Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting Excited and Tingly Things

I don't know, man, I don't want to jinx anything or nuthin', but man, it's sort of exciting right now, isn't it? I mean, politically speaking -- of course. February is not necessarily the most outrageous month (although, woo! New Big Brother and Survivor!) (oh lord, I am a dork) but things are just so ... looking up? It's been a nasty slog through the past several years of being ashamed about my country's government and suffering through a general malaise of anger, frustration and stagnancy. But I'm feeling better. Obama, man. It would just be so damn exciting.

Now, look, I'm a hippie dippie type and I'm all sorts of peace and love and all that, but really, I'm frakking psyched, and not just because there's an Obamalolcat phenomenon. It just seems like under an Obama presidency, we really can expect things to change ... and to get better, and to be able to visit Europe without being ashamed of our nationality, because boy do they not like us so much over there (or anywhere, for that matter).

And, look, here's my main deal: it's just seemed sort of not so much fun to look into the future as of late. And I don't mean looking forward to flying cars and genetic rejuvenation or even my planned talk show that I intend to host when I've launched the first television station on the moon (and believe me, I think about that all. the. time). I mean just generally looking forward and trying to see an end of all this yuckyness. It's been tough to see through it.

And, here's the deal, I wrote my thesis in college about the need for a new form of self-expression when faced with a futureless existence, vis-a-vis the rise of the postmodern theater as a result of the hippies feeling so overcome by a lingering sense of atomic fear, so overwrought by being forced chronically to think the unthinkable, so over-exhausted by an all-pervasive sense of dread via mutually assured destruction that they just sort of tripped out a little bit because there was no end in sight. But they got all sorts of jazzed about McGovern and everyone was happy just for a little while and all of a sudden 18-year-olds could vote, and hey man, McGovern was their man. And they were REALLY EXCITED. And that's sort of how I feel right now.

(Full disclosure: I'm a little obsessed with the atomic era. And also while I was researching my thesis I got a really horrible flu and became so delerious and dehydrated that I hallucinated two people named Hipporabundia and Madagascar who told me that I had radiation sickness and I was therefore never going to recover, so, hey, I'm a little nuts).

But the no future thing -- the hippies became jaded when McGovern got trounced, and under the Nixon years, the activist types just got angry. And instead of blissing out to avoid thinking about a futureless existence , the punks just got angrier. From the Sex Pistols to Roxy Music, there's a lot of "no future" rhetoric and it sort of represented a nihilistic view about the fact that everyone thought we were all going to die.

And I'm not saying it's been that bad over the past 8 years, but it's been sort of similar, to a much less serious degree. I didn't grow up ducking and covering, and the Berlin Wall came down when I was eleven, so I've never really been 100% for real afraid of atomic destruction, recurring nightmares aside. But I have felt a shiver of "what's the use" because really, for a long while, it seemed like I was just angry all the time and eventually the anger faded to a disappointing sense of apathy, and really, who wants to be an apathetic slug. Although, to be sure, there's a line in R.E.M.'s "What's the Frequency, Kenneth," citing Richard Linklater who said "withdrawal in disgust is just the same as apathy," and who can blame anyone for being disgusted at the sheer shit that has gone down in DC for far too long?

So what I'm saying is this: right now, with Obama continuing to win primaries, and the whole democratic nomination seemingly way up in the air with a potentially good chance (i'm a hippie optimist, let's not forget) that Obama could get the nomination, it just doesn't seem so bad right now. I can actually possibly maybe even let myself think about the future, a future that theoretically will not at all suck. Yes we can has idealistic leanings right now, and that's sort of a really wonderfully exciting and tingly way to feel.

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