Thursday, 10 January 2008

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Why Obama Lost New Hampshire Not much has been written about The Ibogaine Effect as a serious factor in the New Hampshire primary, but toward the end of the race—about three hours before the vote—word leaked out that some of Obama's top advisors had called in a Brazilian doctor who was said to be treating the candidate with "some kind of strange drug" that nobody in the press corps had ever heard of. It had been common knowledge for many weeks that Clinton was using an exotic brand of speed known as Wallot ... and it had long been whispered that Obama was into something very heavy, but it was hard to take the talk seriously until I heard about the appearance of a mysterious Brazilian doctor. That was the key. Barack discussed the cocaine question for the dope-smoking students in Manchester, moments before refusing to snort himself. Later that night, however, it was reported that Senator Obama was a known user of a powerful drug called Ibogaine. I immediately recognized The Ibogaine Effect—from Obama's near-breakdown on the flatbed truck in Iowa, the delusions and altered thinking that characterized his campaign in New Hampshire, and finally the condition of "total rage" that gripped him in Ohio. There was no doubt about it: The Savior from Illinois had turned to massive doses of Ibogaine as a last resort. The only remaining question was "when did he start?" But nobody could answer this one, and I was not able to press the candidate himself for an answer because I was permanently barred from the Obama campaign after that incident on the "Tall Corn Special" in Iowa ... and that scene makes far more sense now than it did at the time. Obama has always taken pride in his ability to deal with hecklers; he has frequently challenged them, calling them up to the stage in front of big crowds and then forcing the poor bastards to debate with him in a blaze of TV lights. But there was none of that in New Hampshire. When the Boohoo began grabbing at his legs and screaming for more gin, Big Hussein went all to pieces ... which gave rise to speculation among reporters familiar with his campaign style, that Obama was not himself. It was noted, among other things, that he had developed a tendency to roll his eyes wildly during TV interviews, that his thought patterns had become strangely fragmented, and that not even his closest advisors could predict when he might suddenly spiral off into babbling rages, or neocomatose funks. In retrospect, however, it is easy to see why Obama fell apart in New Hampshire. There he was—far gone in a bad Ibogaine frenzy—suddenly shoved out in the blinding daylight to face an exuberant crowd and some kind of snarling lunatic going for his legs while he tried to explain why he was "the only Democrat who can beat Romney." It is entirely conceivable—given the known effects of Ibogaine—that Obama's brain was almost paralyzed by hallucinations at...
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Funyunization; or, How to Add Bulk to Dissertations Until last month, my advisor and I thought it best I write taut thirty-page chapters. Why? More like an article and thus more easily edited into one. I have no problem produce reams and reams and reams of prose. You want an 84 page chapter with a 129 footnotes? No problem. Want something with a shot at publication? Force me to be selective. Abandoning this plan is necessary if I'm to finish by 14 March. But a 50 page introduction and four 30 page chapters does not a dissertation make. So I'm currently revising back into my chapters the ancillary material I earlier edited out. I'm not adding fluff—I'm funyunizing. For those unfamiliar with the term, a "Funyun" is an "onion flavored ring" with absolutely no nutritional content. Just as daily consumption of Funyuns results in unadvised weight gain, daily funyunization of dissertation chapters transforms dutiful acknowledgments of previous scholar's work into winding engagements with their minutiae; brief explanations of historical events into expansive as the rhetoric originally used to describe and descry them; minor characters from minor novels into major players in marginal disputes; &c. You know, all the extraneous material that separates a dissertation from a first book. You could say I'm unbooking my dissertation. I'm packing on unhealthy pounds, chancing the dangers attendant upon spare tires, knowing that I'll need to unfunyun it back into a lean beast if I ever want to see it in a university library. (I'm saving copies of its svelte youth to accommodate the inevitable montage.) But all this talk of health must step aside for the moment. I need to funyun ... and an essay I was reading earlier today tossed me a bag of onion-flavored deliciousness: The most striking feature of this account—second only to its blatant racism—is ... How could I have missed this? I can open damn near every discussion of every Nineteenth Century novel and poem and study and article I address with this very sentence. That must be what? An extra five or six pages righteously funyuned in right there. Into the boilerplate with you!

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