Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Agony & the Ecstasy

It's crunch time, and the agony of this moment is in not knowing if our candidate will make it over the finish line before the other guy. The ecstasy is when your mind successfully wraps itself around the thought of winning and it thinks: Yes, we can! Actually. Win this thing.

The ecstasy is imagining a time when we no longer live with serial liars any more: all these false warriors, malicious Darth Vaders, puritanical caribou Barbies, and dumbed-down females with pony-tails posturing as Joe the Plumber. Imagine instead not having to grapple on a daily basis with egotism, misogyny, and dangerous, jeering, lunatic crowds. Imagine, and really feel the ecstasy, of all this being moved to the sidelines--waking up instead to an exquisite human being, not another ratfucker, as president of the United States of America.

I am trying hard to picture the rat-eat-rat, dog-eat-dog days being over, to imagine the end of winking, blinking, and hoodwinking, in one fell swoop, the orgy of moral bankruptcy finally ending. I ponder a mass exit from the twilight zone of conspiracy theories, stoked paranoia, and vengeful death threats. "Hitler too built his movement on the backs of an angry, disenfranchised working class," writes Matthew Fox in "The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine," a book I bought after experiencing the violently different arcs of masculinity displayed in the two political conventions. "Fascism will come to America," Sinclair Lewis wrote many years ago, "wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." The agony is realizing just how close we have come to this happening, and still not knowing for sure that we are out of the woods yet.

With any luck, by next week I might be able to let go of my compulsive, insatiable, computer surfing and resist the drag of endless blog rants by everyone under the sun, including my own. I might just get to stop the hand-wringing and redistribute my day outside of cyberspace, returning perhaps to my old humble standby of reading ordinary books again.

A friend of mine just called to say the post-election Obama rally will be held one block from her house in midtown Chicago. Nearby streets will be blocked off by the afternoon, because projected attendance is a very opulent one million people. I have to imagine the ecstasy of that crowd--held together by the spell of glowing tribute to the skinny, know-nothing, do-nothing ("nada, zilch") community organizer who has made community organizing a new model of politics for our age. To imagine anything else, from where I sit, is unfathomable agony--and will probably bring this great world crashing down, its glory ruined, in ways so grotesque as to be not even imaginable.

1 comment:

Dr Simone Paterson said...

ahhhhh- the ecstasy (and relief).
It seems that there are more smart people in America than stupid.