Wow wow wow wow wow...
So yeah, apparently, there was some sort of political to-do in the United States earlier this week.
Barack Obama won the presidency of the United States of America Tuesday evening, and it was a huge fucking deal.
I did not anticipate it being as big of a deal as it was at all. I can remember watching the 2004 election results, and it was the bust to bust all busts. Quite literally. I was up until 2 AM and the tone was both grim AND uneventful. It was weird. And then, by morning, we knew nothing. Of course it turned out that Bush would still be all up in our business for four more quite inglorious years - with exit polls explaining that the top issue was 'protection of values' (i.e. "Gays marrying? Not on my watch!") trumping four more years of Bushs' misguidance.
Anyballs. I was expecting it to be another toss-up this year - and that no one would know anything until morning. This is why I opted out of any sort of social gatherings... I thought it would just be a bust and I'd be under slept and disappointed in the morning. How very, very wrong I was.
I was watching CNN - not NBC - so I was in the company of yer Wolf Blizter's, yer Candy Crowley's, yer Soledad O'Brien's and of course, yer Andy Cooper's. I had read earlier that day that the first polls closing would be McCain states, so it's going to look like McCain is leading off the bat, but he's not. All I can remember all night was Obama in a menacing lead at every point.
I can then remember when Ohio was called - apparently that was the kicker. This was confirmed by Dana Bash, who - beside being the terrifying hybrid of Janice from The Muppets and Felicity "Bree" Huffman in Transamerica...
FOR REALS! WHAT - IS - WRONG -WITH - HER - FACE?!?!
Anyballs - Dana Bash said at that moment, heart's sank at the McCain party, where she and her busted tranny muppet face were. Apparently - they didn't even announce it to the crowd... that's how heart-sinking it was.
Still, I wasn't sold. This is going to take HOURS I thought to myself. I kept the TV on. There were a bunch of fat asshole talking head politic-ista's yammering around in circles about what this would mean for the country... yadda yadda yadda...
At approximately 11:05 (mere minutes after the Western polls closed), Andy Cooper and Soledad O'Brien were making some inane CNN smalltalk about Iowa when SHAZAM - without an ounce of ceremony, the banner changes to read "Barack Obama Elected President" and we cut to crowds cheering for nigh on 10 minutes.
And I absolutely lost my shit.
And had no idea why.
But I did - lost it. My shit. Completely.
The more I think about it, I think it was a cry of relief. Certainly a release of adrenaline, because this was so built up in everyone's subconscious, but relief. The nightmare is over. For once - and I quite literally mean once, in recent history - the American people used common sense and did not subscribe to unsubstantiated phobias... well, at least enough of them didn't...
That's the thing, though. I went into this appropriately cynical. With the expectation that the Obama situation was too good to be true, and in the end, the US would blow it and opt for more of the same. I cried out of relief and astonishment that "Holy fuck... this IS a reality now". The good guy finally fucking won.
Even if this is a complete crap shoot and he fucks things up immeasurably/can't repair enough of Bushs' damage - I'll always have the memory of that relief and that hope. I think it was a moment the world NEEDED to have. At this moment in time, and for so many reasons beyond the immediate ones.
I also cried out of relativity to the plight of the African American population and what this meant to them - of course I now feel a little less sympathetic considering their involvement in passing California's ghoulish Proposition 8, but I'll get to that in a bit.
Anyballs - you know what it was like?! Quite literally - it reminded me of American Idol, Season 3 when Fantasia Barrino beat Diana DeGarmo. I'M ENTIRELY SERIOUS... don't remember it? Here...
Fantasia - the exponentially more talented yet controversial choice - beating remarkably similar pageant queen Diana. It was like a modern-day fairy-tale, much like Tuesday night...
I know, I know - any excuse to talk about Fantasia. Deal. With. It.
So yeah... soon after came McCain's concession speech. Flanked by the ever-vacant Cindy and the y'know, just, Sarah & Todd Palin, he came off certainly classier than he had during his campaign. It was a very dignified moment, save for the drunk yokels in the crowd who booed every time McCain's brought up Obama. Sidebar: When the cut to Palin, she actually looked disappointed and surprised to have lost. Like in the way a spoiled 9-year-old looks disappointed and surprised when they don't get a pet Unicorn for their birthday. Either scenario is equally implausible.
Cut to Obama's victory speech in Chicago - I was especially moved by the image of America's new First Family. It also hit me that as excited as I am about Obama being the next president, I think I'm more excited about Michelle Obama being the next first lady. WORK!
Then came Obama's speech. I lost my shit again - NUTS! I can tell you the exact moment it occurred... when he said: "It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled..." - that just hit me like a ton of joy-bricks. For the first time, the President of the United States of America recognizing the minority group and biological predisposition of which I belong as part of his constituency. Not disregarding it as some unspeakable, perverse 'lifestyle choice' like past presidents - but recognizing it, saying it. That honestly meant the world. And that's kind of sad, really. How low that bar of expectation is. But yeah... baby steps...
Anyballs - this trumps 9/11 as the definitive moment of my generation. Why? Because for the first time, my generation - the millenials - has its first significant moment that we can take responsibility for, the first item of history that we produced. And that, along with freshly tracked crow's feet I've discovered (Editor's note: ACK!), makes me feel really fucking old.
And that's the sense that I've made out of this.
Congrats to you, America!
Smell ya later,