WARNING: Satire may improve your eyesight.
One of the great joys we have as children is watching a good magician. The “wonder” and “joy” we feel as our brains are tricked into believing something we know is not possible, makes us happy. Even as adults we experience the same wonder and joy as skilled magicians confound us with their trickery. We spend our money to be entertained by the likes of Penn & Teller, David Copperfield and David Blaine. Well, a newcomer has now entered the field, mesmerizing us with his skills, and like the rest, we are paying big time for the privilege of seeing him perform. I am referring, of course, to Obama the Magnificent.
The fine art of magic has risen to new levels in the Obama administration, testing the limits of the old adage (most often attributed to Abraham Lincoln), “You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.” Re-he-he-ly?
Obama the Magnificent brings a new slant on an old technique as his primary tool to accomplish this wonder and joy among the people. It is defined in Wikipedia as:
“Sleight of hand, also known as prestidigitation ("quick fingers") or legerdemain (from the French for "lightness of hand"), is the set of techniques used by a magician (or card sharp) [or politician] to manipulate objects such as cards and coins [or public consciousness] secretly.”[i]
“... sleight of hand depends on the use of psychology, misdirection, and natural choreography in accomplishing a magical effect. Misdirection is perhaps the most important component of the art of sleight of hand. The magician choreographs his actions so that all spectators are likely to look where he or she wants them to. More importantly, they do not look where the performer does not wish them to look. Two types of misdirection are time and movement. Time is simple; by allowing a small amount of time to pass after an action, events are skewed in the viewer's mind. Movement is a little more complicated. A phrase often used is "A larger action covers a smaller action." But care must be used to not make the larger action so big that it becomes suspicious.”[ii]
I love the unspoken but implied challenge to see if I can figure out how he or she does the trick. That is part of the fun for me, and probably you too. How was I tricked? What did I miss? To start the process, I ask myself, where does the magician want me to look? Where is my attention being misdirected? I figure that if I can determine where I am supposed to be looking, I will know where NOT to look, and thus be able to catch the magician in the act, and solve the riddle of the trick.
Right now, the nation’s attention is focused on the “massive” oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the chief villain, the evil British Petroleum Company (BP). Have we have been misdirected to the first speech from the Oval Orifice in Obama’s presidency, high level meetings with the CEO of BP and president Obama, and another Obama meeting, scolding BP board chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg? If so, where should we be looking?
Patriots, we know that this is the favorite tactic of Mr. Obama and his administration. He has fooled us before, shame on him. You know what comes next; if we let him fool us again, shame on us. I for one am expecting to have the quarter pulled out of my ear again, and soon. I am determined to catch the magician in the act. I will not be fooled again!
My attention is going to be focused on Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid and their stage hands in Congress. They have been Obama the Magnificant’s valuable assistants in the past and often pull the strings for the “real” trick to be accomplished. What are they NOT talking about? What bills are in conference? What bills are on the House and Senate calendars? What midnight hour scam is being planned while the nation is watching the BP misdirection?
© 2010 Rick Coplin