If I hear one more truss-wearing boomer media cretin slobber on about what a huge difference Obama’s race makes in an election that has yet to happen, I’m going to hunt him down and beat him to death with his own fucking lava lamp. I can’t count the number of times in the last month that I’ve actually heard a reporter (or what passes for one) ask a hapless, and usually baffled, would-be voter, “Do you think America is ready for a black president?”
The goal in asking this idiotic and bell-bottomed question is clearly twofold.
On one hand, it’s to create drama where there isn’t any. These folks seem to have come of age during a time when having a bong hit with a “black dude” turned you into a hip moral giant named “Not My Parents.” They can’t quite come to grips with the fact that there are people their age, like my parents, who never had the chemically-assisted self-awareness and family-funded leisure time necessary to congratulate themselves for sitting next to a black person without panicking. People like my father were helped to get over the very racism the boomers told each other they were fighting (well, you know, metaphorically speaking) by the tender ministrations of the US Military, in fruitful conjunction with the Vietnamese, who condescended to shoot at black and white both, with a refreshing lack of discrimination.
And of course there are those of us who came along much later and grew up together and so never hit on the idea that our lack of discomfort was a virtue when we, first, played together and, later, felt each other up and, in some cases, subsequently married each other. Neither of these two groups, see, and they are far more numerous, if less represented in the traditional media than the other group, make decisions, either pro or con based on race.
So, my point is, there are an awful lot of people, especially (though not exclusively) those my age and younger (and anymore, my age is no longer really young) who are going to vote for Obama, myself included, and the overwhelming majority of these people are not going to do so because he’s black. I mean, you know, good for him, that he is and everything? But we just didn’t get around to thinking about it until after we thought of things like, “Is this guy going to screw us to the fucking wall on another mid-life crisis of a war?” and “Is this guy smart enough to figure out the difference between the gross national product and the gross domestic product and if so, is he going to be able to do anything about either of them?” and “Is this guy going to nail some chick half his age on the desk in the Oval Office and make us all look like tools again?” and “Is this guy un-stupid enough to use the word ‘blog’ without following it with ‘pajamas’ thinking he’s going to get a big laugh and a knowing nod?”
We ask these questions, instead of “is America ready for a black president?” not because we’re moral giants. It’s because it never occurred to us to waste our vote on proving we’re broad-minded. That’s what fucking bumper stickers are for.
And guess what? There is also going to be a huge group of people who vote for others besides Obama, not because “the country isn’t ready for a black president,” but because they don’t think Obama can do what Clinton or McCain can do. (And a little “as if” I think would be salutary at this point.)
So, come on, you bunch of myopic temporally-compromised geezers. Both those of you whose salad days took place to the embarrassingly histrionic soundtrack of Jefferson Airplane and the gut-twirling smell of crappy weed and those of you who spent that same time shopping for horn-rimmed glasses and developing your “hard-headed realism” (you’re all hippies to me):
Cleanse yourself a little of those cheap, easy questions with their pre-fab answers that just so happen to make it easier to get your story in under deadline — and do your damned jobs.