A great day to be a conformist!

Ahh... the pleasures of conformity! I believe I'll humor myself with a little post-election blog entry. Certainly millions around the world already have done so themselves, and who would I be not to join them? Certainly not a conformist! And we can't have that! No, sir. I'll begin slowly, though, because I want to make absolutely certain that I am heading in the same direction as the majority, or at least a plurality. Maybe I shouldn't make too much out of it, because there are obviously large groups on both, or all, sides of the the election, if you want to count Nader, but he's a non-conformist, so I won't. Here goes...

Change. It's such a great thing to see the president-elect breaking down the racial barriers...

No, wait, let me start that again:

It's a sad day in this world when dynamic speaking and rhetoric conquer the proven hand of experience...

Uhhh... I'm just not sure about that. Perhaps I can be a super-conformist and rope them all in at once:

This country needs change, whether it comes in the form of breaking down barriers to thwart experience, or in having the hand of experience slap the face of a champion rhetorical speaker. We need someone to lead us to this change, no matter how good or bad it is, and how different from the status quo. This leader should appeal to the general public, meaning either the young, educated urban dwellers or the "real" american plumbers, farmers, and factory workers, but not both. So it's a joy to have elected a new president to do just that, but likewise a shame to have him woo his public and the world even without having the experience of most traditional president-elects. The one he left by the wayside fought like a champion, went down swinging, and I rue that he could not exercise his vengeful fiscal policy against the necks of his sweeter-talking comrades-in-arms. But he would have messed up foreign policy, relatively, anyway. I am so happy and so sad, crying tears of joy with tears of pain, which happen to taste the same. To those victorious: wave your banners. To those defeated: learn to make the winners rue the day, and boo every time you hear His Name. This country is a seesaw, and I'm standing in the middle.

[Authors note: Today I'm reminded of a familiar feeling, one that I haven't felt so strong for seven years. My first experience with it was at the end of September, 2001. I had just seen my one-millionth American flag in the past few weeks, and was offered red-white-and-blue laces to go into my racing spikes for a cross country meet, in New York, on the following day. I graciously accepted the laces, but never put them in my shoes. These were laces that showed me the very last bit of how ordinary intelligent citizens could get carried away with patriotism when given a compelling reason. Pathos, I believe it's called. Even in the most trying times, people need to keep their wits about them, and not immediately give a gun to a widow-by-murder.

I had this feeling again today when I saw pictures of the throngs of people gathered at Grant Park yesterday to see Obama, and again when I read about McCain's speech (very, very respectable, what I read) and how he had mentioned his opponent several times, and how several times he was forced to say "please, please" to stop the booing.[link to article]

An election is not a sport, yet people treat it as such. To these McCain supporters, Obama is some Sherriff of Nottingham in a high school production of Robin Hood. Maybe they don't understand that soon he will also represent them, even though they voted against him, for the next four years. It would be best to work with him instead of against him; he can help us all, as he'll be the president. And the Obama supporters would parade through the streets claiming to have been on board since "the beginning" and proclaim that the Messiah has landed himself in the Oval Office. Cliché alert: you've only just begun. Nothing has changed yet, except the face.

I'll do my celebrating when I see less consumption, less waste, more care for the community in general, more public transportation, fewer people dying for whatever reason, more food in our proverbial mouths, and fewer people being assholes for no reason at all. Oh, and when everyone learns to stop being scared of anything that anyone else calls "Socialism". Do you even know what that really means?

I doubt that this little bit of Author's Note here is either pleasurable or conformist, so I'll leave it out of the blog proper. You can keep my little secret, right?]


Arjun Majumdar said...

First time reading your blog and I have to say it was a very pleasurable experience. While the 'Author's Note' perhaps strayed from the central focus of conformity I enjoyed the intelligent attack on people swept up in the fervor. I would offer a counter point that I have been pondering. Perhaps it is exactly this outpouring of emotion that lays the ground work, and furthermore is seminal to achieving the goals that you would celebrate. This of course makes assumption about peoples continued passions and the abilities of our government to actually govern. However, if celebrating the steps along the way expedites the process then why not cheer?

RM said...

I think you're a 'mo.

But I will take notes because anything that gets Arjun to comment MUST be good.

fbg said...

If I'm an emo, you're an emu. So there.

But seriously, even though I haven't quite figured out what an "emo" actually is, I think they would probably be on board with Obama at this point, yelling and screaming along with the others, until Obama does something they don't like, like banning skate parks or Avril Livigne. Then, they'll just be whining about the shitty president and how Jared Leto or the whiny one from Linkin Park would do a better job.

Aaaaannnnd, I wrote this post before I watched Obama's speech at Bryant Park. After I saw it, I am tending to agree with Arjun. I'm just making it my goal not to let anyone forget what this is all about. I know Obama hasn't forgotten, because he said it. No single step alone can take us to the goal.