Yes I know this post is long overdue, but man, who would have thought the American Presidential election would be the catalyst to get me off my butt and start typing again! So I began the evening watching CNN being extremely bored with the campaign coverage...this is what happens when you are watching when the polls aren't even closed and all that's there to hear is the exit polls...which the pundits keep saying aren't worth a damn. Anyway, as the evening progressed so did my emotional state. The stages were distinct and well, extreme to say the least...so here's how it went
Bored, Bored, Irritated, Confused, Slight interest, Interest, Bored, Bored, Interest, Total Irritation, Indignation, Hysterical laughter, Cynicism, More Cynicism, Fear, Disbelief, Getting sappy, Thinking I should blog.
Now I know the above means nothing, but uhh, let's break it down a bit by adding in the triggering factors and an expanded view of my reaction:
Bored - polls still open
Bored - polls starting to roll in
Irritated - predictions with less than 2% reporting
Confused - pundits squawking about how useless exit polling is and has been...then using exit polling to make predictions
Slight interest - going online to actually see what the criteria for the exit polling is
Interest - Seeing the Ballot measures which incidentally did nothing for my general view of Americans
Bored - CNN getting so hyped about their stupid holographic thingy which made everyone look like they had hobbit legs and their virtual Capital Hill (boys with toys)
Bored - I channel surfed at this point and found nothing more interesting than the election
Interest - now because I had previously been channel surfing I missed the names of the people who were speaking...and well, I have no idea who these political pundits are but there they were, the five or six lined up to give their comments on what kind of an impact it would make if Obama were elected. This is also when I began my emotional rollercoaster. So they start off with the usual...Change is in the air, this could be an eye opener for the Republican party blah blah...then it happens. They start discussing the racial aspect and one of them says...When Obama is elected, if he's elected, the the world is going to have to respect us. WHAT???? Did that guy really just tell me that I have to respect the US because they are not being racist? Why yes he did. Oh wait it gets better, now he goes on to say yes it's true, there are a lot of people who said race would affect how they voted, but when faced with the continuing downfall of the economy or taking their chances with a black man who advocates change...well that trumps racism and so they would rather vote for a black man. He was really proud of himself as he discussed this aspect of the race.
Total Irritation - At this point I'm thinking I REFUSE to respect a nation just because they appear to have overcome a racial barrier....I might think, yes! it's about time, or Thank God change really can happen, or even Okay, I guess I can't continue to paint the entire US (with the exception of my friends) as redneck, racist, ignorant, arrogant loudmouths. Yes, I know I'm probably going to get slammed for this...but hey, I don't think that 24 hours a day, but quite often I do think it. Anyway, let's move right along. My point is, I don't think I can congratulate an entire nation and give them respect just because they finally do something that I think should never in our lifetime have been an issue anyway.
Indignation - this is still part of the emotional baggage from the above.
Hysterical laughter - They show the McCain hoopla where it's reported that no news is being forwarded to the guests anymore since it's all bad news. I admit, I'm not a McCain fan, but I still respect the man, and I found that single point so sad it made me laugh....not hahaha that's so funny, but hahaa, that's tragic.
Cynicism - I now KNOW Obama is going to win...I mean we all knew it...but there was a tiny portion of my brain that said...Oh God, what if there really has been no change in peoples' base natures...what if....
More Cynicism - They are about to call the election and yet I don't feel this is a historic moment, I don't feel it's amazing, I feel mad, cynical, and irritated I'm even watching.
Fear - Suddenly, I'm not cynical I'm scared. Scared someone is going to try to assassinate Obama, scared that a country has thrown down the gauntlet and is going after change but may not be ready for the price that may be exacted.
Disbelief - My cynicism and fear gives way to disbelief as I realize that Americans should feel proud of themselves...they just did something that in my heart of hearts, I did not believe they would do. And for the first time in my life, I felt a teeny weeny tiny bit of, well, happiness that the American people had previously voted for Bush. Yes, that's right, I was happy that Americans voted for someone I loathe. Why, well because I think only his grotesque manipulation and abuse of his position is what made the people of America mad enough to exact revenge in the form of Barack Obama.
Getting sappy - I hear McCain give his concession speech, and I believe him. He is gracious, he does want only good for his country, he would try to help if he was called upon. I think I'm getting sappy...how can an election make me feel this way. I'm still going up and down...one minute I'm laughing over the disparity between the campaign headquarters...blue hairs at McCains, kids at Obamas, now I'm mad that race even matters, now I'm proud race matters, it's just a mishmash of emotions and I can't wait to hear Obama. At this point my overwhelming feeling is this...no I don't have to respect the US for overcoming fears and challenges in the areas of bigotry, but I can feel proud that it's turned out that way. I don't have to diminish Obama's win by knowing that after what Bush has done this was inevitable, I can believe that the world can change...the world can grow up. Whether Obama lives up to what is expected of him and what rests upon his shoulders now is up in the air, but I really don't care...they are going to give him a chance and that's what really matters.
Thinking I should Blog - As I wait for Obama to make his appearance I think I should blog...and so that's what I'm doing. And now, Obama's done, I typed throughout his speech, he didn't really inspire me. I was happy to see his supporters didn't boo McCain, which is more than I can say for the McCain supporters, but he didn't touch me the way McCain did. Maybe because he won, being a gracious loser is far more difficult than being a gracious winner, maybe because I'm still lost in the mess of my own feelings. Somehow I didn't think the US election mattered to me, but it did, it does. I may make disparaging remarks about the US but some of my best friends live there and I don't think that way about them...it's just a blanket feeling I've had; No different than when I am discriminated against because of my color, since my disgust with the US began when they elected Bush. Tonight I feel differently, maybe the US isn't the only one who has finally taken a step forward in ending stereotypical thinking.
And so my final thought is this...it's been a long time since I blogged, mostly because I've been so self-absorbed and the thought of blogging was more like a chore than something that would allow me to express myself. So yes, I know tonight is considered historic but to me it was only significant, maybe as the fugue state lifts even more I will fully realize what this means and perhaps it's enough that not only has a racial barrier been crossed, but at long last my self imposed exile from something that actually makes me happy, has been lifted.