Friday, November 7, 2008

A Bit on the Election

So here's a note: This post will look rather sparse, but it's because html is giving me fits, and I spent longer formatting this than writing it, so sorry y'all! Pretend it's sized and colored, and it might be that way in a few days...UPDATE: FIXED IT! GO COMPUTER GEEKS! Grandma C, THIS WILL ONE DAY SOON BE YOU!

So I’m watching Obama’s first Prezzy Elect conference, and I’m just so pleased to see him speak, like a mumbling, intelligent professor…I wonder why he sounds like that…OH WAIT! HE IS ONE!

So where was I when history was made? Well, technically I suppose I was in a bus full of drunk Germans on my way home from watch parties, my throat sore, and my mascara runny. But the night began much earlier.

Reminder: I am 7 hours away from most of you, so noon for y’all is 7PM for me.



Football players put the paint under their eyes--I put henna on my hand

I started my night an 8PM/1PM (me/you) with a private party! That’s right, a PRIVATE PARTY. See, I’m on a listserv for scholars living in Berlin, and everyone was sending emails about how irked they were that most of the viewing places were sold out and/or overcrowded, when this last-minute email was circulated: a woman and her husband had managed to rent out a ballroom in the middle of the city, and we’re all invited. I RSVPed, went to class too nervous to talk about much else but the election, and then went home to prepare for a party.

The ballroom itself is above a restaurant/tango hall, so when I walked in there were couples lit by a red light, dancing while cameras followed them. It was rather surreal, like a strange Russian movie, a bit unsettling. Then upstairs…

Some of the crowd at the PRIVATE PARTY!

It was full of smart, older (30+ year olds) people, good wine, and candle lit tables. Best part: we could HEAR the TVs! I kept drinking coffee, not drinking too much beer (only one), so I wouldn’t get too sleepy. As the polls closed and things started coming in I and the other political hacks in the room had to calm the Germans down. CNN had some strange graphs showing “75% VOTING FOR MCCAIN!!! Among people earning $100K a year or more” and I would hear murmurs or some people saying “NO!” Stupid graphics. I also tried my best to explain to Germans the real situation with Obama, which I will post here for the record:

Look, Germans, I know Obama is a big deal for you, but he is NOT a member of the SPD, he’s not a social democrat, he’s an American Democrat. Don’t expect us to be the next Denmark…their cheese sucks. BUT what makes this a big deal is THAT he won, not necessarily what he will do (yet). THAT an African American can win the majority of America is HUUUGGGEEEEE, and can you say the same thing for your country? No. So chill.

The projector and the ornate walls of the ballroom

There we go. So I stayed there for a while, till the east coast polls were almost all closed (I just wanted to get the pulse of VA, GA, and PA and I could extrapolate from that), at about 2:30 my time. Then I realized I needed to get home before the night was over, so I moved on to the next party.

This one was a public viewing at Babylon, a cinema, and it was jubilant there. I didn’t get picts (though a vid or two was made), so I stole some flickrs of the night

You will notice the nighttime setting and dorkily happy Germans

The crowd was much bigger, drunker, and perhaps less into talking policy and more shouting “YES WE CAN!” I suppose “Ja, wir koennen” didn’t ring quite as nicely. I yelled along for another hour or so, then swung by Amerika Haus, half empty with election zombies, even a few McCain heads. So I went home, smelling like smoke and with my throat aching, taking the night bus, full of yelling drunks (I love night buses!) back home, where it was about 4, so I napped a bit, and got up at 5:30. This was enough time to hear Obama’s speech in Chicago live, though I was tired and multi-tasking too much to cry…that happened the second, third, and fourth time I saw it. Then I went off to school half-asleep and full of pride.

Now here's the jankey Dems I know and love!

People, this is huge. I mean…GIANT. I wanted to get my “USA! USA!” chant going, and everyone at the school was shaking my hand or “terrorist fist jabbing” me. Europe still looks to America to lead the way, and we confirmed, dreams can come true. The American dream still lives…and has an adorable family…and mentioned PUPPIES, CHILDREN, HOPE, and THE FUTURE in his first speech. The only things missing were RAINBOWS and UNICORNS! I felt so good watching Jesse Jackson crying, and Oprah leaning on some random guy, thinking that just a few decades ago this wasn’t imaginable.

Hugz all around!

And yes, I did notice the Prop 8 vote, and frankly…I can’t talk about it too much. The “No on Prop 8” campaign was poorly run, so you can’t lay this one at the feet of minority voters. I am also, as a feminist-leaning person, happy for an Obama presidency, like Gloria Steinam told a jubilant Oprah, (and his 3 Sup Court judges), what he’ll do for our causes (98% record of voting for labor on labor’s issues), and how eventually this might get back and do the “NO on Prop 8” community more good than they can see at the moment.

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