I have a friend who's a doctor. Not a real doctor – well I have one of those too, but he's the boring, studious kind who won't help out by writing scripts for all the really fun drugs. No, my other doctor friend is not the boring studious kind, but he does know a lot about politics. He teaches it in fact. So I listened intently to him Opining Under the Influence the other day about the "Black Jesus", Barack Obama.
And lo, it gave me cause to think, and to Google. Indeed the terms "messianic" and "Obama" seem to be quite close pals these days, displayed in pieces such as this by Frank Rich of the New York Times:
In [the view of Clinton fans], their highly substantive candidate was unfairly undone by a lightweight showboat who got a free ride from an often misogynist press and from naïve young people who lap up messianic language as if it were Jim Jones’s Kool-Aid.
But does being a good speaker make you a cult leader? Obama supporter (but clearly not devotee) Kathlene Geier thinks it's heading that way:
Excuse me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity – the Obama volunteers speak of "coming to Obama" in the same way born-again Christians talk about "coming to Jesus."
Jake Tapper at ABC also has a few opinions about the increasingly self-referential rhetoric spouted in the Obama camp.
The problem I have, is I really want to like Obama, because I really don't like Hillary. She's corrupt, she's power hungry – I just don't like her. But given the choice between a power-hungry woman and a man who seems to be all talk and no substance… well it's just too much like our own upcoming elections, isn't it? Although I don't think anyone will ever accuse John Key of having the charisma required to lead the masses to the Rat-poisoned Raro. But he's the first Opposition leader to have out-rated Helen Clark in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, he's obviously doing something right.
A couple of things for those Wellingtonians among you:
First, I'm leaving town tomorrow, so you're safe to walk the streets again, dreads on display, skirts over trousers, boutique beers in hand without worrying about hearing me snicker. It might be late coming, but I've really had a fabulous time here over the corker summer, and I'm pleased that it sounds like one of my new part-time jobs will see me back down for a night every week or so. Most importantly, I hope to still be able to continue my duties as the reigning Wellingtonista Best Dub-dub-dubber.
Second, I was getting some photos of my Afghanistan and /Pakistan trip developed by the venerable team at Wellington Photographic on Grey Street (the little city store up the top of Lambton Quay, not the big one on Vivian Street) the other day. A couple of the staff there liked what they saw, and hey presto, a dozen or so of my shots have been blown up and are on display there (in two lots, for about a month each).
I'm really happy with the way they've come out, and flattered that they're up on display. Proof that with a good camera, an interesting subject, even an idiot can take the odd nice pic these days. You've seen some of them in the blog, but even at 5" x 7" (in gloss) I was impressed how much better they look in real life than on a computer screen. Perhaps a timely reminder to get some of your own favourite digital shots printed out before they're forever lost when your hard drive corrupts. (And a free plug here, if you get 100 prints done at Wellington Photographic, it works out rool reasonable).
Aucklanders, I'm planning something a bit more elaborate for you guys when I move up. Stay tuned (which in Interweb terms I guess is "keep it bookmarked"?)