Americans are so romantic and/or brain-damaged by Hollywood narratives that they would rather gamble everything on a dreamboat trip to an unknown destination (Obama) than re-invest in an older, wiser, proven disappointment (Hillary). As a country, we are still haplessly immature and emotionally retarded by the Power of Dumb Mythology (i.e. the gratifyingly infantile World of Disney, as opposed to the hardcore and sometimes depressing Joseph Campbell). Our crazy-dreamer-style political decision-making is based on a totally optimistic disregard for actual politics, the learning process, and logic in general. We've been absolutely clobbered at the table in the last 6 years, but we're still voting from instinct instead of intellect. Americans would rather play Texas Hold'Em than learn to calculate probabilities... but the interesting and encouraging thing about Americans is that we will eventually learn to calculate probabilities by playing Texas Hold'Em.
It's our great talent, and only hope for competing with the stunningly self-abnegating, industrious groupthink of the Chinese: we still have the accidental genius that seems to happen when spoiled Americans overindulge themselves. Elvis. Madonna. Lowrider bicycles. Richard Pryor. Miles Davis. Gay fabulousness. Grand Theft Auto.
These are our proudest exports: bursts of louche creative expression that have always been slightly too controversial, sexy, and intoxicating for our politicians to get too close to.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
08 January 2008
A dreamboat trip to an unknown destination
Cintra Wilson on the Iowa caucuses: