On this whole inauguration thing

So, may I rant for a moment? Of course you can, jewbag, it's your blog!

Ok, so, I know people are all, like, excited for this inauguration thing. And I'm not one to shit on anyone's holiday—only I am the one, precisely, to shit on everyone's holiday. So here I go.

What the fuck? This Obama cat may be an excellent guy. He and his family unit sure seem super cool, no doubt about it. But, first, the inauguration was filled, inevitably, with sanctamonious bullshit proffered by a series of fucking idiots. Is this history redeemed? I may not know a lot about African-American politics but it seems to me that the election of this guy does not do a whole lot for the black men I see on the streets just trying to get by.

C'mon, folks, this is the president we're talking about. How much power does this guy really have? And even if he did have all the power in the world, are we sure we want it in this guy's hands? What's all this nonsense about jesus I heard here and there on various televisions about town during this inaguruation? What the fuck? What the fucking fuck? Isn't this why the world hates us—because we think we know who God is? Because we push jesus on everyone? Goddamn, I'm jewish—and jesus was a jew—and it made me feel left out.

It's the president, people. It's not your dad or your boss or your hubby or your friend. You still have to wake up to the stench of your life, regardless of who pays rent at the white house.

Listen, I hope this guy miraculously brings the change we all seek. I hope he stops bombing folks I've never met. I hope he puts money into our schools because, fuckin' a, we don't know how to educate our youth and it's quite literally killing us. I hope he puts a damper on corporate greed and actually restricts what hedge funds can do, what financial companies can risk.

I know y'all are desperate for change. But, c'mon, there are forces at work here that are big and determined and this guy, however cool, is only the president and is, in fact, not hell bent on fundamental change. He's a politician and not a terribly radical one at that. Yes, he seems competent and cool but government is government and life exceeds the law.

The change we need is drastic. We need a 32 hour work week, not 40, 50, 60, 80 hours. We need basic support of education and libido and love. Can a president do all that? Fuck, I hope so. Will this cat do it? No, because capitalism is greater than any president. The key to change therefore exists elsewhere. Where? In you—and, no doubt, in me.

My fear is that we're all being fooled—no, placated, cajoled into thinking this changes everything. But it's the president! It's not that important! Nothing is more dangerous than the mass accepting of change that is anything but.

I am with you in hoping that there's hope. But I fear I am utterly alone in my hesitation and suspicion.


Ryland Walker Knight said...

bloggin up a storm over here, DC!

you're not alone, no, but at this stage it's just a relief, really. a day. it's a day. a day of "thanks!" a day of "so long, dumbface!" a day of, "my president is BLACK!" that's the thing that gets me the most. that and all the idiots who sat angry at their TVs this AM, red in the face and dumb in their hearts for reasons other than blood and "lefty" bleeding. i mean, it's kinda gross, yes, all this hosannah stuff, but, fuck, it feels kinda awesome. for today. cuz tomorrow i'll still be unemployed and scared, if slightly more hopeful that there's an upswing started.

V said...

We are a country that traffics in cant and received pieties, and we think we are civilized because we back them with social marginalization rather than the auto-da-fe. September 11 was the worst day in human history, a "War on Terror" is not only logical but necessary, Obama heralds a paradigm shift, and woe betide you if you see it otherwise.

All discourse of course bounds what's within the true, but contemporary, popular American politics is such a singularity it doesn't have bounds anymore.

The actual ceremonies themselves had that inevitable lifeless weight that all state-sponsored theater has (brought all the sharper into relief by the attempts to (can I say this?) negrify it). This is why New York and New Orleans and San Francisco rock while Albany, Baton Rouge and Sacromento are so limp: in capital cities, it's like dad is always home.

Lindsay Meisel said...

I'm with you--and it's a relief to know I'm not the only killjoy on the block. A friend in DC said the inauguration made him question his dis-belief in god. Statements like these make me question my faith in humanity.

Vernon J. Martin said...

As penance, you must now watch 3 "Debbie Downer" YouTube videos and laugh at yourself Coffeen.

I mean c'mon it's not every election that you get to feel like you're living through a historic transition of eras. I feel like we just made it through the Medieval period and now we're on to the Englightenment...again. It's like being born again, but this time evidence, reason, and conversation count for something. Enjoy it!

Here's you Debbie Downer penance:

Unknown said...

Can't we be both hopeful and skeptical? Both expectant of significant differences from Bush and prepared for huge disappointments? I'm usually the only one I know who is willing to express serious skepticism about Obama, for which I receive complete resistance form my friends. But I see no more reason to think that Obama is Jesus, than to think that his election means nothing at all.

lucentius said...

he is a god by comparison... but a tiny god, a breath of force from the hill to shift the gait of the blundering behemoth...maybe...he knows he needs first to educate a sleepwalking monster on some anti-psychotic...not too easy, maybe impossible, but not to hope? what wisdom dictates that?

Daniel Coffeen said...

Well, the dictum against hope comes from Nietzsche. Hope is nihilistic as it wishes things other than as they are.

That wisdom aside, I do hope. But I fear what the Marxists call "false consciousness"—we believe there is change when in fact things are very much the same. To wit, the "stimulus" package which seeks a return to business as usual when there is great opportunity for radical change.

But, between me and you and everyone reading this (all four of you), what do I know? Not very much.

lucentius said...

hope may be viewed from opposite sides: as the cynic (contemporary sense not Diogenes), taking pleasure in correctly foretelling disaster, or as the hedonist (also contemp sense), immersing his spirit and psyche in all the pleasures that hope can provide. those who learn from their mistakes are not condemned. what suits you best?

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