bumbling department.
So, while there’s a calculated risk, they keep putting Barack out there for mass consumption. He’s everywhere. He must hold the record for the most times a president’s mug has graced magazine covers. CNN and MSNBC have entire wings in their retail shops devoted to nothing but Obamabilia. In just the first few months of His tenure, our young, charismatic president has held more prime-time press conferences than you can shake a stick at—and much to the annoyance of American Idol fans. And now, in unprecedented Orwellian fashion, President Maximus plans to address all our school children at one time in one big coast-to-coast general assembly, filling their little skulls full of mush with who knows what palatable bromides. Obama will also be throwing a Hail Marry to save the languishing health care reform initiative by addressing a joint session of Congress during prime-time. This will be the second “state of the union” speech He’s given before actually giving the real State Of The Union in January.
One gets the impression The First Egoist loves to hear Himself talk. Frankly, I’ve grown weary of His melodious yet droning meter. (Rush Limbaugh came up with a palliative for this by cycling Obama’s audio clips at a higher rate, thereby rendering an Alvin The Chipmunk effect—it helps.) Especially irksome is Obama’s robot-like, well-timed turns to the left followed, with the precision of a fine Swiss watch, turns to the right. When He’s addressing an audience He’s like a zombie watching slow-motion ping-pong. He’s become predictable. The pixie dust has finally begun to settle and the magic has gone out of His glorious speech which sounds more and more programmed and inauthentic. And Barry’s propensity to tell whoppers while earnestly pleading His case hasn’t helped. He’s developed a nasty credibility problem.
Barack Hussein Obama, deep-thinker, profound intellect, brilliant Man of vision, has embarrassingly committed a pop culture faux pas: He’s allowed Himself to become oversaturated. And, in the Video Age, where titillation and instant gratification are paramount, where tweeting the latest meme or craze is the norm, that’s a no-no. Morally vacuous Americans, especially young people, have little appreciation for transcendent, enduring values. Instead they love fads—and celebrities. Obama is both. That’s why so many of the shallow, unthinking and gullible jumped on the Obama bandwagon. Rather than being embarrassed by the adoration, Obama has promoted it. Remember, He wrote two autobiographies before He ever accomplished anything of note.
But the problem is fads and celebs are transient, like quarks constantly bubbling up from the Quantum Field only to instantly disappear, being absorbed back into the subatomic soup of endless possibilities. Okay, Obama has shown more staying power than that; but this shooting star is gradually burning out as the plummeting poll figures reveal. Thankfully, there’s a natural limit to America’s stupidity. So come on America, it’s about time to redirect your worship to the latest Britney Spears or Zack Efron.
People watch the Super Bowl as much for the clever, innovative ad campaigns that are debuted as for the football contest itself. Yet a few months later those same viewers will tune out those same ads which have become commonplace, having lost their novelty and luster. Obama’s brand has been over-sold. The Obama cult of personality is just another bubble which the laws of physics dictate must burst sooner or later.
While there is much to critique about American pop culture, the irony is this: pop culture’s Zeitgeist of superficiality which propelled Obama to superhuman heights, coupled with the ennui of that same fickle culture, may just, in the end, save the Union from this ubiquitous, ambitious and dangerous Wizard of O.