Quo Vadis, Mr O? Or: See How He Runs

 

Eshu’s blues by michael hureaux perez

Some of us predicted that Obama would be bad news, but few of us could imagine how bad. “Little as we trusted him, we never thought that Barrack Obama would descend into a Nixonian charade.”

 

Quo Vadis, Mr O? Or: See How He Runs

Eshu’s blues by michael hureaux perez

The nation’s first Black president has been about his Great White Father’s business.”

Clearly the election of 2012 draws near, for the President of the United States in recent weeks has begun to display once again the rhetorical fervor that won him the presidency three years ago. Everywhere, legions of amnesiac progressives both black and white are posting pictures of him in snow-white shirtsleeves at the podium, the people’s hero, back to save the world and mugs like you. It is, to be sure, a very good thing that bleach is in plentiful supply, for it has been a long first term, and the nation’s first Black president has been about his Great White Father’s business, mired in blood to his elbows weekly since assuming office, and it would not do to have him appear before his admirers with stained shirtcuffs.

So quo vadis, Mr O? Or, in the words of the hipster Kerouac, “What kind of sordid business are you on now? I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”

There comes no answer to the query, just the usual cuteness that myopic “lefts” generate every election year, photographs of the president in shades stepping out the presidential limo, with the slogan: “Vote Obama because Rick Perry could never look this cool.” Y’see, we’ve gone from “change we can believe in” to “looking this cool.”

But it’s sadder than that. Just last week, BAR ran footage of the President delivering his “push on” speech to the Congressional Black Caucus. There’s our Man, drawling Midwestern country style, dropping his “g”s, exhorting the audience to “push on.” At the close of his comments, he slaps the side of the presidential podium, and stepping to the side, his best earnest cast of the jaw for the cameras, he throws up his arm in a victory salute.

You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. The absurdity of the moment suggested to me nothing more than one of Christopher Guest’s “mockumentaries.” Arm extended to the heavens in that flash of the camera, Obama resembled nothing so much as Spinal Tap’s fading rock star guitarist Derrick Smalls.

Here is a powerfully gifted and able man who came upon the scene, willing to inflame the imagination and the political passions of millions, and now, having resigned himself to the chicanery that is bourgeois politics at this late date, he is satisfied to lampoon his own notion of fortitude, which, to be fair, never extended very far beyond his eyebrows to begin with. Still, it is a bittersweet moment even for we, his critics. Little as we trusted him, we never thought that Barrack Obama would descend into a Nixonian charade. But there he is, smaller than life. As the great dub poet Mutabaruka rhymes, it’s a shame to be living in a white man’s country too long. Sad, sad, sad.

michael hureaux perez is a writer, musician and teacher who lives in southwest Seattle, Washington. He is a longtime contributor to small and alternative presses around the country and performs his work frequently. Email to: [email protected].