Belmont Club

More MacGuffins

The Associated Press has tracked down Barack Obama’s Indonesian transgender nanny in a boarding house in Jakarta, thus proving that President Obama’s past is not off limits, as long as the proper kind of narrative is observed.  Deviate  at your peril. Readers may recall that Jeromi Corsi tried to pull a similar stunt by going to Kenya to find out what his family knew about him. As Mother Jones reported at the time, that attempt came a-cropper. Corsi was arrested for his insolence.

Jerome Corsi, who wrote “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,” was being held at immigration headquarters in Nairobi after police picked him up from his hotel Tuesday, said Carlos Maluta, a senior immigration official in charge of investigations.

“We still haven’t decided what to do with him,” Maluta told The Associated Press. …

An article in Kenya’s oldest newspaper, The Standard, described Corsi’s book as “a smear crusade.”

The problem was that Corsi was interested in the wrong narrative. On the other hand the plot thread involving the transgender nanny is that best of all possible, the MacGuffin. It leads exactly nowhere, but we are mesmerized into thinking its something important.

In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) is willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to pursue, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so desirable. A MacGuffin, therefore, functions merely as “a plot element that catches the viewers’ attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction”.

Like the story which holds that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to the Middle East or that the burning of Korans by US troops has somehow derailed President Obama’s winning campaign in Southwest Asia the Nanny story serves the same purpose as the artificial rabbit which leads race dogs round and round the track for the amusement of the bettors.

You would think from the headline that the story is about the Nanny. Wrong. It is about Obama. Since the narrative of the nanny by itself would be thin gruel without some kind of drama, the Alien Space Bat element has been added to the stew. These science fiction creatures enable an alternative time-line, which in this case would be the happy universe in which the Obamas had stayed to protect her. Wouldn’t that be the Sotoros? No. The Obamas, even though he was Barry Sotoro at the time. But remember we have the Alien Space Bats to help us with time travel. When the punch line comes, when the nanny wishes her former charge was there to protect her, it is hardly possible not to exclaim “if only Lenin knew …” Oops. Wrong phrase.

When the family left in the early 1970s, things started going downhill. She moved in with a boyfriend. That relationship ended three years later, and she became a sex worker.

“I tried to get a job as a maid, but no one would hire me,” says Evie. “I needed money to buy food, get a place to stay.”

It was a cat-and-mouse game with security guards and — because the country was still under the dictatorship of Gen. Suharto — soldiers. They often rounded up “banshees” or “warias,” as they are known locally, loaded them into trucks, and brought them to a field where they were kicked, hit and otherwise abused …

Evie hopes her former charge will use his power to fight for people like her. Obama named Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender appointee, as a senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department in 2010.

But don’t worry Elvie, Obama’s going to fight for you. Just like you were his own brother.

The Daily Telegraph, whose reporters seem more skilfull at eluding the Kenyan police than Dr. Jerome Corsi, found Barack Obama’s brother languishing in a Nairobi slum in 2008. “Barack Obama’s brother has been found in Kenya – living like a recluse on less than $1 a month and hiding his family ties. ”

The two men – 22 years apart in age – have only met twice. Once was when George was 5. The other was during the Illinois senator’s emotional tour of east Africa in 2006.

“It was very brief. We spoke for just a few minutes,” George told the magazine. “It was like meeting a complete stranger.” …

He said he was homeless for 10 years, including when Sen. Obama visited Nairobi two years ago. His home now, the shanty town of Huruma, is “a tough place,” he said.

“I have seen two of my friends killed,” he added. “I have scars from defending myself with my fists. I am good with my fists.”

Well back to the Space Bats. And do you want extra cheese on that MacGuffin?


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