It was on the far right, literally. A tiny block of space someone had purchased to help The Rake live another day. Pay up, and you can paste your sign/add your link/sing your song on my web page/television/telephone
the ultimate capitalist pervasion of everyday life, this heat-seeking
piranha of an ad jumped at me, propelled by the finely tuned instincts
of specialized software, somewhere in cyberspace, sensing Barack
Obama’s name on the page and inferring from it the presence of
There I was, and there it was, so close:
"The Real Barack Obama (link) The truth behind the canditate (sic)" – "Barack Obama Exposed – Free!" (with another link)
I hesitated. The piranha bit down hard. I clicked!
…and could almost feel the blood rush:
his radical stance on abortion to his prominence in the corruption
scandals that has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media,
Barack Obama is not fit to be Senator — not to mention the next
President of the United States. Obama has declared his presidential
intentions, but it is up to well-informed and energetic conservatives
like you to spare our nation from the scourge of a far-left President
Barack H. Obama."
politics is the grand stage of the most aggressive promoters, the
truest believers. Neglect their theater and they will seek you out,
seek to turn you out. I slept through the 2004 and 2000 elections. Even
now, I was placidly detached. But this impassioned gnome of an ad leapt
from the stage, snatched me from the placid pages of an innocent,
literate webzine, and forced me, drove me, deep into its chosen thicket
of passion and intrigue.
I was in the hunt. I clicked a link, then another, and got:
must be just me! I mean, does anyone else see the lying racist? The
Obamination of this country is about to walk right into the Democratic
nomination and no-one is doing a damned thing about it! PEOPLE…Obama
hates this nation and WHITE people! HELLO! Is anyone out there? Are you
folks so stupid and blind that it is already over? Is America already
doomed from the inside out? Was President Lincoln correct when he said
this nation will only be defeated from within?! Jesus people…can’t
you see what is happening here? Wake up! The man will not cover his
heart during the National Anthem…oh god…I could go on forever!"
smoke! From clever, benign, literacy to full frontal attack in three
clicks. I recalled twentieth century sites affixing Bill Clinton’s name to
the legends of dead people, many legends, many dead people – the
Clinton Body Count, they called it. One page had animated graphic blood dripping down the sides. I
remembered admiring the enthusiasm (and the graphics!) more than the
argument. Had I convinced myself that towering invective was unique to
Bill? The question begged for investigation.
I enlisted Google.
"Barack Obama exposed" brought 38,500 Google "results". Oh, my! A huge number. But compared to what? I tried for context.
Clinton exposed" scored 12,600 pages, a bare third of Obama’s total; "John McCain exposed" an almost negligible 2,350. It’s an Obama
phenomenon. But why?
brain churned through the usual suspects. Is the web’s free wheeling
candor a cultural Petri dish, nurturing explosions of racist bacteria?
Does Obama’s generic celebrity merit the poisonous paparazzi pursuit of
Paris or Britney? Are the White Knights of the Right so certain of
their enemy that they write off Hillary as a dead woman walking?
was I, naive in the ways of The Web, missing the connotation of
"exposed"? Perhaps it’s that Obama is, how to put this delicately, hot?
I tried something else.
"Barack Obama nude" brings 725 results, but "Hillary Clinton nude" launches 21,200 pages.
Aha! The light goes on. Sealing the deal, "John McCain nude" scores a pitiful 64. That’s it!
about testosterone. The Bad Old Surfer Dudes want to see women naked
and new kids trashed. What about McCain? 64 "results" close that
question. Nobody cares about the old guy. He’s not a threat.
like to think elections are about ideas and principles, about who would
do the best job. But there’s waaaay more than that. Frank Luntz
theorizes it’s about talking to the reptilian brain: "80 percent of our life is emotion, and only 20 percent is intellect." I think I’ve found supporting evidence.