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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Barry Clifford: Doggone Election Posters

Every day they are unavoidable; doggone election posters: In your face, in procession, peering down from atop lampposts and any other perch that they can get away with. It is their faces that I am fascinated with more as they surely cannot speak, can do no harm yet; the posters I mean. But what are they trying to tell me? They say a face can tell a lot yet the naysayers tell us ‘never judge a book by it’s cover.’ But we do judge, at least some of us to a certain degree.

What do we have? One poster has a pretty woman on it and a runner up that does not look too bad either on a lamppost a little further down the line. Some faces look like they are past their sell by date and a few come with cheesy smiles along with the dodgy teeth in mature decay. Others, always the males of course, look positively lecherous, while a few more look like they have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar when their mug-shot was taken and it probably was, and now, God help us, it is now stuck on a tree.

There is also the ones that seems like they are looking for a spot on American Idol while still more have lost all pretence of their real ambitions: that they really need to go to the bathroom. I was spoilt for choice for sure. Their faces left no room for re-threaded and tired old political slogan, even in the small print on their posters. It was all face that was going to do it or not, and that was going to be a serious stretch for some and a walk in the park for others. So, I tried to see beyond it all, looking for more clues to the content of their real character on their posters, until one day I found what I was looking for, and who, in my rights as a free citizen and registered voter, I am going to vote for.

He was staring out at me near Newcastle in Galway as I pulled up to the traffic lights from an old leafy Oakwood. I almost missed him but red was on our side. Smart and trendy looking in his shirt and tie, he seemed to be just looking at, well, me. For the first time I felt important, was somebody, and there was definitely an energy coming from that worldly wise face passed on to where I sat.

He sported a moustache that suggested wisdom beyond his years tinged with strands of grey around his temple and chin that reminded me of that other great wise one: Socrates. There was just four words to the poster with his name that I will never forget: ‘Please Just Love Me’ and I did for it was that at first sight. He was running as an Independent candidate and looked it too with that thoughtful, no nonsense look.

His name is Edvard Hund, and just because he is originally from England one can’t hold that against him; but his pedigree is unassailable, and even though he is an underdog he has got my Number 1 vote.


By Barry Clifford