Monday, March 8, 2010


Now tell me:  doesn't Charlize Theron at the 2010 Oscars look a little like Miss Mazeppa, the brassy stripper in Gypsy? She's got the breastplate and the don't-mess-with-me moue.  All she needs is a helmet and a trumpet.  I guess Miss Mazeppa's song still applies:  "Ya Gotta Have a Gimmick."

President Obama could probably take a cue from Mazeppa and Charlize.  Americans don't seem to want their leaders to be too ordinary--think about "Honest Abe" with his stovepipe hat and beard--or TR with all those kids and all those dead animals on his wall--or, the absolute champion of gimmickry, FDR, with his pince nez glasses, jaunty cigarette holder and Yalta cape.  These guys knew how to "get a hand" and "get ahead" with some pretty good gimmicks that shielded them from what Miss Mazeppa calls "disisparaging remarks."  

C'mon Mr. President.  We paid you to give us a good show, to take us somewhere out of the ordinary.  So far, all you've managed to do is talk nice and remove your tie.  That's much too tame.  

So here's a little advice.  First of all, shave your head completely--bald heads on black guys make us think of real heroes, i.e., basketball players.  Second, go ahead and acquire a little discrete bling--maybe a nice "O"-shaped earring to remind us that you are still that rock star that we thought we elected.  Third, just to tone things down a bit, start reading your Tele-Prompter using professorial half-moon glasses (not dark, drug dealer things, though); this will reinforce the notion that you actually know more than the rest of us and, consequently, can be trusted to lead us somewhere we might like to go.

And remember Oscar Wilde:  "In matters of grave importance, style not sincerity is the vital thing."  The Republicans already know this (just watch Glenn Beck).  It's time you learned the lesson, too.  Start tooting your horn.  I bet you'll get a hand.  (As I did, for playing FDR at a party once, long ago.)


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