I convinced myself that I was not going to watch any coverage of the US presidential election. The 2 year campaign had sapped my strength and I was sick of all the punditry, predictions and pageantry (you find a better p-word). Shortly after the Leafs lost in overtime I found the Daily Show and half enjoyed their coverage. At about 12am (local time) they reported that CNN was reporting that the polling stations were reporting that Barack Obama (never heard of him) was the President Elect. So I flipped over to CNN to see if Larry King was taking calls. The discussion was focused on the historical implication of this election. They convinced me to stick around to see what Obama was going to say. I watched Mccain's concession speech and was left wondering why he hadn't been this eloquent all campaign. The truth is he probably gave more thought to his concession speech than any other speech he had given in the past 6 months.
CNN cut directly to the Chicago park where hundreds of thousands of people had gathered in anticipation of the Obama victory (how much longer until Obama gets added to my spell check?). I was not really shocked by the number of people who had shown up. I was surprised to see Jesse Jackson in the crowd, he looked like he showed up on his own and had no special access to the backstage area. Then Oprah (seriously, if Oprah is not in spell check I don't think Obama stands achance) showed up, but she may have been a CNN hologram (Help me Obi Won, You are my only hope! that was pretty messed up!). The presence of the the (super powerful) Celebrity Lobby was not surprising. When Obama finally took the stage that is when things got interesting.
The whole thing seemed more like a rock concert than it did a victory party. Everyone had this look on their face. I feel like it was the same look I had when I used to think Gord Downie was the greatest thing ever, thinking to myself this is gonna be the greatest show ever! Everyone had an Obama T-shirt or button (a major fashion faux-pas: wearing the t-shirt of the band you are going to see?! I can let it slide because I doubt most of those people have a second favorite politician or have ever been to another political rally). I can just imagine people telling eachother what big Obamaniacs they are.
"I saw him when he opened for Kerry in '04"
"My favorite was his speech on race relations in Philly"
"I saw him back when he was running for senate"
"Yeah, he probably sold-out when he refused the public campaign funds but can you blame him?"
"I got to see him back when he toured Europe!"
"I first heard of Obama after i watched the video for "My Humps" on Youtube and I really wanted to know what the Black Eye Peas think about politics. From that point on I've supported whoever Will.I.Am was supporting"
And they were all thinking: "I hope he plays his hit single, 'Yes We Can'! I love that song"
When he pulled it out of his bag of tricks the crowed went CRAZY! Like when a crowd catches the first notes of Yellow at a Coldplay concert....sorry I don't know why I picked such a mediocre song form such a mediocre band....I was stuck on this one for a long time.
Obama conquered the charts and Teusday (man, Teusday isn't even in spell check...oh wait) Tuesday night was his home coming show, after an exhausting American tour and media blitz. It was his triumphant moment! It was a really powerful moment.
I've got some bad news for all those Obamaniacs. He is gonna take a short break and go back into the studio to write a new record! You might not hear from him for a few weeks or even a month (what is CNN gonna talk about?). The worst part is...he may retire 'Yes We Can' from his touring repertoire, turning his back on the single that made him famous. You might hear it again but he is probably tucking it away for a VERY special occasion. It is a great device and I would hate to see it over played and eventually lose all meaning. He's gonna return with a new album and his songs (I mean speeches but I'm sticking to my metaphor) will focus on actual issues instead of ideals and hypotheticals.
And if that is not bad enough...if history has taught me anything...the new album will probably be a letdown. It is gonna get so over hyped by the blog-0-sphere and the expectations will be so great that there is no chance it will measure up. As a functioning member of that particular "o-sphere" I feel it is my duty to warn you, but...
I might be wrong...Obama might be that good. All I know is that the times are a changing and I am audaciously hopeful for the future...Yes We Can Indeed!