(suggested album to listen to while reading: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols)

The US Political Conventions are over and President Obama is ahead in the polls. Some people are surprised by this -- for two reasons. One, the US job numbers that come out monthly came out badly this Friday, again. The unemployment rate dropped, but only because a lot more people just gave up looking for work (I always wonder how they measure this "giving up") Two, the speech Obama "gave up" at the convention was terrible … or was it.

I asked my sharp-tongued Blonde companion what it says about me that I skipped the MTV Video Music Awards to watch Obama's speech (it turned out the VMA's were before his speech, but never mind). She thought it said more about me that I slept through a lot of what Obama said.

The reviews Obama got for his speech were abysmal and not just from the usual Obama hating trolls; "flat," "uninspiring," "empty," that kind of thing. I called it the "the speech that dare not speak." Remember the Seinfeld shows, "about nothing." This was the speech that said nothing.

A funny thing happened (ok probably not that funny) as the speech has stuck 'round for a 'lil bit. It has stuck 'round for a 'lil bit. What has first come across as an orator gone completely mute, now seems like a politician doing the impossible, being a person. You might have heard that phrase, "the personal is the political." Here we have "the politician is a person."

It's not a good speech; written or spoken. To say it has no poetry is the same thing as saying laundry detergent ingredients have no poetry. Although there's not really that much I could cut and paste from it that would be worth the keystrokes of doing it, here's a try:

"But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I'm naïve about the magnitude of our challenges … I'm hopeful because of you."

It's kind of a generational thing. Obama is from a very slim and small generation, that is often swept up into the bulge of the baby boom (which they were born at the ass end of). His generation was the punk rock generation. They didn't like Pink Floyd, because well, their older brothers liked Pink Floyd. They are also a hinge generation connected to and in the middle of the hippies and the x'ers. They are different though. Sometimes they're going to put the individual heroics on pause, and take a bite out of reality and feel their jaw clamp. Why not the let the boomer Bill Clinton be the star of your convention. Maybe even aftewards go up to his hotel suite and smoke a joint with him and listen to some Floyd.

to be continued...


Mike Tyler is a celebrated post-beat poet who has been covered over the years everywhere from The Times to Wired. He is releasing his debut UK album, Erection, on August 20th via The Art Can Not Be Damaged.

Read: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5