Monday, November 10, 2008

The Gipper Reborn

Success naturally attracts followers and hustlers looking to cash in. Mega-success rearranges worlds, and based on the early evidence, Obama's victory has everyone scrambling for definitions and hidden meanings. I've seen this once before, when Reagan won in 1980, seemingly changing, overnight, American political reality. I was a kid then, still in the Army, backing the losing campaigns of Ted Kennedy and John Anderson. So to my green mind, Reagan's win and the cultural upheaval that followed was the end of whatever world I understood or wanted to live in. But I adjusted, read, lived, learned. This time around, I'm a graying crazy fuck. As historic and potentially shattering as Obama's ascension is, I remain in my crazy space. This puts me on the outer reaches of our asylum, but I've become used to the peeling paint and soiled tile.

Since last Tuesday night, I've encountered, both online and in person, countless fantasies and projections about what President Obama will ultimately be. Nobody, not even humble me, knows how this will all shake down in the coming years, but this doesn't stop people from babbling all kinds of bullshit, from hopeful kids dreaming of a brave new world, to seasoned libs lecturing others on the "reality" of Obama while careful not to compromise their support for the incoming prez. Very few want to emit a non-supportive vibe, for flocking around and flattering the über-successful is an American constant. And since Obama is the hottest celebrity on the planet, opinion-mongers, political charlatans, wannabe insiders, crowd-pleasing cynics, and various grifters in between all seek to feed off and exploit his heat. Some say it's for The People and Our Nation, while others simply try to pad their resumes. Everyone has an angle -- Obama most of all, and it will be interesting to see what commercial tone he sets for his followers and fawners.

I had planned a much longer post for today, primarily a response to professional white conscience Tim Wise, who recently tapped out some authoritarian-tinged thoughts on behalf of his Father Leader, all in the service of black "liberation," of course. I expect that this type of expression will intensify as Inauguration Day approaches, becoming a righteous din throughout Obama's first 100 days and beyond. So there'll be plenty of time to address all that, assuming I even bother. Because frankly, at this moment in time, who really gives a fuck what Mr. Savage Mules thinks? I didn't even vote for the man, a deep moral failing and constant source of shame. The political climate is more suited to the Tim Wises than to yours truly, which is fine. There are other topics to explore, and a big book to tackle, the content of which has some politics, but not the tit-for-tat variety so beloved by many. Politics are impossible to avoid, no matter how many masks you wear. Hopefully, this project will transcend the mere stating of preferences to expose the core of bias and belief. Plus, there'll be plenty of sex, gossip, drinking, and drugs. Philosophy and remembrance translate better that way.

I'll probably comment on the liberals' Reagan as events dictate. But until Obama actually begins his management seminar, I'll fill this space and your heads with images and thoughts from my wing of the shock corridor. Just follow the fractured accordion music, and try not to touch the walls.