Of course I'm cynical and sarcastic and wary. But tonight did exactly what it wanted to do to me. It twisted me around it's crepe paper draped finger. Thank god for PBS, so I can sit, hunched forward, alone, focused, my eyes glued to the tv I will be embarrassed to have owned ten years from now, in a room filled with my thrift store furniture, in my first apartment that is all mine, and I can watch without the background cawing of pundits, one of the greatest (presidential) speeches I've seen so far in my life. And the man up there is great, The Man, but it's the spectacle all together that gets me. The stadium and the crying throngs and the royal children laughing and the chanting and the absolute joy of all of them being together, believing in the same things. The joy of being in a packed football stadium that cheers when he says gay people deserve the same rights,or women deserve equal pay or George Bush is an abysmal failure. The kind of joy we get when we talk to each other at the bar, or at game night, or we're having a cigarette at work, the talk we've been repeating to ourselves every night of "how can they? why do they? what are they thinking? What the fuck?" The joy of solidarity fueling those millions of tiny forest fires burning in our brains, and tonight swept all our indignation into a maelstrom of joy. The gleeful childish pure joy of finding someone, finally, you understand. Someone we can love. It's love for everyone in that stadium and at the rallies and on the blogs and on the Daily Show and NPR. It's love for the human race, showing us we are not alone in what we think is fundamentally right and wrong. That no matter what the tv/radio/newspapers says, no matter what they tell us is "opinion", here is physical proof! There are people that agree with me! We are not totally a nation of selfish witless idiots! Maybe we can actually talk to each other like adults, about things that require brainpower! Maybe we can let ourselves be swept up in a romance without feeling like we're being had. Maybe that's really what inspiration is.
Tonight was the surreal experience of watching a history lesson and a science fiction movie at the same time. I cried. It was very, very well done. And it left me with the feeling of "Who cares what you say McCain? You are nothing. These stories on Fox are nothing. They're not real. When we look back, they will be greened pennies at the bottom of the jar." It took the taste of metal out of my mouth.
Postscript: coming down from the high hours later, I realize that what I have described is not hope, but relief.
Post Post script: One day later...it would seem that maybe alcohol, desperation, and politics works better than coke...