President Huggy Bear
...you know what? Actually, they don't.
When I first saw this photo of a college-aged Barack Obama, I was struck by the cool hepcattiness of the thing. His gesture of smoking a 'rette, so evocative of Bogie and war-era machomen cupping theirs, seemed almost to eclipse the intent -- that of a still youngish lad pretending he's smoking him a blunt.
The second instantaneous reaction I had was: whoa, but doesn't Obama resemble Bill Clinton! Right?
It's not just the arrogant mofo squint either.
Let's face it, most of us look alike when we narrow our eyes and stare sidelong in a semi-challenging gesture. No-no. The resemblence is in the peasanty potato nose and flat Kalmuk cheeks.
But I had yet another flashback, this one slightly more amusing.
For it was once upon a time that, with a dwindling amount of museums to choose from in Amsterdam, I ended up in the very famous Sex Museum. Now, for all I know, today this museum could have been spruced up beyond recognition, but back then, it was a dump. DUMP!
I know, I know, what do you expect from an historical emporium called 'Sex Museum', but still. I was in my gap year, in fact, not much older than Obama above, and willing to explore anything even remotely whackadoodle.
So then you entered the Sex Museum and were shown a few mouldy rooms of excavated Roman penii and faded vintage porn, including some purporting to be of a gay gangbang circa 1913 of Rudolph Valentino (please, it looked nothing like him). Another room showed off its sinister 'marital aid' collection, including one particularly fascinating device which looked like a combination numbchuck/chastity belt/Hagar the Horrible battleaxe.
Tried as I might, I just couldn't see myself using that, even in 1887.
It was as you left, in a room which would be the death of any asthmatic porn viewer (the dust was an inch thick, I swear), that Obama above comes to mind.
The last room contained glass vignettes of faceless statues showing sex throughout the ages. Just like the old Miami Wax Museum, which breathed its last in the early 1980s and whose last updated wax tableaux was Richard Nixon greeting the three Apollo 11 astronauts in their capsule -- remember? -- , these kinds of museums are rarely du jour, and the last "scene" if you will, was that of a pimp and his pro in the Red Light District around 1971.
The pimp was dressed in a "sky" (as I have been reliably informed was the slang word for hat, back then), a white cape, and flare-bottomed Fat Elvis red trousers, apparently collecting his dough from the hooker.
I didn't notice what she was wearing, except that she was slim and looked like Heidi the milkmaid -- which, if you've ever been to the Red Light district in smelly old Amsterdam, you'll know is a total joke.
Amsterdam hos are about 250 lbs., invariably from Suriname or some godforsaken ex-Dutch outpost, and are the ugliest creatures I've ever seen enlisted into the world's oldest profession. Incidentally, at the Centraal Station, the ladies' loo near the platform had an ink-written suggestion which said, "If you want a really good tongue job, ask for Dewi at Madame Suzi's". I passed.
ANYWAY, whew, I have really digressed here. Where wuz I? Oh yes, Obama.
The point is the waxy pimp had a mien incredibly like that of Obama above. You know, "Where my money at, ho!", and so on.
Also, he looks like Huggy Bear, whose son I once owned in Yahoo's Fantasy NFL. Small world.
In closing, I would just like to mention that we none of us are without our extremely embarrassing snaps taken in off-guard moments.
So what if Obama is seen above mimicking being in an Amsterdam brownstone café, having just purchased some Afghan Red? Why, somewhere out there, there's a photo of your humble blogger seated on 15-foot plaster "penis", conveniently available just as you exit the Sex Museum.
We all have pasts, my friends.
P.S.: Oh My God! They have a website now! NSFW, or anywhere else.