Thursday, May 29, 2008

Obama/Webb '08?

Though I know I will write more about this later, I have to say that I am becoming more comfortable with the notion of BHO running with Jim Webb. Now this isn't just Virginia pride coming in (though that is certainly there), but I think that it would be a satisfactorily strategic move on the part of BHO to select a running mate who on the surface seems to be an ill fit. Yet, they could work well together in the end I believe. It would also reflect the range that exists within the 21st century Democratic Party.

Webb's family is from the hardscrabble mountains of Appalachian Virginia. Though it may not move too many of the other denizens of Appalachia (an area that rivals anything that Faulkner imagined in too many cases) to vote for BHO, it would move some, and it would show independents compromise in action.

Militarily, you can't sniff at the former Secretary of the Navy. And he has a son in the war right now, continuing his family's tradition of service. Webb is the ultimate Reagan Democrat, and he reflects how far the GOP has moved away from what he once believed. That is a powerful addendum to the BHO mantra of change. And it just might work.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"The World is Changed"

One of my favorite films is "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," and Cate Blanchett (one of my all time favorite actors) opens the film in dialog. "The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air." Sometimes, I use that quotation to describe my state of mind. Today is no different.

Within my bones, I am aching for changes in my life. I am working toward many of them, and planning to implement the necessaries toward others. Yet, in too many ways, things aren't moving fast enough for me. I am finding myself in an ever increasing mood of melancholy, though I am not quite ready to throw myself a pity party.

Like so many others, I am not satisfied. I am skeptical of taking a leap of faith that seems too far fetched, a leap that will leave me in a circumstance worse than I abandoned. Yet, truth be told, out of those leaps of faith can come confidence in taking the reigns in one's life. It means that one has come to recognize fully when "the world is changed."

Change, positive and progressive, take me now. Let me begin the process of building a new past.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Makes No Sense

I need someone to explain to me just one thing. If BHO and HRC are essentially supportive of the same basic political philosophy, and their policies differ only by degrees, then how can these folks who say that if either candidate they support fails to get the nomination, then they will vote for John McCain? The only thing I can think of that all three candidates share philosophically is lack of support for gay marriage (which is a shame in and of itself, but something I can live with) and the allowance to let states decide that issue individually.

Ultimately, since it appears that BHO will get the nod, I really want HRC supporters to explain their potential support of McCain. That shift makes no sense to me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Okay, So Wassup Wit Cho Gurl?"

I want to share a story with all of my non-black friends. It will provide a window into the world of black folks in this country that so many seem less than enthusiastic to gaze through. When I went off to college, my grandmother pulled me aside to provide me with some advice. She knew that I was determined to have a multi-cultural/post-racial existence, and that was fine with her. My whole family encouraged that. However, she told me to be careful, because there are some white folks who will (in her words) "skin and grin, while not really being your friend." She let me know that for some folks, the past is too close to forget old perspectives and points of view.

I shared this story with you, because it appears that the Clintons seem to be falling dangerously close to that category of folk my grandmother described. Andrew Sullivan wrote eloquently of the Clintons' decision not simply to inject race into a contest where one opponent did everything in his power to avoid it, but to drive a stake through the heart of an attempted effort at a post-racial campaign. And in so doing, the Clintons are destroying the good will that they'd built over the years with black folks.

So, to all of you HRC fans, I don't know what's up with your girl, but you better get her in check before she causes real problems. And to anyone who dares to think it, I am not being a misogynist in my use of the term girl (or "gurl"). That just shows me that I will need to share another story in the near future.

Filling a Void

I found myself thinking of my late uncle Joe over the weekend, and came to the realization that in spite of whatever challenges he may have had, he managed to live in his dream. He was a musician, a philosopher, and a wonderful uncle. I was listening to Suzanne Vega's latest "Beauty & Crime," and she has a song, "Ludlow Street," that is dedicated to her late brother Tim. The chorus is as follows:

This time
When I go back to Ludlow Street
I find each stoop and doorway's incomplete
Without you there ("Ludlow Street" by Suzanne Vega)

This song is haunting to me in my memories of Joe; change Ludlow Street to Griffin Ave, and it really hits home for me. I know it's not jazz (his love of life other than my aunt), but I think that he would appreciate the message the song conveys nonetheless. Thanks to Suzanne Vega for helping to put my feelings into song, and for reminding me that I have some work to do to live in my dream.

Love is the only thing that matters
Love is the only thing that's real
I know we hear this every day
It's still the hardest thing to feel (citation above)