With great power comes...what?
Because who’s to say world leaders can’t listen to Juicy J too
I would like to be powerful one day. Don’t worry — this is not because I have dictatorial tendencies.* I would simply like to cavort with powerful people.
In my dream world, I am at the Oscars. Ellen DeGeneres asks me to take a selfie. I oblige, because Ellen and I are always doing stuff like that, and Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Kevin Spacey and Channing Tatum quickly jump in.** So silly! We laugh, remembering that one time we all went out to dinner and Brad had one too many and couldn’t pronounce “calamari.” Meanwhile, the picture goes viral, but we are too busy giggling to care. Such classic Brad!
Yes, that is the dream. But it doesn’t stop there. If I ever actually attend the Oscars, my real end game would be to quietly manipulate Brad into giving me access to real power. The movers, the shakers. The decision makers. Because I would like proof the people making the calls on X47C drone strikes are, at their cores, a lot like me.
Think about it. Behind the carefully cultivated public image, maybe Barack Obama is REALLY into … say, bad rap. Like Juicy J bad. Close friend Jay-Z has tried to intervene periodically, but has been unable to convince the president “bands” and “dance” is poor slant rhyme and not, in fact, “lyrical genius” that is “hyper than the Situation Room.”
Something about that is comforting to me.
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping — General Secretary of the Communist Party of China — is sitting in his car outside a Dairy Queen. He’s rather proud of himself for having snuck out to a place his buddies said was “forbidden” (it is the Forbidden City, one of the most heavily trafficked tourist spots in all of China). He puts on his sunglasses, checks himself in the rear-view mirror and lets the familiar rush of adrenaline course through his veins. “Screw it,” he says, getting out of his four-door sedan. “I deserve this.” He looks around, quickly goes in and orders his third Blizzard of the morning. “I love ‘me days,’” he sighs contentedly.
He swears not even to tell Chinese premier / best friend Li Keqiang of his transgression. Keqiang can be so judgy sometimes.
Across the Eurasian continent, German Chancellor Angela Merkel just won’t give up on high-waisted skinny jeans. After spending hours scrolling through the Urban Outfitters website Monday, impulsively adding a fedora to her shopping cart only to panic and remove it seconds later, she is getting frustrated with everyone who keeps telling her she “can’t pull off whatever new thing she’s doing.” She is delusional enough to think she can.
“I know I’m curvier on the bottom,” she says, adjusting her thick black-frame glasses (prescription free) as she examines her figure in the mirror. “But I really don’t think it’s that bad.”
Her friends shake their heads. The pants are quite bad. Also, “Little Lion Man” just came on, and they know it’s only a matter of time before she goes off about “how much better Mumford & Sons were before they sold out.” You know, their old stuff. From 2011.
Back in Washington, Barack Obama shakes his head too. As per Merkel’s suspicions, he’s been using NSA surveillance to monitor her phone since 2002. “Someone should tell her Mumford hasn’t been indie since, like, 2012,” he groans, turning up “King Soulja,” the latest LP by Soulja Boy Tell’em.
Stars: they’re just like you. At least, I really hope they are.
- I do, but that’s not what I am trying to convey here.
- Yes, in my dream world, I am Meryl Streep.
Julia’s columns run biweekly Thursdays. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org