'Rock Obama'

At long last, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is over. After an eternity of anticipation, speculation and prognostication, the world can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

That’s right. We’ve seen the dress. (Or dresses, if you will. You know, the ones worn at that big party the other day that starts with an “I,” the name of which has now officially joined the banned word list of 2009.) Thank god there wasn’t another abomination (no pun intended) like the Pat Benatar disaster of election night. All I can say is, I’m glad it was the dress and not my TV. Which is more than I can say for Jill Biden’s choice in thigh-highs. You’d think after the unfortunate foot-in-mouth on Oprah she’d at least opt for something of more reasonable proportions.

Alas, before I get started on Laura Bush’s apparent lack of a pulse, I better put the claws away. After all, politics is not about fashion or appearances or grand entrances, for heck’s sake. Unless, of course, you happen to be talking about Dick Cheney. (Didn’t anyone tell him to lift from the knees?)

Nor is it about Obamapalooza and the ensuing swoonfest hangover. (Oops, there I go kneeling at the altar again.)

This is about history, people. Serious stuff. Plus, as any smartass commentator will tell you, Obama is like Teflon, pretty much impossible to mess up. Which is good, because we really shouldn’t be making jokes at a time like this anyway – are you listening Al Franken?

Let’s face it, there’s nothing funny about a Dow Jones that listlessly flops around like a flounder on dry land or the great ballooning American deficit (not to mention waistline.) With the myriad other problems Obama’s facing, including the nearly impossible task of securing a designer puppy for his daughters from the local shelter, I almost feel sorry for the man. Except for the fact that he actually sought this job out. (Unlike his predecessor, who I believe was bamboozled into thinking he had won an all-expense paid vacation for eight years.)

Nevertheless, the pleasure cruise is over. And as we’ve now heard ad nauseum, it’s time to put away the party hats, roll up our sleeves and get to work. Pull that head out of the drive-thru window, America, and get that nose to the grindstone. Upward and onward, which is pretty much the only way to go right now. At least I hope.

And speaking of hope, yes, there is a glimmer (aside from Joe Biden’s curiously white teeth.)

See, for the first time ever, a generation of Americans, including my own kids, will grow up knowing a black man as president. But the thing is, he will be known for who he is, not what he is.

OK, maybe it sounds strange coming from someone who lives in a place often accused of being too “whitebread.” But I feel that “change” everyone keeps talking about is already beginning to take place.

Consider that after the media hoopla had subsided, I asked my 5-year-old if he understood what had just happened. “We watched a movie on it in school,” he responded. When I registered surprise that there had already been a movie made on the topic, he rolled his eyes and clarified.

“You know, the inaugulation.”

Inauguration,” I corrected him.

“That’s what I said,” he protested. “Inihilation.”

I shuddered and said a silent prayer of forgiveness for the unintended faux pas before the second, younger child, chimed in.

“Some presidents are dead,” she informed me. “But Rock Obama isn’t.”

“That’s right, he is alive,” I confirmed as the subject was dropped in favor of a much more exciting game of couch-pillow bombardment.

They say change is good, I guess. But perhaps the best kind is the one that, after years of struggle and great effort, comes about right under our noses. It takes root quietly, deeply, and without any fanfare, pomp or circumstance at all.

– Missy Votel



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