I said before that this is not a political blog. Nonetheless, i momentarily suspend your art/travelblog experience for reflections on the elections. I wrote this in my paper-journal last night.
I am watching the 2008 presidential elections from a swanky, smoky bar in El Raval in Barcelona. This will possibly be the most pivotal election i will ever witness and the outcome is so unclear. The polls have only just started to close, and we're watching CNN on a cinema sized screen. They're posting the results little by little.
In a way i wish i was in the country, but this is a remarkable experience. This bar is packed with Americans, but also people from all over the world - Finland, New Zealand, Great Britain, Poland and more. I was talking with this Polish woman sitting next to me and she said in perfect English, "We're just here for support," and cheered wildly when the first numbers for Florida popped up with Obama in the lead.
I don't really believe in politics as such. I basicallz gave up direct political activism after getting burnt out in college, and decided that living well and in line with my principles was the more important. Living in community, radical intimacy and communication, herbal medicine, becoming a doula, teaching yoga, and my new healthy beauty project are all forms of social activism that sustain me, rather than burn me out.
All that being said, it is an incredibly heartening experience to be in this room full of excited, engaged people.
Obama is a politician, like anyone who could conceivably win an election. And i'm skeptical and waiting to see if he sticks to his guns througout his term. Even if he does, there is still plenty i don't agree with. Also, i think it's quite a potentially dangerous trap to see his election as proof that racism no longer exists, which i've heard a lot of hinting around at. There's also that the whole thing is kind of culty, what with the chanting and all. But seriously? If i had to pick something for so many people to chant, "Yes we can" is not at the bottom of the list.
In more radical circles, it's considered passé to some extent to be interested in the elections and sometimes even to vote, but i just have to be excited about this. Despite my reservations, i'm excited about Obama. I think he's great. I think what he stands for culturally is incredibly important, and i'm excited to be around to see how it unfolds.
Though, what will i read about on the internet if not Sarah Palin? (Okay, so it's lowbrow, but booing her, along with the whole room, when she was on the screen last night was really fun.)
Also, my adrenaline from staying up nearly all night and excitement at the results fueled a painting that's going really nicely. Pictures of it someday...