You thought it was just another American presidential election. But Howard Adelman thinks there’s more to it than that.
In an article “Magic, Comedy, and Civic Religion” for the Social Science Research Council’s journal, the Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Square, Adelman writes:
We must understand the underlying, naked, mythological background behind what we see in the rhetorical clothing of the cut and thrust of daily politics. Barack Obama must not simply be celebrated because of his expertise, his organizational depth, or his ability to discipline marginalized references to growing watermelons and holding barbecues on the White House lawn. He must not be adulated because he became a celebrity in the eyes of many who wanted to party and celebrate good times because, in the words of Kool & the Gang, “everything’s gonna be all right.” Rather, we must extol, consecrate, solemnize, and honor Barack Obama by performing the rites due to a transformative figure, beginning with the ritual of turning water into wine, or transforming the irrationality of the political process to reveal the underlying logos.
Adelman is not content with uncovering of the “underlying logos” of the Obama phenomenon. He’s had a revelation about the McCain campaign, too:
The choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice-presidential candidate was not just an effort to round up the fundamentalist vote for the Republican party, but was also a re-creation of the Slavonic pagan sacrifice, made in the name of the Ritual of the Rival Tribes that constitute the Republican party.
Adelman is a research professor at the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice, and Governance at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. So, evidently this is not a joke. It would, however, make a great Saturday Night Live sketch.