Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Off-Topic Tuesday: HAPPY OBAMA DAY!

It's been a very joyful two days here at the Butterfly household: The departure of George W. Bush and the arrival of our new President Barack Obama. Spirits are high.

A good friend of mine (who I'd be celebrating the inauguration with if he wasn't vacationing in Clambodia right now) asked me once what my first "Political memory" was. I realized that for someone who hasn't been of voting age five years, I have a lot of political memories. So, I thought I would share:

First Political Memory: Fall of 1992, my first-grade class recieves "Weekly Reader" every week. There's a picture of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton on the cover, starting that America is about to vote for the next president. The following week, all the students in our school take turns filing into a refridgerator box in the hallway to "cast our ballot" in our mock election. I vote for Clinton, who won the first-grade "vote." And the school-wide "vote." Meanwhile, back at the ranch real election.... Clinton won. Did I mention I'm from Pennsylvania? For a swing state, we swing left a lot.

#2: Three months later, our entire school was to watch the new president take his oath during lunchtime (It was a tiny school; the full student body could fit in the cafeteria simultaneously). I guess our teachers had a "wait and see" attitude about whether or not there would be chaos; they were fully shocked when the cafeteria was dead silent during Clinton's oath and inaugural address. Say what you want about Clinton, but if 100 children between the ages of six and ten will shut up for nearly an hour to listen to you speak.......

#3: Almost four years later, on November 5th, I woke up nearly two hours earlier than normal, padded downstairs, and flipped on the news to see who'd been elected. Two minutes later, I was shuffling back to my room when I passed Mama Butterfly in the hallway and gave a thumbs-up: "It's Clinton again." "Cool." Having shared good news, I went back to bed for an hour.

#4: My 70-something year-old great aunt said about Clinton: "He was a good president. He was horny, but he was a good president." I agree-- I cut my political-satire chops during that whole ordeal. I guess you could say it was a trade-off.

#5. I had a great time cracking jokes about the whole 2000 race/re-count debacle (more specifically: I had a great time cracking jokes about it when I wasn't saying "Are you KIDDING me?")

#6. You know, I'm trying to keep this post light, so for right now I'm going to skip over all the things that happened during the Bush years that made me pull out my hair and gnash my teeth. Which would be pretty much anything between 9/11 and.....well, yesterday....so I'll skip to another funny story (and hey, it involves dance!):
My first season with PADV, we were setting up for our fall concert (which happened to be two weeks before the election). We stopped for lunch, the four of us: Myself, our A.D.'s boyfriend (Dems), a dancer from the second company, anda parent from the studio (Repubs). The studio mom and A.D.'s boyfriend got into a debate about who they wanted to be president......which escalated quickly to a shouting match (P.S. They are both New Yorkers, and those folks know how to argue). The other dancer and I weren't sure if we should run for cover or giggle, so we kept giving each other "Oh, shit, I hope this doesn't lead to fisticuffs" looks. Finally, they both started laughing, agreed to disagree, and gave each other a hug.

#7. Entry from 'Portions for Foxes' on November 3rd, 2004:
Guys, really, this is not that bad, I promise. I mean, it is that bad, but we don't need to be around for it. I vowed to move to Canada if Bush won (as did Mike, Geraldine and a handful of other people at the studio). I'm sketchy about having to start my career over from scratch in a new country, so I don't even plan to work-- I will join a commune of hippies, change my name to English Summer Rain (placebo!!), grow my hair past my waist and.......[et cetera]
Notice I'm still here....curious.


........I was listening to NPR on my way home this morning. At the church service, a bishop from Houston spoke, saying that "God always puts the best man in the worst situations." So true, huh? If the times are bad, God's going to send us someone who can handle it and turn it around. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed back to the inaugural festivities.

YES WE CAN!

4 comments:

Nichelle said...

Ok, love, you've made me feel a bit old! :) Hee hee. This is an interesting topic - one's first political memory. Although I've lived through 8 (yes eight) presidential elections, I suppose the first I recall being really aware throughout was the 88 election. Politics was not big in our household and if we discussed the elections much in school prior to this time, I don't recall it.

Hmmm. Should have been in MY Weekly Reader, though!! Oh, well.

Interestingly, most of my "memories" of the 88 election (between Reagan and Dukakis) and the 92 election are the jokes regarding the candidates and running mates - specifically those targeting Dan Quayle and Ross Perot. I was watching a lot of SNL during the 92 and 96 elections so my memories of these are strangely centered around Dana Carvey's George Bush and Ross Perot, Norm MacDonald's Bob Dole, and the shared portrayal of Clinton by the late, great Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond. Classic!

From then until now, well I guess my main memories surround the feeling that I was always for "the other guy." So, it is with great pride and relief that I finally find myself on the winning side. I truly think it is a win for America. I'm looking forward to the coming years with great hope and excitement.

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