Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the rally

i'm not even sure i have words for what happened tuesday night.

on the pure logistics/physicality: a lot of standing. and waiting. and just an enormous amount of people. a few security checks and, thank god, a metal detector. it was warm. like, walk-around-in-a-tee-shirt-and-nothing-else warm. in chicago! what alternate universe is this?! and my feet were killing me even though i was wearing comfy gym shoes. and we were thirsty but didn't have water because we'd never have found a porta potty. i got a text that he was underperforming inVA which made me feel sick to my stomach. i had visions of it all unraveling: "but if he doesn't in VA he won't win PA!" ad infinitum. i was happy for the metal detectors because i'm constantly afraid that someone is going to try to hurt him. and once he won PA i knew it was over.

then CNN called it. lots of hugs. part of me probably would have collapsed in a crying fit if i'd had room enough to fall down. my head down, my hands to my face, all i could do was shake my head in disbelief as the tears welled up. but it was a strange feeling. i'd been a huge believer in this guy since his convention speech. there was just never a single doubt in my mind that he was the most skilled politician in a century. i never doubted his temperament or his judgment. i've absolutely always known he was going to pull this out so while i was shocked, i just wasn't, at all. and so i was also relieved but not, because i wasn't ever really worried. i can honestly say i have never been so sure of anything my entire life.

so what followed was a lot of waiting. mccain's acceptance speech came more quickly than i expected and was also more graceful. can't say the same for his audience but he and palin made them that way. if his supporters are assholes he has nobody but himself to blame. feet still hurting. "signed, sealed, delivered" started playing. "sweet home chicago" another couple songs i don't remember. a prayer. the pledge of allegiance. a TERRIBLE rendition of the star spangled banner in which the singer couldn't even remember all the fucking words. was she drunk? feet still hurting. obama arrives. pain in feet disappear. he looks beat down. i don't blame him. it's like, "hey, let me tirelessly work for years to attain what amounts to a huge pile of steaming shit that i now have to make into a sparkly unicorn."

i need to re-watch the speech. though it was loud and clear, my mind was in a million places. i was on my tippy toes to get pictures of him at the podium over the heads of some tall people in front of us. parts of it were things i'd heard a million times before. and part of me just didn't think any words would represent that moment. not even words from obama.

leaving was a crazy experience. every street for close to a mile was closed. people danced and sang in the middle of the streets and there were so many people. it felt like the new york city blackout all over again. a city stopped dead in its tracks, taken over by pedestrians. joyful, tearful, liberal pedestrians all wearing obama gear. it was a utopia.

but now the real stuff starts. can someone so smart with such good decision-making skills even fix this? i'm happy that he talked about how this mess may not even be fixed in a term because that shiz is true. so for those expecting a savior, he's not. but he's our best chance of getting out of this mess in one piece. if such a thing is even possible.

and to cap of the 6 most surreal hours of my life, i get to the airport, plop down right in front of the chek-in counter, and double-take the guy sitting to my right. holy shit! david remnick! holy shit!

so damn weird. i wanted to ask where he'd been last night (probably in the VIP pen with oprah). i wanted to ask what the deal was with the blacks killing civil rights legislation for a minority group (i shed another tear for prop 8 this morning). i wanted to ask if ben mcgrath was single because not only is he my favorite writer at the new yorker, he's also young enough to be a bachelor. but it was early. i didn't have my wits about me. and i had bed head. and i was also in the new york mode of barely acknowledging celebrities because fawning over them makes you look silly and uncool. as if me fawning over the editor of a magazine not titled vogue doesnt already make me silly and uncool in and of itself. i am a HUGE dork. not sure why i pretend to be otherwise sometimes.

photos coming soon.

4 people who played with me:

Blogger omar said...

Excellent recap, thanks for sharing.

My favorite part of the speech: "This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change."

As significant as last night was, it was really just the results of a nearly two-year long job interview. But now that he's got the job, he's gotta get to work. THIS is the hard part. And I'm glad that he seems to have his head in the right place on that.

I was not nearly as confident as you about the results, as I sat glued to the TV. It wasn't until the CNN guy started hypothetically giving McCain a bunch of remaining states, and it STILL wasn't enough to win, that I really let myself believe it would happen.

11/05/2008 3:46 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

do post your pics soon! they were much better than what i came away with.

cnn has a decent speech/montage that i felt was pretty true to the actual experience:

11/05/2008 4:24 PM  
OpenID peterdewolf said...

"so while i was shocked, i just wasn't, at all. and so i was also relieved but not, because i wasn't ever really worried."

I really like this.

11/06/2008 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i wanted to ask what the deal was with the blacks killing civil rights legislation for a minority group (i shed another tear for prop 8 this morning)."

I'm no high-powered, professional magazine editor but I am a black male and feel I have enough perspective to comment on this. First of all, as a member of a minority group, I want to point out what is a sweeping judgment on your part. You're saying that "blacks" killed the legislation. So easy to say (part of the "us" & "them" mentality - shame on you, you know better). As a member of a "special-interest group" it's worth mentioning that those that don't fit into that group conveniently don't take the time to realize the difference and variation in its members (as a woman you should know this). I was a little surprised at the so-called statistics on this myself (statistics that called out minorities in general, by the way - so point the finger at Hispanics too if you're looking for people to blame). But you're a way cool chick and I am a fan of your blog (surprise - yes you have at least one black reader - have to give props to another one of my favorite blog chicks at this time - I have her bookmarked as well, check her out: So let me try to shed some light on this issue.

I'm black, I didn't vote against it (for what it's worth). But I don't live in California either. This reminds me of a debate about gay marriage I had with a very opinionated white friend of mine a few years ago. She's totally for it. I'm not totally opposed to it but (and I speak for many whites as well on this) there are ramifications for heterosexual marriages and families that create an obstacle (concerns for the influence on children not the least of which). Her point was that marriage in general isn't as sacred as we like to believe taking into account divorce rates, etc. And in terms of "colored people" (lest we get our "minorities" confused here) many tend to be old-fashioned and still hold marriage sacred (don't laugh). This is just the way it is (right now). However, "change" truly has come to America and I'm convinced there is a compromise that can be made at this most difficult stage of the transition. But, again, it's not all or nothing. I think, to start, gay marriage can be honored legally with a caveat/footnote that identifies it as a such. I don't know where things stand now or if this is even how it works currently but if this part was properly communicated I don't think it would meet as much opposition.

Also, two more things. I have had some good gay friends. The guys are some of the sharpest cats I've encountered/worked with. Some that I know have unquestionable integrity (one of which hired me years ago - something I am grateful for because job discrimination will continue to be one of the last bastions of bigotry, for several reasons). But, in some cases, gays coattail on the struggles of african-americans. This is an area of contention (had a debate about this with an idiot I used to work with - don't even think he was gay but I strongly suspect he was prejudiced). The two are not the same. It's not even apples and oranges (although one is a fruit - sorry, couldn't resist). It's like apples and...eggplant (okay, feel better?). I'm not going to expound on this like I could but take my word for it. I have above average familiarity with both worlds (no, I'm not gay but I do live in Atlanta). For many blacks, this is an insult.

Secondly, realize how many gay (bi-sexual, try-sexual, whatever) black men there are. This is on the punchlist of negative stereotypes (come on, you already know this). And this is a serious problem in our community with the proliferation of AIDS (population control). It's taken a toll on our already strained family structure. So it's an area that many heterosexual blacks are not so sympathetic about anymore.

Okay, I'm done. Hope this helps. Still love your blog, btw!

11/08/2008 6:24 AM  

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