Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Open Book Obama

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Open Book Obama

Ever had your fortune told? The only attempt I made to find out what delights beckoned in my future was to play with a home-made ouija board with a couple of fellow-pimply, pubescent teenagers. We were astounded when the glass bumped its way, driven by a truly mysterious force, to words like "girls" and "bras" and "fu–". It always stopped short of spelling out what really lay, as it were, in our drooling future. Damn! It’s not going to the "ck." Must have been our Catholic schooling and one of the hands of God on the glass that forever pushed it to the final letter-"n". No "cks" for these young Turks- or something that rhymes with it.

If the citizens of the US could play on a collective ouija board, I reckon it would spell the full "eff" scenario once it issued a warning for the near-future – a warning scrawled out nearly five hundred years ago in a land faraway; well, England. It gets eerie and truer by the day. Bill Shakespeare had a Roman double-crosser in mind when he wrote it. Guess who fits the description today?

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

Our 21st Century double-crosser with the lean and hungry look has now agreed to allow oil drilling off the US coast, a position he formerly opposed – just like he flip-flopped on the surge in Iraq, which he was against but now supports; just like gay marriage, which he once said should be left up to each state, he now opposes California’s ban on same sex weddings. His change of mind on these and other issues prompted the popular US "Hot Air" website to come to some stark conclusions.

  1. He’s a liar who says what each audience wants to hear.
  2. The election debate has changed his perspective on every issue.
  3. He has no clue on any of the issues.

What would the ouija board say? "McCain, you’re nothing but an embarrassing loser, an ashen, decayed Bush-alike, propped up by the money of your trophy wife, Cindy, she with a sweet, chocolate air. Obama, the words of those Catholic boys are more apposite by the day; As Big Bill the Spear said in one of his finest works, Julius Caesar: "Yond opportunis, Barack of Illinois, eff-off."

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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John Scully

John Scully has been a journalist for almost fifty years and has covered stories in seventy countries for major international news and current affairs organizations. His book, Am I Dead Yet? A Journalist's Perspective on Terrorism, was published in spring 2008 by Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

Go to John Scully’s Author Page