Awash in the Afterglow

I’m still in the euphoric afterglow of Obama’s victory. I suspect many of us are. I’m looking forward to the stories we’ll hear from around the world about this. It’s more healing internationally than I suspect Americans can possibly imagine.
In its most flippant terms? I believe this vote means American college kids can stop sewing Canadian flags on their backpacks to travel in Europe. I mean, fuck, during Bush’s reign there have been companies selling “Canadian” kits with our anthem, passport covers, and more, for Americans wanting to “lay low” abroad.
That’s because we’ve all been living under a cloud of What The Fuck? since Bush got elected.
Obama, though, represents everything awesome about America. He’s a throwback to the American leaders who so squarely defined America as the defender of ideals, the protector of its people, and the chief negotiator on the world stage. He’s a reminder of what presidents were — we remember what JFK and FDR did for the country, and this guy, he’s running on bringing that kind of politicking back to the national stage but with a modern twist. FDR never had the internet to inspire or unite his electorate with, after all.
He reminds us of the America that has set the pace for the entire world for a century. He makes it seem like, after a few decades of interruption, America has remembered who it is again.
The world wants a strong, powerful, forward-thinking, revolutionary, idea-making, problem-solving America to stand up and lead the world again. Who were we going to turn to under Bush? India? China? Russia? France? Fuck, no.
But America did what none of us expected it could do: It elected a black man president. Suddenly whole generations have been reduced in tears. Thank God almighty, free at last. The shackles of 230 years of blacks in America have been hurtled against the wall, even if this wasn’t an election about race, but rather about a man.
Obama’s not “a black man”. He’s a brilliant adjudicator and policy-maker who was editor of the Harvard Law Review, who electrifies crowds of more than 100,000 while being articulate and thinking in big terms, who’s a loving husband and father and lives a moral life by example, who exemplifies calm and cool in the most intense crises seen in the better part of a century, who just happens to be a little bit black.
Is racism over? No. Will it ever be? Probably not. In grade 5 we insult each other because of gaps in our teeth, wearing the wrong kinds of clothes, not having cool enough belongings. We are, at heart, competitive and intolerant people at times. We can be petty. We can be small. That’s who we are, the world over. Ignorance doesn’t have just one citizenship. Despite all that, sometimes we overcome ourselves and do the right thing.
Like electing someone like Obama with a mandate that leaves modern political observers in breathless awe. Change ain’t just coming, people; with a mandate like that, it’s inevitable and you can’t hide from it no more.
We’re proud of you, America. The world approves. The world rejoices. The world thinks you got this one right. Good on you. Good for us all.
Shit, now I want to listen to Sam Cooke. A change is gonna come. Yes, it will.
PS: On a personal note, I’m thrilled I’ll probably be able to write far fewer political rants in the coming years. Eight years of being pissed off and indignant have been enough, thanks. And I’d like to extend my condolences to all the comedians who will no longer have Bush and Cheney to poke fun at anymore, and will now have to actually look for humour in the world. Good luck with that.

11 thoughts on “Awash in the Afterglow

  1. Victoria

    As a Canadian, I feel a bit jealous seeing as our election was such a waste of time. But there’s still hope that sometime during my life, someone inspiring will step into 24 Sussex, too.

  2. mike

    This isn’t really a comment about this particular post. I believe somewhere on here that I read you where a catholic. You also seem to be fairly intellectual. My question is have you or would you read the Bible a version like The Good News Bible. As a christian would you compare your interpretation of the bible with the catholic church. I would really like to hear your interpretations of this.

  3. A Scribe Called Steff

    Not happening, Mike. Why? I don’t give a fuck about interpreting bibles, hashing out subtle differences between editions, or rolling around in theosophy for kicks.
    I’ve spent the last eight years hating living in a society that has increasingly become more non-secular, judgmental, divisive, and arrogant. “My way is right; you’re going to hell.”
    I think too much importance is placed on religion. I think too many lives are hurt more than they are helped by religion. I loathe the direction this continent has moved in, legislating morality and interfering in peoples’ bedrooms, all in the name of some deity no one can agree on the particulars about.
    If religion hasn’t yet died in the political realm, here’s hoping it soon will.
    In the meantime, I don’t give a fuck about the intricacies by which religions may fluctuate, or the subtle differences in bible editions, because I think they’re overrated anyhow.
    And I may have been raised Catholic, but I am of no religion, no religious outlook, and support no church above any other. I dislike organized religion, and I loathe its inability to be inclusive of ALL faiths, since I think none of us are more right than the other. Period.
    I’m not even sure I believe in God. But what I do know is this: I have the right to believe whatever I want to believe, and after a lifetime of religion getting shoved down my throat, and eight years of it being mandated both sides of this border, I just don’t give a fuck about religion anymore. I’m done, it’s over for now.
    Victoria — Justin Trudeau won his seat. I’m putting my hopes on him, because he’s run in his father’s province, and I think he must be feeling somewhat like his father’s son. Mark my words, inside of a decade he’ll be running.
    We can only hope. πŸ™‚ I cried when Pierre Trudeau died. I’ll cry if Justin Trudeau announces one day that he’s running, and I’ll bawl if he wins.

