Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Change Has Come

The Sunshine Superman
(photographed at the corner of Sweetzer and Melrose, Los Angeles)

I haven't written about politics until now, reserving this space for discussion of life in the trenches of Hollywood, and I don't intend to bring up the subject again. But the events of this day deserve some attention. The previously unthinkable has happened -- a black man has been elected President of the United States. Not even in the halcyon days of "West Wing" could Aaron Sorkin have dreamed up, much less filmed, such a scenario, but here we are.

It's about time.

As a life-long Left Coast Liberal, I'm happy about the results of this election. I liked what Barak Obama had to say, and the way he said it. I supported another candidate in the primary, but came down for Obama in the finals. He appears to be a very smart and extraordinarily thoughtful young man -- and we're going to need a long succession of such smart, thoughtful leaders in the years to come if we're to survive the torrential shit-rains coming our way.

John McCain made one hell of a concession speech tonight -- his best speech of this long and brutally bitter campaign. To me, this was the old John McCain, the McCain who was so thoroughly and disgracefully trashed in South Carolina by the Bush/Rove team of political assassins in the campaign of 2000. We finally saw the real John McCain tonight, not the shrill, absurd caricature out stumping around the country these past few months in this, the longest campaign in history. I felt sorry for John McCain tonight -- a good man led astray in the end by ambition and the political reality of running for a party that will not tolerate any deviation from its rigid ideological orthodoxy.

But politics is a zero-sum game -- for one to win, another must lose -- and tonight, Barak Obama emerged the winner. In the end, I think we'll all be better off for this: white and black, red and blue, right and left, Americans one and all. The challenges facing the world now are enormous -- an economic disaster of a magnitude unprecedented in modern times, geopolitical threats that could prove existential in nature, and a slowly unfolding cascade of environmental catastrophe that threatens to overwhelm everything else. The next twenty years are crucial. If we don't throw everything we've got into this effort, we're fucked -- all of us -- in ways most people can't even imagine.

Big bad changes are coming no matter what, but the right leadership can at least offer us a chance to soften the coming blows, and perhaps the opportunity to ease into a more sustainable future. The America of that future won't look much like the past or present, but with a lot of effort and some luck, it just might morph into a culture that can survive.

Barak Obama is not Superman. He can't walk across the Potomac and turn water into wine, nor will he be able to cut the Gordian Knot of our seemingly intractable problems with a single clean blow. But it's amazing what a truly motivated and united people can accomplish behind intelligent, thoughtful leadership. Lord knows we've suffered through the other side of that equation for the last eight years, and the dismal results are there to see in the daily headlines. Barak Obama won't work miracles, but at least he offers us a chance to turn the tide in the right direction before we slide into the abyss.

He can't do it alone, of course. It's we the people who must do the heavy lifting, we the people who will have to make the sacrifices essential to building a viable, sustainable future. That future is in our hands.

Barak Obama can point the way, but the rest is up to us.


AJ in Nashville said...

Well said, my friend. I'm perhaps a bit more cynical at this point, but I too am hopeful. I won't go so far as to compare Obama with JFK, but he certainly offers a similar vibe, does he not? One can only hope he has the resolve and the resourcefulness to sustain that kind of mojo.

We certainly could use it right about now.

And I agree wholeheartedly with you about McCain's concession speech tonight. He almost seemed relieved that what he knew to be inevitable was finally over. Nonetheless it was definitely one for the books.

danworx said...

The world will have faith in America and the american dream again, after this decision!

I thought that America had lost some of it's values in the last 8 Years.

It's very promising to see the outcome of this election. Yes you can change! You have shown to the world. After 8 dark years America seems to rise again, shedding the bad ways of the think tank produced paranoya and looking into the future with positive thinking and willing to turn the ship around before it drops into the abyss.
I hope (and believe) Obama will show the leadership your country will need in the future.

Greetz Dan

ps. Great Blog Michael! As a Euro grip with just 15 Years in the trenches I feel the strains of the job coming and love to read yor comments from the senior ranks.

The Grip Works said...

Well said Michael !
The world has become a darker, more dangerous place under the previous administration.
The Rest-Of-The-World thought that America's position of world leadership was something no one could count on anymore.
America has once again become the land of hope.
This has been a vote for hope over fear.
Lets support Obama in anyway we can. I know the man cant perform miracles.
Lets not expect it.
At least some conscience would be good !!

With hope from India

Anonymous said...

Yes, change has come. I can not tell you how relieved I am that we can start working towards the future rather than repeating the past.

Nathan said...

Amen brother.

Matthew said...

Hey Mike:

Good to hear from you and yes it is one hell of a time in the US of A. The election of Mr. Obama was astounding. His campaign was planned to perfection, jumping hurdles that I had thought too high to get over. When he won the Democratic primary over Hilary I knew the final months of the campaign would be really tough. I am excited to see the realization that a black man or a woman could have even had a chance to get there , and to see it come to fruition is still a thrill.

Problem is now the country is in the worst economic period I have ever seen. WTF. How in the hell could have all the folks running these banking sectors and economic oversight committees not see this coming? I would hate to think that this was some sort of a plan that became a runaway train of sorts. Cause you know fat-cats have always had a way to come out on top at the expense of the rest of us. So bottom line is... We, as citizens of this great country, are in for a hell of a ride. We have so many battles to fight at the same time. Remember that cash is king and there are opportunities in the stock market if you have the balls to still fuck with that circus.

It's a great time to be an American and let's kick some ass or at least not get our asses kicked.