Peter Sellers for President


September 30, 1980


Is the answer: simplicity?

Is it the calm of a quiet man walking down a garden path, his interest caught in the tangled tree just learning how to grow?

Is that the answer to the world’s problems?

A vision of Peter Sellers comes to mind, a crazy thought that a man like the one he played might eventually become a president of the United States.

Or is that too foolish a concept? That society as we know it would murder him long before he got to such a place?
The reels of the film keep running in my head. I know it’s an illusion. But all films – all art is.

It is the ideas behind the art that takes shape and becomes reality, the world imitating art, and this idea is like a multi-faceted gem, glittering with the illumination of numerous possibilities and “what ifs.”

This is an election year in which none of the candidates wear such a simplistic coat, although Ronald Reagan seems to play that part, and I distrust it after all I’ve seen him do in California during my time there.

And yet, like in the Kennedy era, we ache for someone to save us, someone that is not of the old order, and that’s the danger. We ache for the surface appearance of someone like Kennedy with the ethics and conscience of Roosevelt (FDR that is).

We may even be coming to a point in history in which brings us to the brink of the end – like the end we envisioned in nuclear holocaust, but in some more fundamental fracturing of our society that all the kings men and their horses cannot put back together again.

This is a frightening concept, suggesting that I’ve listened too much to Pauly and his stories of doom, when I ache for someone like Peter Sellers to come along and alter the path we seem headed down, which even my being a registered and regular voter can not deviate us from. I can’t handle much more of this Carter-Anderson-Reagan bullshit, and I know that this is a choice between the least offensive rather than the most qualified. And I can’t choose.

Maybe I can go find old Peter Seller movies, cut them up, dub in new lines to make it seem as if he is running for president, too.

Maybe like the character in the one movie, Peter Sellers wouldn’t have to say much, just all the simple things that people can read into for themselves, the perfect candidate for an imperfect world, leaving all the oil company talk to Carter, and all the anti-poor people talk to Reagan, and the rest of the usual rhetoric to Anderson.

I figure if we have to destroy the world, let’s find a better reason than the ones we’re getting from the candidates we’re being offered. Maybe we can excuse setting the world on fire because we need to keep our kids warm. I’m sick and tired of supporting every asshole who drives a big or fast car, letting them suck up the oil from the earth as if on an all-oil diet. I’m sick of the constant advertisements for greed, trying to convince some blue collar idiot that he can be rich, too, when he can’t.

We need Peter Sellers in office, and maybe then we’ll get somewhere the way Japan has, and it won’t take a world war and a nuclear bomb dropped on our heads to make us realize just how stupid we are.

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