  4. A Scribe Called Steff

    Mike, do you actually have a point to your questions, or, as usual, are you just asking them for the hell of it in whatever random order they occur? Because I’m too busy to answer the silly pop-culture-for-the-hell-of-it questions you tend to ask. (For those joining late, this has been an ongoing pattern from this reader over the last couple of years.)
    However, if you have an actual point, and want to make it, then I might be interested in discussion, otherwise I’m just going to ignore the questions. I’ve said these things to you before, and yet your pattern continues, albeit after a few months away.
    Oprah is a successful media person who has, like any successful media person, throngs of people who clamour to hang adoringly to anything she says or does.
    She’s not “a cult”. Jim Jones and the fiasco at Jonestown, THAT is a cult. The Moonies, THEY were a cult. Branch Dividians at Waco? Also a cult.
    Some popular chick on television who’s articulate and people emulate is NOT a cult. Cults rob people of their individuality, program them into lines of thinking that don’t jive with the mainstream, and seek to dominate their life.
    People bandy about these buzz words because they become popular in the media, and they forget what the fuck they really mean. I was obsessed with cults when I was younger, and Oprah fans do NOT fall in with the crowd drinking the Kool-aid in Jonestown.
    Such silly light use of words like “cult” tend to de-emphasize the destructive nature of true cults, like calling someone a “Nazi” diminishes the reign of terror that snuffed well over 6 million lives in a few short years. People need to give a little more importance to the fine art of semantics.

  5. alana

    wow, mike, you ARE a tool…..what is wrong with you?
    i can’t wait to watch justin trudeau in his political growth, as there’s only one direction he can go. i just hope that people don’t expect a clone of his father. i’m just extatic to have another trudeau in politics.

  6. Fran

    I correspond with a client in Illinois, and I was so disconcerted that he didn’t know the rest of the world was so up for Obama to win.
    The entirety of Africa were celebrating his win.
    Kenya declared Obama Day a national holiday, and Johannesberg had parades in honour of him. -They- even had the t-shirts (I would have loved one!).
    Even the Afghani and Russian presidents congratulated Obama.
    The president of Iran congratulated him on his win, the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a U.S. president-elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
    Japan, Russia, Australia, Syria, Hamas, the list goes on of countries welcoming him to office.
    On a rather more disturbing note, people have been asking bookies if they can place bets on when he’ll be assassinated πŸ™
    At the very least, the U.S. has begun to redeem itself on the international stage for this such that the U.S. will be seen as a leader of the world again.
    It had lost it for about 8 years there.
    Not to mention that the rest of the world economy’s (i.e. europe in particular) rely on the U.S. economy to get better for ours to get better.
    Obama is one great big ball of hope in all respects.
    Doesn’t hurt that he’s a fine piece of eye-candy either πŸ˜‰

  7. mike

    Well I am slightly older maybe “That is what is wrong with me!” hehe………I don’t want to say that the American medical health system is good until I see it…..I don’t want to say the US economy is good until I see it.
    That is just me….

  8. soopermouse

    so… I note that your posts about Obama stopped with the election. Any reason why his failures and lies were not worthy of a post?
    The US is not redeeming itsef with Obama. On the contrary, the guy has managed to bring more shame. The broken campaign promises, the bad decisions, the utterly undemocratic shit he has been pulling – added to the utterly undemocratic and mysoginistic shit he pulled during the campaign, things that his spporters convenienly ignored- are they not worth of a post?
    Strange as it migth seem to you- or to any other Obama supporter- the rest of the world didn’t really buy him. It is customary for chiefs of state to congratulate a new president on election or reelection, and the rest of it is just Obamedia hype.
    The Obama supporters have gotten their Messiah, and he sucks. The smart ones want their votes back and realise that they have been had. The less smart keep doing painful mental gymnastics to avoid the fact that they elected a moron whose main quality is his teleprompter skill.

    1. A Scribe Called Steff Post author

      Uh, no, I just have nothing to say and don’t normally write about politics. I think you’re blowing smoke out of your ass, too, and don’t have much to say about your party-line rhetoric. Have fun.

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