The Obama Experience. It's transplendid!
Even though I intend, through shear willpower and dint of character, to avoid ever attending one of Barack Obama's old time revival and gospel testifyin' showcases, I have often nonetheless wondered how I would react if placed in the middle of such an event. In fact just the other day I envisioned seeing Him with a liberal friend of mine serving as an escort. Naturally in my musing, questions arose: What emotions might surge through me when the Promised One speaks of hope, change, and...um...other cool stuff? How would I react to the whole scene? Would it change me? Would it heal my soul (H/T Michelle Obama)?
Deep questions indeed, as I'm sure you agree. Fortunately the medium of film has a ready answer to them. A mere five minute scene from Woody Allen's Annie Hall provides all of the insight I need to understand the Obama Experience and those who dig it.
In the scene, Alvy Singer (played by Woody Allen) is on a date with Pam (Shelley Duvall), a hippy-dippy reporter for Rolling Stone. Pam drags Alvy to a concert/event put on by the Maharishi. Here's what transpires (Sorry...Couldn't find the clip on YouTube):
Pam: I think there are more people here to see the Maharishi than there were to see the Dylan concert. I covered the Dylan concert ... which gave me chills. Especially when he sang:
She takes just like a woman
And she makes love just like a woman Yes, she does
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl.
(They move toward the aisles as a guard holds up his hands to stop them)
Up to that I guess the most charismatic event I covered was Mick's Birthday when the Stones played Madison Square Garden.
Alvy: (Laughing) Man, that's great. That's just great.
Pam: You catch Dylan?
Alvy: (Coughing) Me? No, no. I-I couldn't make it that ni…My…My raccoon had hepatitis.
Pam: You have a raccoon?
Alvy: (Gesturing) Tsch…A few.
Pam: The only word for this is transplendid. It's transplendid!
Alvy: I can think of another word.
Pam: He's God! I mean, this man is God! He's got millions of followers who would crawl all the way across the world just to touch the hem of his garment.
Alvy: Really? It must be a tremendous hem.
Pam: I'm a Rosicrucian myself.
Alvy: Are you?
Alvy: I can't get with any religion that advertises in Popular Mechanics. Look-
(The Maharisbi, a small, chunky man, walks out of a door, huge bodyguards flanking him while policemen bold back the crowds)
There's God coming outta the men's room.
Pam: It's unbelievably transplendid! I was at the Stones concert in Altamount when they killed that guy, remember?
Alvy: Yeah, were ya? I was...I was at an Alice Cooper thing where six people were rushed to the hospital with bad vibes.