By Kevin J. Guhl
At the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents’ Dinner, comedian John Hodgman famously called out Barack Obama as the first American President to fuse the traits of a jock and a nerd, while at the same time questioning the strength of Obama’s nerd cred. Obama recently proved his jock side in awesome fashion by converting the White House tennis court into a basketball court. As for his nerd status, we’ve all seen the wonderful photo of him posed in front of the Superman statue in Metropolis, Illinois, learned about his childhood collection of Conan and Spider-Man comics, and heard about how he once flashed Leonard Nimoy the Vulcan salute. But is President Obama really a nerd? Here are seven other ways in which he can prove that he is indeed one of us.
7) Display Action Figures on his Desk in the Oval Office
Paperweights. Family photos. Fancy pens. What do these have in common?
They’re all boring-as-hell, pedestrian decorations that only normal
people are satisfied with as work desk accoutrements. For nerds, there
is no better way to show your individuality and keep your creative
juices flowing at work than having Witchblade frozen in a dropkick atop
your computer monitor as Skeletor lays unconscious atop a pile of TPS
reports. Sure, the Oval Office is a place of great history, prestige
and class, but if Obama is a geek you know he secretly wants G.I. Joe
with the Kung-Fu Grip holding his pencils. Don’t have any shame, Mr.
President! If anything, start small, like with a bobblehead
6) Use Risk to Decide Military Policy
Back before Dungeons & Dragons was invented, many gamers got their
fix through war miniatures gaming and board games. The ultimate
combination of these two nerdy past-times was Risk, the game of world
domination. Featuring little plastic armies hellbent on a Napoleonic
conquest of the Earth, the game has provided many hours of intense
strategy and frustration for gamers for over 50 years. What better
primer could there be for Obama as he commands his very own armies on
missions throughout the real, life-sized version of the game?
5) Nominate William Shatner and Patrick Stewart to His Cabinet
Trekkies and Trekkers have been at each other’s throats since 1987
about who was the better captain of the Enterprise. Was it Kirk, the
ladies’ man with a sense of humor and a cowboy methodology of meeting
the galaxy’s challenges? Or was it Picard, the no-nonsense, extremely
intelligent diplomat? The truth is, the two of them would work well
together as a team (aside from what happened in Generations), as they
were both effective in different ways, in different situations. This
meeting of the minds would prove most effective in helping Obama, our
very own Spock, run the nation’s affairs. Nevermind that Stewart and
Shatner are really just actors
4) Officially Invite Aliens to Land on the White House Lawn
For years it’s been said that if aliens want to prove their existence, they should stop joy-buzzing farmers in Nebraska and instead land their flying discs spectacularly on the White House lawn. Well, maybe they’re waiting for an invitation. When not boffing interns, former President Bill Clinton took a huge interest in trying to use his power to learn more about the UFO puzzle but was ultimately rebuffed, most likely by the shadow forces within the U.S. government. But he never thought to actually appeal to the aliens themselves. Barack Obama, however, could make this happen. And when the aliens land at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, he would know enough to greet them with, “Klaatu barada nikto.”
3) Use an Officially-Licensed Dark Knight Two-Face Coin to Decide National Policy
A lot of legislation comes across the President’s desk, and there has
to be times when he tires of making all those hard decisions and would
rather leave it to chance. Any run-of-the-mill President would decide
by flipping a boring old quarter. Not our first nerd President, though!
What better way to decide than with an officially licensed Two-Face
Silver Dollar as seen in The Dark Knight
2) Relaunch the Star Wars Program Just Because of Its Name
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan’s proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was yet another frightening reminder of the Cold War and the imminent nuclear annihilation that stood to destroy us all at the push of a button. But if you were a kid in the 1980s, you likely thought the SDI was awesome as hell due to its nickname, Star Wars. If he’s a true nerd, how could Obama deep down not feel the urge to fully fund an initiative that creates the image of a fleet of X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon protecting us from the Dark Side?
1) Deport Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Michael Bay and Stephen Sommers for Their Sins Against Transformers and G.I. Joe
The Internet has raged with hissy-fits and venom in recent months due to the rampant ruination of childhood cartoon heroes the Transformers and G.I. Joe by Hollywood filmmakers who don’t give a crap about memories. Transformers has mutated into a shallow series of films featuring what amounts to cameo appearances by the titular robots, depicted as excellently-rendered piles of indistinguishable scrap metal with a pittance of character development and a fondness for potty humor. G.I. Joe, meanwhile, has turned the favorite fictional American heroes of the 1980s into superheroes in identical power suits who battle a Cobra Commander that looks like a reject from Mortal Kombat. As angry as fans are about these perversions, the doe-eyed public has awarded this terrible filmmaking with tons and tons of money, thereby ensuring that there will me more “raping” of childhood memories in the future. Obama has the power to stand up for what’s right and put Hollywood in its place by putting these filmmakers on the nearest ships bound for foreign shores. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the producer of both these travesties, should be banished to make spaghetti westerns. Since Stephen Sommers likes mummies so much, ship him off to see the Great Pyramids. As for Michael Bay, the scourge of cinema, send him to Cybertron where his incessant explosions would be better appreciated. And if all else fails, banish them all to Phantom Zone!