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I’m Gonna Barack and Roll All Night, And Party Every Day

May 13, 2009

So Nick, Chris and I stumble into a private party at a bar around 3am.  The drinks are $3 a piece and the patrons seem open to us crashing; it’s a no-brainer to stick around.  We soon realize that all the people there are actually DJs, so being musicians (and in the case of Chris a disk jockey himself) we begin talking these guys and gals up before launching into an impromptu dance party.  (Is there any other kind?)

Our favorite among the DJs (because he bought us a round), smiling ear to ear with his hands high in the air, teasing us with the slow build of the 4/4 beat, suddenly cross fades the techno track into an instantly familiar, yet contextually surprising, voice:

“Yes we can! [cheer, snare]/ Yes we can heal this nation! [cheer, hi-hat]/ Yes we can repair the world! [cheer, crash]”

Suddenly we dozen drunken dancers find ourselves undulating to the smooth grooves of health care reform and post-racial politicking.  And friggin’ love it.

This wouldn’t be all that surprising were we kickin’ it at some lounge in San Francisco or Brooklyn.  It wouldn’t even be that out of place in Lincoln, Nebraska.

But we were in Tokyo, Japan, where Obama is by far the biggest American celebrity (maybe next to Tommy Lee Jones… seriously).

I couldn’t help but laugh at the Japanese full-hearted attempt to make the man look Eastern — advertisements and magazine covers featured President Obama’s eyes squinting in the sun, grinning for the camera like an anime character hopped up on one too many Hope Power-Ups and IncrementalChangeyBalls.

Barack Obama, Action Hero

Barack Obama, Action Hero

Sorry Japan, just because you missed out on Tiger Woods in the racial draft doesn’t mean you get to take our president.

But if anything Japan (or Korea for that matter) has taught me, Barack H. Obama is not really our president. For all his electoral opponent’s bellyaching over the media’s coverage of his European tours and campaign speeches, I’m starting to think there is no other way to actually cover the man.

He’s an international rockstar.

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