Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Jake for Mayor - a satire by Lou Aguilar - worthy of William Thackeray

Commies, it's election year! No way to get around it. So, prepare for a flurry of political satires to ease up the tension. Today's guest of honor is Lou Aguilar, the author of Jake for Mayor. Born a sultry Cuban, Aguilar is a radical conservative and a kindred spirit with a razor-sharp sense of humor and a grim view of humanity.
Ken Miller is having a bad run of luck. After torpedoing his career as a campaign manager, he drives through tiny Erie, Colorado, when a homeless beagle named Jake causes a series of mishaps that lands him in jail. Ken is granted bail on two conditions: that he not leave town before his trial in three weeks and—much to his chagrin—that he not let Jake out of his sight until then. Stuck in Erie as it prepares for a mayoral election, he’s drawn into the local politics by a waitress who vehemently opposes incumbent Charles Dunbar, the only candidate on the ticket. 

Unable to resist political adventure, Ken gets a brainstorm. If he can exploit the dog’s popularity among the townspeople and get them to elect Jake as a protest candidate, the publicity will put him back on top. But things don’t go exactly as planned. Ken warms to the dog, falls for the waitress, and employs her teenage son and his gang as campaign aides in a madcap battle with Mayor Dunbar … who has no intention of losing to a dog. 

My thoughts:
It's no secret that behind every egomaniac politician there is a cynical campaign manager, the snickering, finger-fumbling puppet master. In order to run a politician's campaign successfully, you have to have an incredibly thick skin and a low opinion of the human race. You have to view general audiences as superficial, fickle and gullible. You have to know which buttons to push. Meet Ken Miller, an unscrupulous cynic extraordinaire - at a tender age of thirty-two. There is no gimmick he will not use to advance his agenda - from his wholesome, non-threatening boyish good-looks, to adolescent children as "props", to a homeless beagle. Ken Miller is unabashedly candid about the irreverent nature of his motives. He zipper-down candor is refreshing and endearing.

The rule of thumb is, the more absurd and frightening the state of affairs - the more entertaining the satire. Lou Aguilar understands the formula. I will not hesitate to call him a 21st century Thackeray. An indie filmmaker in his other life, he produces a work of fiction that's cinematic in its delivery. Jake for Mayor will leave you with a profoundly gratifying, wanna-take-a-shower feeling.

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