Music

Richard Hell on Obama, Campaign Ads, the Election

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photo by David Shankbone

I am a fatalist who votes anyway. Obama makes me happy, despite his flattening out of himself for wider electioneering purposes. To my mind, speeches such as the Philadelphia race speech earn him the benefit of the doubt.

As far as odd or unexpected moments in the campaigns, two come to mind for me. The first was how, during the primaries, the initial response expressed by many African-Americans interviewed about Obama was fear that he would be murdered. That hadn’t occurred to me, and it was chilling to realize what a rational thought it was, given what we know about America.

The other occurred when I recently saw regularly scheduled campaign ads in breaks during a television show. The ads seemed unreal; they seemed fictional. They made the room I was in—and everything in it, including me—feel as if it existed in a movie. The whole election process is so removed and contrived that it only exists as plot development, theater. It’s all ridiculous and depressing.

Also: Brandon Stosuy on Richard Hell’s Godlike

More artists, writers, and performers on next week’s presidential election here.