Defeat fears put Hollywood on edge
November 3, 2008
A HIDEOUS new affliction is creeping through the ranks of America’s creative community.
The further Barack Obama edges ahead of John McCain in the million and one polls that are coming out the more pernicious the nagging fear becomes.
What if he loses?
Barely a left-wing pundit, barely an Oscar-nominated softie can sleep a wink these days for fear of the race riots and international humiliation that will ensue should “The One” be defeated on Tuesday.
They think he’s going to win, of course, but their hearts still bear the scars of 2000 and 2004.
The comedian Chris Rock is at least capable of joking about it. “If Obama loses?” he replied to a question from talk show host Bill Maher. “Well, that Wednesday after election day, anybody … any activity in your life that involves black people, it’s not going to get done. If you’re at the airport? No one’s going to get your bags.”
But for others, the dread is nameless and paralysing. Erica Jong, author of the 1970s feminist bible Fear of Flying, has developed a new complex in recent weeks – the fear of an Obama flogging.
“If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me,” she told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera last week. “My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium.
“Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can’t cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduced her to a bundle of nerves.”
The American shock-jock Rush Limbaugh, on hearing this last detail, had a direct, if crude, response. “Maybe you should try getting off your back, Jane!” he roared. (The two are not friends.) Hollywood in general is on red anxiety alert for an Obama loss.
Crack teams of chiropractors are at the ready, and Nissen huts full of qualified shrinks and aromatherapists line Rodeo Drive to soothe the tortured brigades of the psychologically wounded should “The One” be robbed of victory.
Actress Susan Sarandon has already issued a veiled threat to the public.
“It’s a critical time, but I have faith in the American people,” she told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper with a touch of implied menace in June this year. “If they prove me wrong, I’ll be checking out a move to Italy. Maybe Canada, I don’t know. We’re at an abyss …”
Sarandon’s words qualify her for membership of a small but committed group of Potential Canadians (PCs) in American artistic and creative circles.
Barbra Streisand vowed to emigrate to Canada in 2000 if George Bush were ever elected President, an undertaking she refreshed four years later at the prospect of his re-election.
But she was still sufficiently resident in California on September 16 this year to host a $US2500 ($3800) a head fund-raiser for Obama at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
The actor Alec Baldwin and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder made similar threats in 2000, as did Robert Redford in 2004, but none has since enriched the Canadian cultural scene.
In fact, Canadian immigration records show that arrivals from the United States actually slowed in the six months after George Bush’s re-election in 2004.
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/11/02/1225560645086.html