Vam­pires, were­wolves and The Don­ald

Jamaica Gleaner - - @ISSUE -

THE EDITOR, Sir

BE­ING AT a stage in my life when, in ret­ro­spect, I see the folly of cer­tain choices I made in my more youth­ful years, I no longer watch hor­ror movies, fear­ing to risk open­ing up my­self to the spir­its of the un­der­world.

Not­with­stand­ing the shad­owy past, though, there’s a cer­tain les­son I picked up that I find par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant to­day. Re­mem­ber those were­wolf movies? As the plot typ­i­cally went, there’d be this per­son who’d have been bit­ten by a wolf. He’s not killed, but some­thing very dan­ger­ous would hap­pen to him. Ev­ery full moon, he would be­come a ma­raud­ing wolf-man, and whomever he bites there­after would be­come just like him.

Vam­pire movies fol­low a sim­i­lar vein of one in­fected per­son in­fect­ing an­other. So it wouldn’t be un­usual to see one per­son go­ing on the of­fen­sive against an in­fected one be­ing over­pow­ered and end­ing up be­com­ing the very things he/she tried to de­stroy.

Ar­guably no more so than in its cur­rent pres­i­den­tial race to the White House, Amer­i­can pol­i­tics has taken a de­cided dive into a ditch for the dunce. And to echo the com­mon sen­ti­ments, us­ing the rhetoric of the lead­ing char­ac­ter: “To­tally unin­spir­ing.” Pulling on our Ja­maican lin­gua, it’s like hav­ing to choose be­tween the prover­bial black dog and a mon­key. Ei­ther op­tion is ‘hor­ror­ing’. It’s all about then go­ing for the pre­sum­able ‘lesser evil’.

Es­pe­cially com­ing off the heels of the Obama era, where, as pres­i­dent, Barack em­bod­ied swag, charm, and charisma, while show­ing off the coolest first lady ever, who, right up there with her hus­band, is bright, ar­tic­u­late, and so with it. Hil­lary is a ma­jor dive; a su­per an­ti­cli­max to the reign of the Oba­mas. The Clin­tons, hav­ing been around the block, of­fer noth­ing new and ex­cit­ing – noth­ing.

But then there is The Don­ald, on the other side, who can cer­tainly draw at­ten­tion. With him, though, it’s like a beau­ti­ful Sun­day mati­nee (so it seemed at first) that has be­come a ma­jor hor­ror movie. What hap­pened?

There is an in­ter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, es­pe­cially where the Repub­li­can Party is con­cerned: they want to break with the tra­di­tion of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, and with Don­ald Trump’s brawn, many ini­tially found him a wel­come break from the tra­di­tion.

LACKS THE SKILL

Sim­ply put, though, he ob­vi­ously lacks the skill of dis­crim­i­nat­ing be­tween what to at­tack and what not to at­tack. It’s like giv­ing a child a wa­ter hose on a fire en­gine that is turned on fully. Dis­as­ter! He thought he’d point out the “ele­phant in the room” but has now be­come the ele­phant in the room; a re­fresh­ingly “cute po­lit­i­cal baby” who has be­come, to put it eu­phemisti­cally (re­ally eu­phemisti­cally), “a trou­bled teen.” And the Repub­li­cans couldn’t (can’t?) seem to see it com­ing. Has the were­wolf killer him­self be­come a were­wolf?

Of course, I must do my own in­tro­spec­tion be­cause the very thing I ac­cuse Mr Trump of may hap­pen to me. I may be­come a were­wolf, too. Which is why the Bi­ble ad­mon­ishes us in Matthew 7 to be wary of judg­ing an­other, even while it calls on us to “cry aloud, spare not,” (Isa. 58: 1).

The fact is, though, we are what we choose to be: Mr Trump, Mrs Clin­ton, the Oba­mas ... the Hol­nesses, Mrs Simp­son Miller ... all the way down to me. We choose to be ex­actly what we want to be. May God help me not to choose to be­come a were­wolf – even as I nec­es­sar­ily seek the extinction of the species.

The ‘good’ thing about movies is that I don’t have to watch them, and so even if I started watch­ing some­thing and dis­cov­ered that this was not for me, I just switch to some­thing else, and that’s that. How I wish it were the same with watch­ing the US pres­i­den­tial race to the White House. But alas, even if I don’t watch it, the hor­ror still un­folds and will still come to haunt me – al­beit I don’t even have a vote. Now that’s cause to whine. May God have mercy on us! CHARLES EVANS Col­lege of Busi­ness and Man­age­ment North­ern Caribbean Uni­ver­sity charles.evans@ncu.edu.jm

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