many of you may not know that i’ve rather recently become an avid gormand of american history. for some reason i can’t get enough of it…my dvr is chock full of history channel programs i have yet to watch and my bookshelves are literally overflowing onto the floor with books that i have read and are on my list to be read. mostly, i just like trivia. i’m not terribly concerned about exact names and dates…
i want to know the little stuff…
like for instance, i was tickled to read that andrew jackson, the 7th president of the US, was the first president to have an assassination attempt be made upon him. the dude that was going to shoot him had two pistols… he walked up to jackson only to have both pistols misfire. so, jackson, being the stone cold badass that he was, proceeded to beat the hell out of this guy with his cane… people had to come to pull the president off this guy! that’s the stuff i dig.
today, we rise from our beds to the dawn of a new era in american politics. the first african–american us president. damn. i honestly thought i would never see this moment. i just assumed that america was going to stick to what i knows… white males. thank goodness there was a change.
i’m a very cynical sort of guy. i always think the absolute worst, that way when the outcomes roll around i’m never completely disappointed. i’ve been swimming through the stories of this presidential campaign for two years…he’s up, she’s down… blah, blah, blah… i became so jaded witht he whole process that i stopped doing editorial cartoons… i had been doing them for almost ten years without a break. this election just burned me out. i couldn;t do it. didn;t help that i have a daily comic strip, a new house that always seems to need fixing and added graduate school on top of all that. i just was stretched too thin. i had to focus my energy on my strengths…and, frankly, my heart was just blackened by it all…nothing ever changed, no one ever learned from their mistakes…ever. what was one more cartoon that would be forgotten minutes after it was seen do to change that? not much.
as the campaign wore on, obama grew on me. i’m always a sucker for a well delivered speech. having the ability to speak effectively before a group of people is one of the most invaluable tools a person, not just a politician, can possess. the dude’s speeches moved me. he’s good. very good. and that’s what won me over. he made me, for the first time in my adult life, have faith is something.
now, i’m not getting all mushy on you. i’m also a devout realist. if history has taught me anything it’s that saying and doing are two different animals. you say what you need to say to get where you want to go. politics has, and will always be at its core, pure theatre. if when you get there you do some of the things you said… awesome. if you try and can’t because of immovable objects in your way… that’s fine too… it’s the machine. it’s theatre.
will obama, accomplish everything he says he wants to… maybe. will his ideas turn the country around? who knows. are we hurting enough right now to listen? sure. is he the right person, right now for this monumental task? possibly.
it’s all theatre. today begins the first act of the new production. we’ve all had a chance to choose the playbill and the main characters. take your seats and hope someone taller than you doesn’t sit in front of you.
now we just have to see if it’ll be a comedy or a tragedy.