In my household, we’ve started substituting Obama for the heroes and morals in my son’s bedtime stories. When Little Red Riding Hood is stalked by the Big Bad Wolf, who should happen to be passing by but Obama (in some strange twist of fate he’s on a presidential retreat nearby). When the Three Little Pigs get disillusioned that their houses keep being blown in, they band together to make “Yes We Can” placards, give lofty, inspiring speeches and implore each other “What would Obama do in this situation…oink, oink?” Of course, my three year old just rolls his eyes and sighs.

In the office in the week before Obama’s inauguration, whenever anything went wrong (and in some cases drastically), we’d all kick back with our feet on our desks and hands behind our heads, musing about how we didn’t have to worry because “Obama is on his way to fix everything.”

But jokes about our new Messiah aside, there are actually a disturbingly large number of people who have talked themselves into believing that the answer to the world’s ills is one President Barack Obama. Over the weekend, for example, my mother recounted to me how a taxi driver, when quizzed by her what he thought of Obama on their way to the airport, had replied something along the lines of “This man is the Messiah. He’s the one we’ve been waiting for. The world has been shit for fifty years and this man is gonna change it” (with sheer wonder in his voice)…off you go Barack, c’mon and save us from ourselves. We believe in you.

Anyway, despite my doubts about the man’s credentials as a God, I’ve got a massive crush on him (along with twenty million others, but not half a big as the crush I have on Mrs Obama – WOW, you wouldn’t want to cross that woman in a hurry!) so I’m thinking of getting the above tatt…now, where to place it. Let me think…

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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