Barrak Obama, curator of this marvelous exhibition was at pains to explain his curatorial philosophy to our fawning reporter who is usually overcome by the presence of such exalted company. However, on this particular day, he had missed his lunch break and was in an altogether different frame of mind.
I was not at all unnerved and was the first to extend my hand. Mr. President," I smiled. I felt the man's grip, limp in a soft unsatisfied way and even in the sunlit room the hand felt unusually cold.
"You have less frontal development that I should have expected Mr .... Reporter?" said Obama keenly regarding my forehead.
"Really!" I took a step back.
"Yes, did you not know that a man's physical, moral, intellectual, and social development can be determined by jaw structure and forehead development?"
"Phrenology?" I replied.
"I see you do, come with me."
I followed the elegant Barrak Obama into a room packed with human skulls and lit from the ceiling by a wide skylight. Each skull was labeled and placed in its alcove. A further marker above the space recorded a racial class and a notation signifying age. I thought there must be at least four hundred. The former president then removed a specimen and offered it to me but as I took it the wired jaw gaped open caused me to gasp. Obama smiled.
"This is the scull of an early republican voter and you can see that by the prominent jaw." Obama grasped the dangling appendage and rejoined it to its proper place so the mouth was closed and the jaw protruded. "The prognathous or protruding jaw is a sign of lower development and of a closer relationship to primitive man. The Italians, early Venetians and today's working classes are more prognathous than our modern contemporary democratic politicians, so there is a vast difference between the prognathous and the less prominent jawed modern 'cutting edge' democrats. Interestingly the renaissance, high renaissance, baroque, eighteenth and nineteenth century republican politicians are among the prognathous, whereas all democratic presidents of genius, like those who have contributed to the my exhibition are orthognathous and have less prominent jaw bones."
He reached for another scull," This is an example the late republican president such as Ronald Reagan, closely related to Cro-Magnon man, who, in turn, is linked to what I call the Southern European." He pointed, "that whole section over there”.
"Are a scientist as well Mr. President?" I asked.
"Just an amateur, just collecting evidence."
"A modest amateur." I forced a smile but wished suddenly I was elsewhere with a slice of stale pizza.
"How long did it take to collect all these?" I asked raising my eyebrow.
"With the help of many State Department grants, many dedicated environmental scientists and much donated money from the Clinton Foundation it has taken twenty years. You see Mr. Reporter I am developing an index I call an 'Index of Backwardness'. In it I have rated the Early American and English Torys close to Renaissance republicans and thus have links with the "backwardness" and other races of the pre modern era."
He raised a forensic forefinger and pointed. "That section there is of the lower order with skulls from the middle age calligraphists. Like the Venetians, early Americans and Dutch republicans they can be characterized as a poetic, light-hearted, highly emotional, playful, passionate, and sentimental group, rather like children. They are completely "immature" and in need of guidance by those, like us, who are more highly developed than themselves. Their 'emotion' is not to be confused with our civilized 'reason' as it is instinctive while ours is pragmatic. Their moral condition is marked by rare and loving intercourse, marriage is a virtual necessity and incest was uncommon. Unlike our enlightened 'democrats' of today most forms of vice or sexuality caused concern ... nor did it attract their curiosity. No, they tended to have true religion and no superstition. It is curious to note they had notions of thrift, self-denial, frugality, industry, abstinence or sobriety. No wonder they were held back" The former President then grasped and raised a musty scull as if all the characteristics he spoke of were obvious to any independent observer.
"Therefore, I expect, we have a great responsibility to educate them." I said.
"Perhaps," he replied as he picked out another specimen and turned it around in his hands. I noticed only that a tiny spider had made its nest in the recesses of the left eye socket.
"Note the structure of this skull, especially the jaw formation and facial angles. It can reveal the level of development in various republicans," stated Obama as he continued to revolve the piece. "Like Eisenhower and other republican presidents they are an example of an inferior race, closer to the apes than say Kennedy, Johnson or that genius Jimmy Carter. They may not have the bestial, ape-like or demonic features of Ronald Reagan, especially the political radical, with his telltale long or prognathous jaw, but still they bear the stigmata to the phrenologists of a lower order, of stupidity, or even innocence as you can readily see."
He offered it to me but I shook my head. The former President then replaced it on the shelf as I moved towards another section where I noted a label 'republican prostitutes'.
"Everything can be related to technology," the Obama explained. "The politicians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led a life without any real technology. They display an overall looseness in their notions as to embracing leading edge technology. We need to further disenfranchise intellectual property and give political recognition to that great institution, for the sake of which, all other institutions exist. Modern politics forms the basis of all knowledge, all commerce, all industry and all civilization. It is 'the regard for exhibitions like this that makes us differ from the Bushes and other far right savages of the past."
(Note to the editor. I must admit, Mr. editor in chief, that at this stage the lack of food that is the right of every reporter at twelve thirty or thereabouts caused me to faint and miss the conclusion of what was a most interesting conversation.)
Hans de Feat is our brave continental reporter whose main interest is free travel.