Pinch Me

Last night I walked in on Miss Mayweather weeping honest-to-gosh tears while she watched the celebratory performance of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land’ in DC. She spoke poetically of catharsis and time, of history completing a rhyme, and I was struck deep; she’d only had one glass of wine. 

The Port Awesome News Service exchange for today was one for the history books, or at least good for a post. Prof, Dahlia, if you want in on that regular exchange, let Miss Mayweather or myself know via email. The traffic can be heavy at times, but her Good Morning! post is the high point of my virtual day. 

President Obama. I just like saying it. President Obama.

Ahhhh.

President Barack Hussein Obama. Of the United States.

Of America.

President Barack Hussein Obama of the United States of America.

<Ahem.>

 “Ladies and Gentleman of Earth and all surrounding planets,
may I present to you,
President Barack Hussein Obama of the United States of America!’

And it’s still real. We have awoken from the dream to find the dream is still here. This is a new kind of morning entirely in America.

I’m bald and stuff. I’m turning forty before I get another calendar. Dr King was assassinated fifteen months before I was born. The city I love burned in race riots the summer before I was born. Throughout my childhood adults whispered in my ear and told me to hate.

I have long taken weird secret ridiculous egomaniac delight with the fact that I was in the womb when a human being first walked on the Moon. The way I see it, on that day homo sapiens took a step that literally could be described as being of evolutionary significance. Still, when I was a kid, white parents insulted and threatened black kids in a way they would never talk to white kids.

While we had walked on the Moon, clearly many had not looked up to see that the object of mystery in the sky was actually a place you could visit or considered all that implied. It’s really the ‘all that implied’ part that matters. So much of what troubles humanity today is the result of the rote ignorance written into our cultural DNA by our ancestors experiences.

Was today as big as human beings walking on the Moon? In some ways, not at all. I have always found it natural to think in perspectives that people only a generation earlier struggled mightily to attain. I think much of this is because I had pictures of the Earth from space in front of me as early as I can remember wheras they had to imagine what it looked like. What I mean is that from one of the ways* I look at humanity the idea that one person or another should be leader of this group or another isn’t that staggering to me. However, from my perspective as an American who understands the past forty to four hundred years of history, today is about as incredible as it gets. In that same kind of good way as men walking on the Moon is.

*(I don’t believe I have a privileged perspective but rather I have some small perspective on my perspective that people who thought the world rested on the back of an enormous turtle wouldn’t have. )

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