The Campaign Trail by Mike Tyler // Part One
(suggested songs to listen to while reading: Alice Cooper, 'Elected;' Marvin Gaye, 'What's Going On;' Oasis, 'Rock n Roll Star')
This is the first in a series following the story of the 2012 American Presidential election in real time. It is a story, and a very good one, and, one we don't know the ending to yet.
The story for me begins in the fall of 2008 and on a night I was hanging out in a very swank private club with a very famous UK rock star. I won't name names, but he writes operas and sings the voices for cartoon characters. It was a strange day in the world, and for me as well. No matter how much I'd like to pretend it's an every day occurrence for me to be hanging out in a very swank private club with a very famous UK rock star, it's not. However, the day was stranger for the world, for more serious reasons. The US investment back, Lehman brothers, had just gone under for good that day. True or not there was a rumor going around in the club that a guest there had lost 6 million dollars in just that one day. The World Wide Financial Crisis (WWFC) had begun.
My primary concern that night was not to mention the band that I love that the rock star had had (now since patched up) a long running feud with. I was doing quite well even with the free top-shelf booze lubricating my senses and maybe I did this by staying on other topics. The 2008 Presidential election was in full swing and the Democratic Party had nominated a black man to represent it.
"Never," famous UK rock star told me. "Never will America elect a black man."
"Have you noticed what's going on in this room" I answered.
"What, what," he said.
"This is something big, something has happened with this big collapse," I said. "It might mean bigger things are ahead."
"No not important," he said. "America will never elect a black man president."
It's almost four years later, and I've laughed about this story for some time. Still, as Obama's re-election prospects are in flux I'm reminded of what he said. He was right in a way. It shouldn't have happened but it did. Now some of the forces that were "occupied" by their near collapse are rested, fat and ready, and have a moneyed champion in Mitt Romney. There are two sides, evenly drawn, and history awaits, as it always does, ready for the next absolute certainty to be up-ended.
to be continued...
Mike Tyler is a celebrated post-beat poet who has been covered over the years everywhere from The Times to Wired. He is releasing his debut UK album, Erection, on August 20th via The Art Can Not Be Damaged.
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