Salmon State of the Union

by Emilie Branch

Obama’s State of the Union played on normal political cliché; “We have fought fiercely for our beliefs”, or “What comes at this moment will be determined by us” to inspire and unify the American public. Most speeches build up the audience, in this case, “the American family” and then let us in on some tragedy or fault, only to rise us up again with a new found sense of hope. We’re supposed to overcome.

Barak has a lot on his plate, as do the American people. On Tuesday night, however, we were most interested in what might be on Obama’s actual plate. In a poll done by NPR, in which they asked listeners what word stuck out most in their mind after just hearing the 6,955 word speech, the hands-down most popular response was “salmon.” That about puts on us back on track.  Salmon sums up American politics. Salmon.

Maybe we were all searching for a joke. Maybe we didn’t eat enough at dinner. The point is that we retained the funny bit and kind of poo-poo’ed the rest. I think it’s like looking at too many pictures of starving people or hearing too many politicians mention strength and family. Is America so fucked that a speech presented to a group of people, who desperately need a speech, just want to remember the fish part? The 4,000 respondents to NPR’s survey, whether Rep or Dem didn’t say “hope”, or “optimism”, or “energy” when asked to choose a word. No, they were busy thinking about a pink fish that swims upstream and is eaten by bears.  We’re hungry, Mr .President; we don’t care about the rest, we just want to be fed.  

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