Boy, this American election really has bloggers all steamed, doesn't it?
One minute it's a shoe-in for silver-tongued bullshitter Barack Obama, and the next thing you know the McCain campaign has dug up some fruity wingnut Supernanny with a talent for sucking off hordes of resentful cretins and suddenly it's GAME ON, baby!
I watched Sarah Palin mount and bounce on the corpse of Richard Nixon on this morning's news, and boy, is this ever shaping up to be a howler of an election campaign... One candidate offering inspiring but vacuous appeals to the electorate's better nature, while his supporters eviscerate anyone who doubts his celestial, supernatural abilities...
...And another keeping his wizened, deflated-football head down while his fragrant surrogate thrusts her offspring in front of the cameras, acting for all the world like possession of a functioning vagina is the highest qualification for office and praising pig ignorance as the pinnacle of human virtue.
Meanwhile, the American economy tanks into the toilet and Vladimir Putin takes a huge, steaming dump on the White House lawn with total impunity. Isn't democracy great?
In the face of all this, I feel like I need to scotch a couple of myths that are being seriously entertained by some of the best-paid political analysts in the business.
1) The media are not "in the tank" for Obama
Sure, they've greeted plenty of his big speeches like Obama was the impossible offspring of Lincoln and Doctor King, but that's not because the American media has a "liberal bias" - as anyone who's read a US daily in the past ten years would know, it has a power bias. It's the domain of wide-eyed, starfucking groupies, not hardcore ideologues.
Just as the papers and the networks fell over themselves to kiss Clinton's ass in the mid-nineties and threw their moist underwear at George W. in the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, they've gravitated to Obama because of his obvious superiority as a public and political figure.
Let's not mess about here - Obama has gravitas, charisma and a bit of superstar appeal. John McCain is a 2000 year old curmudgeon with all the sexual allure of an open throat wound.
Obama can dazzle crowds of thousands with his magnetic public speaking skills, and makes McCain look like a geriatric supermarket meet 'n' greeter who's just been caught with his fingers in the till. If there's a parallel for McCain in Hollywood history, it's surely Big Ben in the laughably shit '80s horror movie House - the reanimated corpse of a Vietnam veteran, an American nightmare boiling with rage and bitterness, come to wreak hideous vengeance on those who left him to rot in southeast Asia.
So naturally, the silly bitches of the American media latched onto Obama... But if next week's polling data puts McCain eight points clear of Obama, expect to suddenly hear about McCain's amazing honesty and humbleness, and prepare yourself for terrifying tales of how Obama prays nightly for the destruction of America at the hands of his brimstone-reeking, twenty-headed Muslim god.
This is the land of opportunity we're talking about, peeps - money talks, and liberal bias walks.
2) Country folks do not possess any special inner strength, nobility or innate wisdom
They are just people like everybody else - some of them are smart, funny and likeable, while others are mean, duller than pish and as dumb as rocks.
I may have spent about a third of my life living in cities, but I'm from the country originally - that particularly lowland Scottish countryside where not an acre is untouched by human hands but is entirely covered with fields, livestock and crops planted with the specific intention of driving hayfever sufferers to suicide.
Plenty of rural people would lend you their last fiver. They'd be the first down at the shops to pick up your food shopping if you were unwell, and they'd defend you to the best of their abilities if they saw you in trouble.
On the other hand, your teenage kids won't be able to walk down the next town's high street for fear of being kicked half to death by the locals. Large numbers of country people take unbelievable pride in their "simplicity" and "ordinariness", which are bovine euphemisms for blunt stupidity and cowardice in the face of alien ideas. They may well be closer to their families and believe in moral values, but in little one-pub towns there's nothing to do but get drunk and screw each others' spouses. The north of Scotland is infamous for this.
Hell, my parents still live in the village I grew up in, and a woman who lives down the street from them has just been busted for dealing heroin.
Country people are just city people without the cynicism and the eagerness to follow fads. They don't possess any special virtues or vices that you can't find in their townie compatriots.
So, finally, what does all of this mean for the US elections?
Hell, you've seen American elections before - it'll be the same as ever, utterly dependant on the quantity of bullshit in the national discourse. It means it's all up in the air again, and it's all going to depend on which candidate's message wins out.
What's going to be the big issue in the week before the election? If the papers are running stories about the economy, Obama will win big. If they're bleating about the same red-baiting, Jesus-sucking bollocks they have done for the last thirty years, it'll be McCain's wrinkled hand pulling the levers of power.
Damn, I thought us Brits had it bad...