So what if Time already put Barack Obama on the cover as their Person Of The Year? Another upstart glossy trying to steal The Aquarian’s thunder. And while I wouldn’t argue with their point—after all, we couldn’t figure out anything more important to put on the cover than the most talked- about person of the year, despite him not being a musician (yet inspiring many albums worth of songs)—as The Aquarian, we’re not passing any judgment on him in this issue.
We’ve been doing that all year.
Instead, we’ve assigned some musicians to do so. Particularly, we asked them about their expectations, feelings, anxieties, etc. about Barack Obama and what they feel he can or can’t, should or shouldn’t, will or will not do with his presidency. The idea is we’re at a very scary point in this nation’s history, and Obama has sold himself as the champion of change.
Can Barack Obama save the world? Ask a band.
Barack has to walk a tightrope with regard to what he “should” do about any number of “holy-mother-of-fuck-level” crises. The catch is that he has to walk that tightrope with a 50 lb. dumbbell in one hand and a 20 lb. dumbbell in the other—one dumbbell represents “That Which Is Practical” and the other represents “That Which Is Politically Expedient.” My sincere hope is that Barack chooses the rougher, less worn path of practical solutions and that solvency alone will be enough to get him reelected in four years. The plutocrats and oligarchs who have dominated industry and finance in this country to such an extent that basic constitutional mandates like “provide for the common defense” have been farmed out to private firms and working people can be grifted out of their life savings with no hope of recourse, well, those plutocrats, those oligarchs, those bloodless, opportunistic, war-mongering, upside-horny, traitorous sons-of- whores need to be racked, thrashed and gutted like the swine they are. Fortunately for Civil Society, we elected Barack Obama and not me, so we’re likely to see accountability tempered with a bit more restraint than what my towering rage would allow.
The whole world is in fact, fucked. It will take two terms of Obama followed by two terms of a Cory Booker Presidency (Yep, I said it. Cory can feel free to call me if he needs a speechwriter. What up, Jersey?!) to even begin to right this ship. To say nothing of course of the million other things that have to go RIGHT just to keep central Asia from vaporizing itself. (If either Obama or Booker needs for me to learn Pashtun, Urdu, Hindi or Arabic and then join the foreign service as like a station chief of something, I’m totally into Rosetta Stone already. Just saying.)
—Brandon Phillips, The Architects