August 23, 2009
The Varieties of Birther ExperienceBy J.R. Dunn
There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of interpretations of Birthism. We can't expect everyone to adapt a single manifestation. Birthers, after all, are notable devotees of free thought and open inquiry, and would never think of forcing an opinion or an idea on anyone under any circumstances.
It might help to go over the principal interpretations of Birthism, each derived from the vast Alpine range of evidence that exists concerning the Birth... or Births. Or even non-Births, for that matter. What follows is a guide to Birthism, designed to enable the prospective Birther to pick the style that fits best.
First, let's take a look at the officially accepted version, the one asserted by the Obama White House, repeated in the media, recited by schoolchildren in ceremonies across the country, portrayed in engravings and paintings in millions of homes, and even now being carved into Mount Rushmore. Obama was born in a little stable outside of Honolulu, and then placed in a manger where he lay down his head. Favoring this story is the fact that there are a number of living eyewitnesses, including the three pineapple plantation workers who arrived to adore the infant Obama, and the three Polynesian tribal chiefs who traveled thousands of miles by canoe to present the three gifts: a coconut, a gold doubloon, and a shiny piece of coral. But at the same time, there is much to suggest that the story is false, above all the fact that people on the Internet say so, along with certain inconsistencies in the narrative itself. (I mean... pineapples in Hawaii? Come off it. Everybody knows they come out of cans.)
So we move on to the major Birther interpretations. We'll take the grandest first, one quite popular in certain remote Louisiana bayous: that Obama arrived on earth in a flying saucer sometime previous to attending Columbia University, for the purpose, alternately of preparing the human race for entry into galactic civilization, or in a bleaker mode, to undermine humanity in preparation for a planned Grey invasion. It must be said that, while not accepted by many Birther scholars, this one sure explains those ears.
Frank Marshall Davis understandably plays a large role in Birther speculations. The dominant theory involving Davis holds that he brought Obama as an embryo to Honolulu aboard a Soviet submarine. It seems that Obama was the product of genetic tinkering at various secret labs across the USSR in which DNA surreptitiously extracted from FDR, Lenin, and the late great Sam Cooke were merged to produce the perfect figure to lead the US into true socialism. This is an interesting theory in light of Obama's refusal to sing "What a Wonderful World" on Saturday Night Live. (It's also my personal favorite. I think it would make a good picture. I like submarine flicks.)
Ward D at Creedmore State Hospital on Long Island has been a fertile source of Birther theory. One compelling concept defuses the Honolulu versus Djakarta versus Mombasa dilemma by evoking the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Quite simply, Obama manifested himself in all three places at once, much as electrons and other subatomic particles have been demonstrated to do under laboratory conditions. Government by electron -- that would explain a lot, wouldn't it? (This theory has formed the basis of much discussion among several AT writers.)
Fans of the "Blue Beam Project" will recognize the source of our next theory. According to the "Blue Beamers", NASA has for years been working on a secret program to fake the Second Coming by projecting holograms from satellites. Need we say more? Here we have the savior in person, hailed as a god by the mass media, adored by crowds around the world. The sad truth: there is no Obama. He's nothing but a hologram, projected by "Blue Beam" equipment as a kind of test for the "real" Last Judgment. All of Obama's addleheaded statements, non-sequiturs, and inability to come to grips with any kind of consistent policy can be easily explained as program glitches. (A variation of this thesis holds that Obama is actually a mass hallucination triggered by that deadly poison, fluoride).
We turn to metaphysics with the contention that Obama always was, is, and will be, and that it was instead the universe itself that was created at the moment of his election, complete with fake memories of everyone's previous "lives". The question here is why, in such a case, he'd bother to create Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and so on when he could do a lot better. This problem is a major topic of discussion among the Birther assault squads practicing in the woods for the big raid on the State of Hawaii Department of Records.
For the sake of completeness, we'll include the most bizarre of all theories, one recognized by next to no one beyond a few cranks. This contends that the birth certificate actually exists, says what it's supposed to say, and remains where it belongs. The Obama campaign screwed up the original release, refused to admit it, and has stood pat since in the hopes that the center-right opposition would self-destruct over it. While it's true that Hawaiian state law forbids any release... But why waste time on this nonsense? No real Birther would ever touch it. This is the kind of malarkey you hear at New York cocktail parties attended by people named "David".
If you don't see one you like, don't worry about it. There's no end of new theories emerging from die Geburterbunker. That Obama drifted in on a giant clamshell. That he originally came to America with Leif Ericson after being born in Greenland. That he was sent back in time by Skywatch to make the future safe for cyborgs. (Though in that case, why has Schwarzenegger remained silent?)
Neophyte Birthers need to take their time and examine the Birther menu closely. After all, it's not like there's anything important to be done -- no political principles to protect, no threatening policies to resist, no town hall meetings to attend. Why wouldn't intelligent adults want to put time, effort, and energy into theories that are impossible to prove and would mean nothing even if they were?
Better yet -- why not make up your own theory? Let's keep at it until we've got a Birther theory for every Birther -- and why stop there? Let's have one for every citizen. More the better! This is America!
Just keep in mind the ancient Latin motto that so fully characterizes the spirit of the movement: Partusae Nuxus Est
Hey, did you hear they located the basket that the Kenyan princesses found down in the bulrushes with Obama inside?
Next: What's a Birther to Wear? The Proper Gear for Hunting the Certificate.
JR Dunn is the author of "I, Birther", a biography of Birther pioneer Lula-Mae Shakes, available from Honolulu Institute of Technology Press, Honolulu, HI