Your book reviewer was hoping to dig into the new collection of Bruce Chatwin’s letters sometime soon, but then we remembered our Wonkette responsibilities, i.e. to finish what we started last week and continue to describe the ways and wonders of Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President by Jack Cashill, the world’s greatest “literary detective.” Among the revelations: Barack Obama might be a “sex rebel.” Also, he’s the son of either A) a guy who edited various Communist newspapers in the 1930s or B) Jimi Hendrix.
Cashill is kept awake at night by the greatest literary mystery of our time: Who actually wrote Dreams From My Father? The obvious answer is Bill Ayers, for reasons we discussed last week. We have our own theories, which we’ll discuss at the end of this review (just scroll down now).
The Ayers-wrote-Dreams conspiracy theory is, at this late date, old and boring. The more interesting/insane revelations in Deconstructing Obama involve Barry’s romances and parentage (sometimes one and the same!).
Cashill thinks it’s possible that Barack Obama’s actual father was Frank Marshall Davis: a poet, a jazz critic, and an editor of successful Atlanta and Chicago news dailies in the 30′s-40′s. Davis also dabbled in porno and nude photography (photographing it, not starring in it). At some point he moved to Hawaii, where YOU GUESSED IT.
Cashill’s evidence is that some young lady in Davis’s vast repertoire of nude photographs is actually Ann Dunham, Barry’s mom. He spends a long time creepily analyzing these photographs, attempting to prove that the chick in the photos is Madame Obama. There is much talk of tan lines.
Anyway, Ann Dunham and Frank Marshall Davis coupled and produced our current president, maybe. At the time of conception Dunham would have been 18 and Davis would have been 50-something. Obviously, Davis “passed his Stalinist values on to Obama.”
Also: Davis molested Barry, which makes Barry bisexual (?). Cashill’s evidence: a poem written by young Barry Obama titled “Pop”:
Pop takes another shot, neat,
Points out the same amber
Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and
Makes me smell his smell, coming
The most innocent explanation for the “amber stain” on the shorts of both mentor and initiate or “his smell, coming/ From me” is that Davis got the teenage Obama drunk, and they both spilled whiskey on themselves. That reading does not explain, however, why the spill is specifically on their shorts and not on their shirts or how Davis’s breath now comes from Obama.
Ugh, so gross. This can all be confirmed (Cashill says) in Davis’s novel Sex Rebel: Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet, which is a fictionalized sexual autobiography written under the pen name “Bob Greene.” It features, among other exploits, a seduction of a white teenager named Ann and several homosexual encounters. HMMMM.
But maybe Frank Marshall Davis wasn’t Obama’s father. Maybe Ann Dunham was impregnated by a REAL celebrity:
In 1960, a fellow named “Johnny” was making his reputation in Seattle’s club scene as a left-handed guitarist with a local band known as the Rocking Kings. Two days older than Ann, this tall, thin young black man was not at all abashed about dating white women [...]
Of course, as you may have guessed, Johnny decided to use the stage name “Jimi” and changed the spelling of his last name from “Hendricks” to “Hendrix.” In a further Paul-is-dead kind of twist, Obama cites as his personal marker for 1967 the fact that “Jimi Hendrix performed at Monterey” [...]
And, of course, Obama, like Hendrix, is left-handed.
You would think that if Barack really was the son of Jimi Hendrix he would have made more of it during his campaign. He’d be a fool not to come out as a Hendrix in the next election cycle. If he did he’d absolutely LOCK UP the important “guys who sit around in Guitar Center for hours at a time testing the wah-wah pedals” demographic.
Cashill keeps coming back to his main concern, which causes him infinite pain: the fact that a politician he dislikes is capable of writing decent books. Not only is Obama’s memoir suspiciously similar to Bill Ayers’ memoir; it also reads a bit like another writer fascinated by blood and fire:
Of course, the muse had taken Obama’s ungainly, bloated manuscript and infused it with the structure of Homer’s Odyssey. [...]
The Dreams leaves scarcely a Homeric trope unturned in his mining of the Odyssey to describe Obama’s “personal interior journey.”
We’re supposed to be outraged about this, for some reason (as if every single worthwhile writer throughout the entire history of Western civilization wasn’t influenced by Homer). Is Cashill implying that Homer ghostwrote Dreams From My Father? We doubt this, because Homer is a blind campfire singer and blind singers probably can’t get it sufficiently together to type out a manuscript on a modern computer.
Wait a minute…
Jack Cashill clearly hasn’t followed his leads far enough. Think about it: Blind singer. Obama. Blind singer that likes Obama and wants him in the White House, so he can implement the atheist Communist Caliphate….
We’ve solved the literary mystery! Bill Ayers didn’t write Dreams From My Father. Stevie Wonder did!
Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President by Jack Cashill, Threshold Editions, 352 pages, $13.17
Once again, thanks to Wonkette operative “Toni S.” Email e-book review copies of your own “Barry iz Jimi” tome to email@example.com