emancipate the propaganda

by Zach Kincaid
We plastered Obama's hope and Biden's squint when we paper mached the Times this weekend. Flour and water knit by a wire underbelly will make for fine knight helmets. It's something useful at least.

I saw four opportunists, Irish rockers (who like Escape Club no doubt), get on their boots a few days ago, doing their Salome in front of a gloomy, Georgian marbled Lincoln in the background (maybe the only "ancient" monument not made by slaves, CNN tells me).

Emancipate the propaganda, I say. These stars stutter around the first family in some royalty revolution, Oprah Usher-ing in the boss with his mainstream grit. Serenade the commander and chief, the U.S. king whose rhetoric grew big pockets during the campaign and who is likely to toy with Congress from his executive order haven that Bush Jr. set up.

Hey boss, when grit gets greased there's little to hang on to. Lyndon B. snowed us just as bad as Reagan forgot and Clinton hid girls under his desk and the Bushes rustled mid-easterly under Cheney's scowl (and Carter had a peanut-sized you-know-what against hostage takers).

Today... this hour... the presidency is more princely than ever with the populace frenzied on the media's opinions and the marketing engines smokescreening true choice. Democracy is hamstrung by pithiness and short-ordered history. But oh how itching ears want the delights of oratory, with or without backbone.

Don't misinterpret. McCain had nothing to stand on as he implored the people while deplorably killing the maverick inside. But you have to do it, right? Our capitol is really about capital, and to raise it you need waxed banter. You also need privilege, taken through elaborate misfortune turned into the proper Harvard right-of-passage or have your papa's name. The Carters of history are more rare, especially from the South.

It's all frightfully dismal - American democracy - even with arena-sized crowds that flow out the streets to see a messiah who, for all they know, is touting blessed be cheese makers (actually, he might be in this economy). Heed the warnings of old - take the civil battles that led into Cromwell's "cruel necessity" of Charles I, or, later, the economic episodes that offered up ultimatums to southern states and forced subservience as far back as the three-fifths compromise. Not that I'm opposed to the winning side; it's simply realizing what is and what is not occurring and finding those things hidden in Blitzer's beard or Hannity's loudness. Maybe it's behind John King's magic screen!

If I miss the inauguration today, I'm sure this Youtubed White House will reach into my computer screen and send a nice message... make me feel part... of this charade. Oh, oh, what am I? Yeah, that's for another column - the American identity crisis - paper mache pulp, unfortunately.