Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pinch me!

Folks who know me, won't be surprised that I voted for Hillary in the primaries. Though I was disappointed that she didn't get the nomination, switching my allegiance to Barak was not difficult. As Gloria Steinem said (Paraphrasing here) we had an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. I was more excited about either of the two presidential candidates for the Democratic party than for any in recent years. But after seeing Barak Obama give his victory speech, I am glad that he won over Hillary.
First, I want to start off by saying that he gave his speech in the same park where I ended my marathon 5 years ago. So that place has significance to me as a place where you end a LONG journey. (I never again ran a race over 5 miles.) I overcame a lot to run in that race, and to this day it ranks right up there with the birth of my daughter in the enormity of the physical challenge and the high when it was over. So enter into my personal temple of endurance, the first black president-elect of this country and his family. I saw the looks on the faces of the people of that park. I have known the scars that slavery has had on this country. I just finished reading a book on Lincoln, so I feel refreshed in that history. Sometimes, we don't know how hard an opression is and how it affects all of us (white or black) until it is lifted. Maybe I would have felt the same way to see a woman up there. But one thing that is in Obama's favor over Hillary, is the way the world is looking at us and seeing that we have challenged the old regime. A woman could have accomplished that, too, but another Clinton couldn't.

I received an email of Michael Moore's "Pinch Me" letter from the same woman who sent me the prayer a few days ago. Ordinarily Michael Moore's tactics turn me off. As much as I agree with his message, I think he goes overboard and alienates the very people he is trying to persuade. Or maybe he is just trying to embarrass--in which case he is accomplishing his goals. But this letter really expressed the way I was feeling. In a word--expansive.

Here is my favorite paragraph from the letter.

The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media asking me, "gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is gone?" Are they kidding? What will it be like to work and create in an environment that nurtures and supports film and the arts, science and invention, and the freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand flowers bloom! We've entered a new era, and if I could sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it is this: Anything Is Possible.

Can you imagine equating the election of a president with artistic blossoming? And lest you think it is a joke, I received this letter in the evening. Earlier today, in the dawn of this new administration, I sat at my computer and wrote like I haven't been able to write in months. I probably produced more pages than I have in 6 months total. Wow! Pinch me.

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