21 January, 2009

E-I-E-I-Obama Hope

Swollen with hope and national pride, I penned this entirely original little ditty for y'all.

Barack Obama has a plan
A plan for the whole United States land
With a Twitter, Tweet there
And a data data there
Here a Twitter
There a tweet
He likes information
Isn't it sweet?

Clearly I am the next Mozart.

But seriously, thank you America. I discovered politics (like discovering yourself, but dirtier) during the Bush era (double entendre!) and for the most part this led me to thinking that, although we have been a great nation before, we were also incredibly stupid and that there was no hope for us. And that we didn't deserve any. At this same time I lived in suburban Midwestern Sprawl, and each week another field or forest would be bulldozed to make way for another copy copy subdivision and Bradford pear trees (which I still despise, and not just because you can't climb them). I saw this as the paving over of our very intelligence, thrift, and resourcefulness. I saw this as a literal and figurative fattening of America (PSA: if you have dozens of hairy flab jelly rolls, please keep your shirt on when jogging||Unicorn Chaser for Bad Mental Image), we drive everywhere and even destroy the possibility of walking or bicycling by not building sidewalks. We build a library and then don't patronize it. We get the Internet but use it only for porn or paying bills. We succumb to the boy-child idiocy of Hannity, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly. And there in the suburban wastelands (intellectually), we mentally rot. A new car is bought, the neighborhood homeowner's association works itself into a self-righteous lather when someone's grass isn't combed right is 1/4" too long, the basketball hoop rusts. And we moulder into our routines. Entombed in cul-de-sacs with neighbors we think are funny-looking don't know but feel we're better than anyway, we do nothing (zombies, but less entertaining). I still feel this way about suburbia. Maybe it's partly bitterness about the sheer blinding whiteness of the neighborhoods, the assumed snobbery over lawnmowers. Perhaps it's anger that each and every forest and stream (except one, and that's only because the hills are too steep to be profitable) I spent my younger weekends climbing through was bulldozed over, filled in, dammed, or destroyed by more mindlessness.


Today there is a hope. I know that it is unfair of me to expect that President Obama will solve all of our problems. I know that it is unreasonable to think that he'll sign away my student debt or approve my PI's grants. But I still hope. This President seems to value actual data and real information. He is communicative, he is bold. And one of the things that has disgusted me for so long about politics is how everyone is so timid that they do nothing meaningful just so that they may numbly be re-elected the next term. Although he is not magical, he is certainly inspirational. If Barry can do it, then so can I. And I can look at my nieces and nephew and tell them truthfully that they can be anything in the world they want to be. If Barry can do it, so can they. And so can we. This is hope, and it feels good even amid the despair of the economy and war because it is the flickering light at the end of the storm. This is hope, and although it will not fill our bellies it can keep our spirits warm. And it is also the hope that pride and joy will replace the past eight years of petty factionalism and fear and anger. It feels good to have been proven wrong about America. We can be better than suburban mindlessness. We can dare to dream bigger than bank transactions and eye-throbbing spreadsheets. We are Americans, and we like tacos! and we can. So let's really begin the 21st century. After all, it's about time.

1 comment:

Candid Engineer said...

1. I find, in general, that collaborators can be very very lazy.

2. My favorite cookies are a small sandwich tea cookie, with 2 buttery, light cracker-type cookies sandwiching a buttercream frosting. God only knows what this says about me.