Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What if...The Fonz ran for President?


My friend Steve and I were discussing what has gone wrong for the USA. We both remember thinking America was dead cool as kids. Now I’m sure most of our generation consider it to be the country equivalent of a big sloppy dog turd outside their front door. You want to ignore its existence, but it’s so big and creating so much of a stink that you can’t.

I think the main reason kids in the ‘70s thought America was cool was because of the Fonz. Come on, who didn’t think Fonzie was cool? His anti-establishment rock-steady attitude, his leather jacket and his ‘aaaay’ thumbs-up sign thing. As a sexually curious but romantically unsuccessful male child, I was also impressed that the Fonz always had loads of birds on the go. So just imagine how wildly popular the USA would be now if the Fonz were president.

‘Happy Days’ was part of a wave of cultural nostalgia venerating 50s America. This was perhaps because a very insecure post-Vietnam ’70s USA longed for the innocent certainties of the Eisenhower era (with all the McCarthyite oppression of communists removed, of course).

Now visualise this nostalgia taken to an extreme. Picture, if you will, an alternative history where the Fonz ran as Democratic candidate for President instead of Jimmy Carter. OK, I know that Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli is a fictional character played by Henry Winkler, but since when have Americans worried about such distinctions? Just look at how Arnie has exploited his Terminator persona.

So, anyway, Fonzie is elected by a landslide and implements his wise philosophy, often expounded in ‘Happy Days’ to the clueless ginger minger Richie Cunningham, as a political programme. Completely knackered economy? Remember how Fonzie would just punch the jukebox and it would work? Imagine he did the same on a Wall Street computer. Trouble with those Iranian fanatics? One click of the fingers would render them docile and all their women would be throwing off their burkhas and begging for a backie on Fonzie’s Harley.

After eight years of Fonzie’s brand of outsider liberalism (for surely he'd get a second term), I don’t think America would have voted in Bush Snr. And I’m damned sure they wouldn’t have put his son in power. I do, however, think Clinton would have been elected, especially as he has the same laidback style and similar success with the ladies as the Fonz.

In this alternative timeline, the USA continues to be the land of James Dean and Rock ‘n’ Roll, rather than Stealth Bombers and Extraordinary Rendition. Who could resist giving a double thumbs-up to that idea?

3 comments:

fritz said...

I think the main reason kids in the ‘70s thought America was cool was because of the Fonz.
You are way off mark here mate... The REAL reason kids in the '70s etc is because of Charlie's Angels. Them, and Wonder Woman. Let's face, they are exactly the kind of president Yanks pine for.

David Cameron said...

You mean American men long to be dominated by women in star-spangled hotpants? Man, who could blame them?

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