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Coping with Obamamania


February 12, 2009
By Ian Robinson

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Coping with Obamamania

OK, am I the only one?

Am I the only one who, if he hears these words anytime in the near future, plans to:

a) Scream

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b) Beat whoever uttered them with a Nerf bat until they promise never to to utter those words again

c) Become a hermit in a mountain cave, dressed in the skins of squirrels that are my main source of protein, driven into isolation by my fear of hearing those words again.

Now, the words that should most disturb a man of my age and station in life ought to be things like:

a) "I'm telling your wife about us."

b) "We've detected a little spot on your x-ray."

c) "Don't think of it as a ‘layoff.' Think of it as a life-changing opportunity."

d) "Dad, I think I'm a woman trapped in a man's body."

But no. Thanks to this weird moment in human history, I can't be driven crazy by normal stuff.

Nope.

For me-and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one-the two words that make me want to scream are:

1. Barack.
2. Obama.

Followed closely by "hope" and "change."

I have lived more than half a century, been to Bucharest, Vegas, and London, England, dated a girl with three nipples (not for long!), saw a two-headed goat in a jar of alcohol at a roadside museum on my honeymoon, have been to one exhibition and three county fairs, broken another man's nose and had my nose broken by another man, buried friends, pets, a parent, was born the year human beings sent up the first artificial earth satellite, remember the grownups crying about the Kennedy assassination when I was just a kid, lived through several recessions and Beatlemania, and I have never-EVER-seen anything like Obamamania.

Everybody loves him.

Even the entire news media.

During the recent U.S. presidential campaign, John McCain and Sarah Palin were asked questions like: "By the way, Senator McCain, aren't you like about six months from complete senility? And Governor Palin? Aren't you a semi-illiterate hick?"

Meanwhile, the toughest question Obama faced during the entire presidential campaign was: "Gee, Barack, does it get tiring for you being so great?"

Don't get me wrong. I think it's awesome the Americans finally elected a black person president.

Of course, I was hoping that black person would be Condi Rice or Chris Rock, or anybody else with an actual resume, but hey. Life often stops short of perfection.

At first I thought, it was only because I'm a Canadian that I was immune to Obamamania.

Because, let's face it, there hasn't been a Canadian politician in recent memory who gave people the warm fuzzies.

Never met Stephen Harper personally, but one guy I know-who loves Harper as PM-says the guy has all the warmth of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.

Paul Martin looked like somebody's dotty uncle.

Personally, I thought it was great Jean Chretien got caught on camera with his hands actually around the neck of a protester, but again… not the sort of thing to inspire Obama-like adoration.

Brian Mulroney? Kim Campbell?

Trudeau inspired adoration…for reasons less clear than Obama.

At least Obama is good looking.

But Canadians did get caught up in Obamamania-even though it's not our country!

And why?

Because…because…of hope…and change…and Barack Obama.

Which is kind of odd because, at least in terms of his public utterances, Barack Obama is anti-Canadian.

Despite what people like to think, most of our exports to the world are raw materials like, oh, I dunno, OIL!

And Obama is an avowed environmentalist.

The goals of his administration are to reduce the amount of oil they use, fight global warming (read: close factories), and protect American jobs.

That might mean so long free trade and if that happens, Canada will get to fully participate in the U.S. recession.

But Canadians love him nevertheless, probably for the same reasons Americans do.

Because he's not George W. Bush.

There were probably grand and eloquent, Obamaesque sentences in George Bush's head. It's just that not one of them could find it's way out his mouth.

In Bush's own words: We "misunderestimated" him.

The economy's going south for a while, the world is just as full of people who hate the western world as it was the morning of 9/11…and yet Barack Obama has everybody feeling good.

About themselves. About the future.

I guess that's great until the future arrives and everybody finds out that one guy-no matter what his job description-is going to be the answer to all their problems.

But now that the election's over, can we all go back to what's truly important in life?

No… ot our families.

While watching all the Obama coverage, we missed an awful lot of hockey.