The Moment of Truth — May 12, 2012
They Have A Dream
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: our queer old dean, as Rev Spooner had it.
Vice President Joe Biden got a little out over his skis, says President Obama. Actually what happened was Biden was in his tight ski pants, and he was bending over his skis to check the bindings, which reminded Obama of a dream he’d had when his first presidential campaign was first vetting running mates.
In this dream, Andre the Giant was engaged in sodomizing Biden.
Back then, four years or so ago, Obama woke from the dream hungry for the lone piece of leftover red velvet cake singing him its siren song from the fridge downstairs. The dream was immediately forgotten, but it lingered subliminally. There was something about it that made Biden seem like the perfect running mate. The subliminal memory of a dream of Biden getting it from Andre the Giant predisposed Obama to like Biden. If you had brought the memory before Obama so he could view it in the light of full consciousness he wouldn’t have been able to tell you exactly what about it engendered in him a kind of big-brotherly affection for the Senator from Delaware, but he would have admitted it did.
There was a sense in the dream that Biden had invited the sodomy and was enjoying it, though from what evidence such an interpretation was drawn it would have been impossible to say. You could just tell - you, the hypothetical witness to Obama’s dream. Maybe it was the way Biden “presented.” Or maybe there is something peculiarly expressive about Biden’s butt.
Biden is America’s loveable, slightly brain damaged uncle. He never quite understands what he’s doing or what he’s done, but no matter how unpleasant his situation might appear to a sympathetic viewer, he never seems to experience anything but contentment. He’s like the perennially happy golden retriever whose owner insists, “She’s practically human.” Maybe that was what made Obama like Biden. Maybe Biden, in Obama’s dream, seemed like a happy golden retriever unfazed at being buggered by a St. Bernard. Obama loves dogs.
Anyway, late last week Biden wanted to show Obama his new ski outfit, which was odd as ski season is way over. But that’s Joe for you - his enthusiasm for a thing has nothing whatsoever to do with its relevance to real-world circumstances. He could be on a fact-finding mission to Congo and suddenly get all excited about lasagna. Never mind that the nearest decent lasagna might be seven thousand miles away, he would wax enthusiastic about it just like it was about to come out of the oven at his favorite Italian restaurant with the word “bucket” in the name, because that’s the kind of Italian restaurant Joe Biden patronizes - he says the best lasagna always comes from restaurants with the word “bucket” in the name: the Spaghetti Bucket, the Olive Bucket, the Breadstick Bucket, the Garlic Bucket, the Mozzarella Bucket - he suspects there’s a secret franchise umbrella under which all of these bucket joints are operated. Some people have the same suspicion about all the dives in Chicago the names of which begin with the word “Golden”: The Golden Apple, The Golden Nugget, The Golden Waffle - they all have that same five-tiered revolving cake display carousel.
As Biden modeled his new ski togs for the President, he bent over his skis to inspect the bindings, presenting his lycra-spandex-clad buttocks, sparking Obama’s synapses to fish from his mind’s unconscious depths the memory of the Andre the Giant dream. And now Obama remembered the dream, consciously and in the glare of reason. And he smiled.
So when Joe Biden went ahead and decided to out himself as a supporter of same-sex marriage, Obama was predisposed to take it in stride, and not just because of Biden’s “generosity of spirit” but because of Obama’s understanding and taking ownership of his own gay imagination. The grumblers who mock those rejoicing in Obama’s statement, calling it opportunism and vote-pandering, don’t get it because they are not privy to this dream information, wouldn’t understand it if they were, and certainly don’t have the insight it would take to invent such a dream situation - insight, I might add, that would have to emerge out of a writers’ ability to interpolate deep internal character quirks from no other evidence than the public façade of a politician, and reading between the lines thereof. The truth is, there are very gay reasons Obama took the cue from Biden and came out in support of marriage equality, satisfyingly gay reasons, maybe even gayer than we’ll ever know. And that’s worth celebrating.
Crazy coincidence, though: W. Mitt Romney had the exact same dream. It was decades ago, the night of the birth of his son Taggart. Actually, the fact of Romney and Obama having the same dream, albeit thirty-eight years apart, might be the least of the coincidences, since on the same night Tagg Romney was born, Andre the Giant, who was not yet called Andre the Giant, was making his Japanese wrestling debut under the name Monster Roussimoff. There is no evidence that either Andre or his opponent was sodomized that evening. But Joseph Biden, who had only just been elected to the New Castle County Council in Delaware, was on a pickle-eating binge on that very same night.
So in Romney’s dream both participants were unknown to him. He too relegated the bizarre sexual scenario to the darkest reaches of his unconscious mind. Yet even then he somehow presciently associated Andre with Shepard Fairey, who himself was only just entering his fifth month of life - and was himself having a dream of Samuel Beckett piloting a pickle-shaped spacecraft. Somehow in Romney’s mind this unremembered dream and the words “Obey” and “Fairey” coalesced on the night of his son Tagg’s birth, leaving him disturbed and anxious but without a clue as to why.
The moment of the day Romney first saw the famous Shepard Fairey “Obey Giant” poster sometime in 2007, he began to feel feverish. Before going to bed that night he, for reasons he couldn’t explain, ate three uncooked hotdogs sans bun - they had been pre-cooked by the Oscar Mayer Company so there was little chance of any toxic reaction. Nevertheless, at precisely four-twelve a.m. - exactly the same hour as Taggart Romney had had his first nocturnal ejaculation in the spring of 1983 - Mitt Romney woke up and ran to the bathroom where he began three hours of vomiting.
Romney didn’t make the connection between the “Obey Giant” poster and the “Hope” poster Fairey made for Obama. At least he didn’t make the conscious connection. But in the deepest chambers of his mind, the concatenations of significance resounded deafeningly. The echoes from his buried un-memory elicited from him a sensation in his musculature he would later describe as “surrender.”
This week, secret and overt events that may influence the future happiness of millions of people gelled into something like solid reality. Obama’s response was to go with the flow, or as Heidegger put it, “let things manifest themselves.”
Romney’s response was to struggle, find the struggle beyond his powers, and so surrender, even if only in his heart of hearts. Beneath his candidate’s mask of a smile, it is not difficult to detect a broken, defeated man.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!