Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Vampires, werewolves and The Donald

Published:Saturday | October 22, 2016 | 10:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir

Being at a stage in my life when, in retrospect, I see the folly of certain choices I made in my more youthful years, I no longer watch horror movies, fearing to risk opening up myself to the spirits of the underworld.

Notwithstanding the shadowy past, though, there's a certain lesson I picked up that I find particularly relevant today. Remember those werewolf movies? As the plot typically went, there'd be this person who'd have been bitten by a wolf. He's not killed, but something very dangerous would happen to him. Every full moon, he would become a marauding wolf-man, and whomever he bites thereafter would become just like him.

Vampire movies follow a similar vein of one infected person infecting another. So it wouldn't be unusual to see one person going on the offensive against an infected one being overpowered and ending up becoming the very things he/she tried to destroy.

Arguably no more so than in its current presidential race to the White House, American politics has taken a decided dive into a ditch for the dunce. And to echo the common sentiments, using the rhetoric of the leading character: "Totally uninspiring." Pulling on our Jamaican lingua, it's like having to choose between the proverbial black dog and a monkey. either option is 'horroring'. It's all about then going for the presumable 'lesser evil'.

Especially coming off the heels of the Obama era, where, as president, Barack embodied swag, charm, and charisma, while showing off the coolest first lady ever, who, right up there with her husband, is bright, articulate, and so with it. Hillary is a major dive; a super anticlimax to the reign of the Obamas. The Clintons, having been around the block, offer nothing new and exciting - nothing.

But then there is The Donald, on the other side, who can certainly draw attention. With him, though, it's like a beautiful Sunday matinee (so it seemed at first) that has become a major horror movie. What happened?

There is an interesting phenomenon in American politics, especially where the Republican Party is concerned: they want to break with the tradition of political correctness, and with Donald Trump's brawn, many initially found him a welcome break from the tradition.

 

LACKS THE SKILL

 

Simply put, though, he obviously lacks the skill of discriminating between what to attack and what not to attack. It's like giving a child a water hose on a fire engine that is turned on fully. Disaster! He thought he'd point out the "elephant in the room" but has now become the elephant in the room; a refreshingly "cute political baby" who has become, to put it euphemistically (really euphemistically), "a troubled teen." And the Republicans couldn't (can't?) seem to see it coming. Has the werewolf killer himself become a werewolf?

Of course, I must do my own introspection because the very thing I accuse Mr Trump of may happen to me. I may become a werewolf, too. Which is why the Bible admonishes us in Matthew 7 to be wary of judging another, even while it calls on us to "cry aloud, spare not," (Isa. 58: 1).

The fact is, though, we are what we choose to be: Mr Trump, Mrs Clinton, the Obamas ... the Holnesses, Mrs Simpson Miller ... all the way down to me. We choose to be exactly what we want to be. May God help me not to choose to become a werewolf - even as I necessarily seek the extinction of the species.

The 'good' thing about movies is that I don't have to watch them, and so even if I started watching something and discovered that this was not for me, I just switch to something else, and that's that. How I wish it were the same with watching the US presidential race to the White House. But alas, even if I don't watch it, the horror still unfolds and will still come to haunt me - albeit I don't even have a vote. Now that's cause to whine. May God have mercy on us!

CHARLES EVANS

College of Business and Management

Northern Caribbean University

charles.evans@ncu.edu.jm