When a disaster happens, people reach for an instant baseline of comparison in a movie. Real tragedy seems unreal because it seems cinematic. The story of Obama is equally cinematic, it real because it is like a movie. Except it isn’t a movie, and yet it is, because we experience it in two ways, through the real connection with the economic consequences of his policies, and through the unreal display of his teleprompter fed blatherings, the easy grin that he practices in a mirror and the eyes that never quite look at anything because they are their own reflection.
Obama is a real disaster that seems cinematic. We have all seen this movie, but we have seen two versions of the movie. In one version, a bad unfit man climbs to power and ruthlessly abuses power to achieve his ends. In the other version, a good saintly man is elected and fights desperately to keep the bad men from abusing power. Which of those movies you think that you are watching depends on a variety of factors. But the problem is that reality isn’t a movie. And it doesn’t go away when you change the channel.
When all the bubbles of rhetoric pop, there are still the hard unpleasant realities to deal with. Bailouts and money pits can only bury them for so long. Governments sending money to banks and swapping worthless commodities that only exist in the theory of a theory only work for as long as people believe in them.
Even an unreal economy reported on by an unreal media cheering on an unreal leader can only run for so long until reality punches through the illusion, the curtain falls, the magicians scramble off the stage with rabbits and doves tucked into their pants, and everyone wakes up to realize that the dream is over and we realize that we are entering a world where the stories no longer matter and history is about to begin.
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