As with cursing, I endeavour to avoid writing about politics whenever possible. Borne from the cynicism of man in mid-life crisis, in a world bereft of inspirational leaders, I ordinarily haven’t the enthusiasm nor the energy to venture into that particular ‘den of iniquity’.
Watching ‘goings on’ from a seat with deliberately chosen restricted views in the upper balcony of the theatre, I despair as I watch the plot unfold on the stage below. My poor mood exacerbated by the guy sat in front of me making a cacophonous din sucking and chomping on Everton mints.
This stage, which once bore world leaders whose audience awarded a standing ovation, now the domain of the vapid whose performances are well below Tony Award standard.
I’d love to leave this disturbing performance, moving on to an adjacent Broadway establishment where it will all be different. Somewhere a semblance of sanity, humanity and care prevails. Alas, all the other shows appear to have the same turgid content so I might as well sit this one out.
Just this year, from my restricted view seat, I’ve witnessed a farce ‘Brexit Fiasco’, a distasteful mutiny called ‘Labour Leadership Challenge’ and am currently halfway through the far fetched drama ‘New US President’.
This latest play is a barely believable tale of a posturing American alpha male (with a past) contesting the right to be leader of the free world against a posturing American women (with a different type of past) who allegedly is clumsy when administering her email account.
Their fight is seemingly not one of policies. Instead a tasteless affair is unfolding where each one seeks victory by saying they’d be a better president, not because of policies, moreover because they aren’t as horrible as their opponent. Uninspiring politics of the playground on the highest stage.
To stay with the theatre analogy, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in Washington’s Ford Theatre in 1865. A tragic end to a greatly respected and visionary man. If only the theatre had been dishing up the performances I’ve been watching from my restricted view seat this year, he’d have avoided the show that night and enjoyed greater longevity.
I’d love to think that as a non-American I could leave the theatre now and go have a beer in Sean’s Irish Bar or Frank’s on 92nd Street. Alas, the ending of this bizarre plot affects us all worldwide as the victor will be our unofficial commander.
Their spoils not just a bijou residence in Washington, DC, but also a close personal friendship with the nuclear codes.
They aren’t the only perks of the job for the President. Whoever is inaugurated as Commander in Chief in January 2017 will also be allowed to shout at anyone in the world with impunity, unless hunting with Dick Cheney when caution is advised!
In his book ‘Made Up Things President’s Can Do’, author Vernon Kluster highlights a series of fictional fringe benefits of holding higher office in the US. These included not having to queue at Costco checkouts, a uniform made out of bees wax and a massage from someone named Cynthia.
After six months in the job, if you pass your probationary period, you’re allowed to grow a full beard with impunity, but only if you’re a woman. Male presidents are denied the right to grow a full beard but are allowed the moustache less version like Abe Lincoln.
It suddenly feels like every major election around the world has the no win situation similar to that of 17th century Britain’s ‘ordeal by water’.
During this procedure, if a woman was suspected of being a witch she was dunked in water in front of a prurient crowd baying for her blood. If she floated she was deemed to be a witch and killed, if however she submerged she was said not to be a witch, however generally drowned anyway!
I can’t help but thinking, we’ll end up in a world with so poor leadership we start rooting for the aliens to prevail in movies!
If, by any off chance, you want any more of my thoughts on politics they can be read in my book ‘Gary Strachan’s Ill Informed Thoughts On Politics & Uses of Vinegar’. This will be available at all good (and some bad) book stores after I’ve written it!