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Hillary and Barack invade the real dreams of millions

March 4, 2008 |  2:12 am

Over these past eight busy political months, loyal Ticket readers have come to expect the unexpected here. We've had nearly-naked hotties 4 Ron Paul. We've had Republicans voting for Hillary Clinton. And the usual boxers vs briefs question. We've even had a U. S. Senator tapping his foot in a men's room.

But this morning's opening primary election day item may top them all. It's about how our presidential politicians literally reside in our subconscious.

Let's say you're in the mall and Hillary walks up and says she's had another argument with Bill and needs a hug. So you hug and she asks if you voted for her and you say yes, even though you didn't, because she looks sad.

Suddenly, you're at the railroad station, but the train is just....

departing and Barack Obama is standing at the back door, waving. Behind him is your mother. And she's not happy.

Sheila Heti wants to hear from you. She's collecting such dreams, real ones from your sleep, about Hillary and Barack. No, seriously. On a brand-new website she posts your description of the dream. Don't worry, dreamers remain unidentified.

She got the idea only a few days ago from an American friend who lives two blocks away in Toronto. She had a dream about Hillary. And Sheila got to thinking maybe many Americans do too and wouldn't it be interesting to read them? She's got a few dozen so far, but they're coming in daily from around the world. It seems the American election resides in the subconscious of many nationalities.

Sheila's a novelist. So symbolism intrigues her and so do the patterns emerging:

"One of the questions of the project definitely is: how does the American collective unconscious understand a prospective female president? Because a female American president is an absolutely new symbol. The same goes for Barack and his being black.

"What sorts of projections and hopes and fears do people have as a result of their race and gender, which are unprecedented in the presidential context in the States?

"I don't actually have any answers, but if you look at the site, some trends become clear: with Barack there are a lot of anxiety dreams about him being assassinated. With Hillary, people turn her into their mother -- and there are a lot of dreams in which the dreamer finds her to be more beautiful than they expected.

"Why do people need to dream her as having shining eyes, beautiful skin? Sometimes they see her emasculating a powerful man -- or the dreamer. This is all pretty interesting to see."

But Republicans need not apply. Sheila doesn't find them as interesting, unless they're having nightmares about the Democrats.

There's one dream from an English professor who's watching Obama give a speech that the professor wrote but Obama's voice is the professor's. There's one from a woman helping Obama run errands because Michelle is in the hospital, but they drive down a deadend street in a huge SUV and the woman gets very anxious but Obama makes all the turns perfectly and they get out safely.

A man and his girlfriend are talking to Obama near a school and as they start to leave, the man turns to a nearby woman and says, "We're going to dinner if you want to join us." And the woman says, "I'm not Michelle."

Clinton seems to be running behind in the dream department too. There are noticeably fewer dreams posted about her so far and most seem to have an edge to them. A young California Obama supporter dreamed about making cold calls for Hillary's campaign when the candidate walks by and laughs mockingly at her afro hairdo.

One woman approached Clinton to thank her for running. Hillary rolled her eyes and the woman turned to her mother in puzzlement and her mother remarked what nice skin Clinton had. And the daughter agreed.

And then the alarm went off.

But before you go running online to Canada, please take a moment to share with us below the short version of any dream you may have had about any of the presidential candidates. We're a bipartisan blog. Or maybe you've even had a dream about what's-his-name the rich mayor from New York.

You're on the honor system here. No making up dreams. Because, remember, we're a major news organization. So if we get suspicious, we have ways of checking your dreams.

--Andrew Malcolm