Tag Archives: President

i like cartoons.

From the New York Post:

This has apparently created a huge controversy over the fact that the author of this cartoon seems to draw a comparison between Obama and a monkey, thereby referencing a particularly offensive racial slur.

Personally…it made me laugh.  I feel that it is referencing the killing of a lady’s pet chimp, and poking fun at another current event (the passing of the stimulus package) by saying that it is bad and could have been written by an animal.  Pretty standard stuff.  And quite funny, really.

Now that a controversy has developed over it, I do see how it could be construed as offensive…however, I only see that because it’s been explained to me by numerous people professing its racist undertones.

It’s all in the perspective.

If you’re looking for it to be racist, then yes, you can bend it to fit into your paradigm.  Likewise if you’re seeing it for what it is, a benign source of amusement.

For me, it comes down to the person’s intent–and I find it quite hard to believe that they had an intent to depict a racist message.  What do you think?

My opinion: chances are, it didn’t even occur to the author of the cartoon that it could be seen in such a way, and I think that speaks volumes about our society…and kind of makes me wish Al Sharpton and his outdated perspective would take a hike.  Just saying.

x C

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barack, you rock

I was just watching Obama’s first press conference as President, and I must say that I was quite impressed. Not only is our President super cool, articulate, and rather sexy (it had to be said), but he has the substance to match his style.

Let me state (though I believe I have before!) that I’m by no means Barack Obama’s biggest fan–in fact, I campaigned for another candidate. With all of the inaugural excitement, I got a bit caught up in the romanticism of his story and the many historical and hitherto unprecedented aspects of our President.

So I might have given off the impression that I’m one of the many Barack-obsessed people in our society and in my generation in particular; however, I am not.

I am, of course, exceptionally patriotic in the sense that I have been lucky enough to spend time in a variety of places in the world, and these experiences have helped me to gain a great sense of gratitude for the fact that I am lucky enough to call America home. It’s actually quite funny because I probably make fun of American culture and American stereotypes more than most, but that is only because I love it so very much–and I know it isn’t necessarily “cool” or whatever to profess one’s passionate love for America (at least with the people I know, hating on our country is quite popular) but having a number of friends (and a mum!) from other countries has really deepened my sense of gratitude for the opportunities I have had, as well as my appreciation for our unique place in the world. In fact, I hate to be the American sitting here professing our “leadership” in the world, but the election of President Obama really emphasized to me once again that we are such a special, one-of-a-kind country and that the “American Dream” is still a relevant concept.

Okay that was a bit of a tangent, but relevant to my point that regardless of my political beliefs or previous alignments in terms of candidate, I support President Obama wholeheartedly because I am a genuine patriot. That said, my primary issue with him is the same as it has been since two years ago–his lack of experience. I hope, I pray, I sincerely wish that he’ll prove me wrong; he is without a doubt incredibly intelligent and certainly has taken swift action thus far, but there is NOTHING in the world that could convince me to change places with homeboy–not the fountain of youth, not the sorcerer’s stone, not even a magic carpet. He is in charge of a country going through something that I’m sure even he failed to foresee when he chose to run for President; he literally has the “weight of the world on his shoulders.”

And I must say, I’m incredibly impressed with the poise, decisiveness, and candor with which he has governed thus far. He instills a sense of confidence in even me, the most skeptical of skeptics. This is a man who is well-aware of our country’s great and occasionally challenging history, and who has a vision of our country’s future that he is bringing into the present. I really feel as though “the future is today” in terms of Obama’s outlook and the fact that he is looking extremely long-term in terms of the changes that need to be made.

This also brings me to the purpose/focus of the press conference: the new economic package. I’m not particularly keen to discuss my political beliefs on here, but it suffices to say that I am the last person to advocate for irresponsible government spending.  It would be wonderful if it weren’t a consideration right now, or if things could begin going in the right direction once again without large-scale intervention, but I just don’t see that happening.  I don’t in any way, shape, or form like the idea of this economic package.

However, I feel that the price of doing nothing is going to be far greater than any amount of money in the long run.  I’m not going to get into any drawn out discussion of Margaret Thatcher or FDR or socialism, because it’s all in the past and to be perfectly honest, I feel it’s irrelevant.  Ideologically and perhaps even intellectually, I feel that this economic package Obama is proposing is probably not going to work (that is, be 100% effective).  Unfortunately, I don’t think this is a time when we can afford to wait it out and hope for the best;  I don’t think it is a time where “best case scenarios” are relevant, because without action, I do believe we will be seeing a “‘worst-case scenario”, and more quickly than the average American may think.  If this is the best plan they can come up with–and call me naive, but I’m willing to trust that this is truly the best plan our nation’s most brilliant minds have to offer–then I don’t see the point of recognizing all the things that are wrong with it, or all the ways it may fail to succeed.  ANY amount of success would be great at this point.

As Obama himself put it, he didn’t expect this–no one did, but we’re going to deal with it the best we can and we’re going to deal with it proactively.

I’m as uneasy as anyone about the notion of spending such a great sum of money on a plan that may not even be helpful in the ways that we need it to be, but I think the thing Americans need to grasp is that this is only the tip of the iceberg.  The way things are trending leads me to believe that the notion of doing nothing is far more scary than huge government spending.  Escalating job loss, homelessness, and our suffering financial market are serious issues now–with the accelerating rate of this crisis, I don’t know about you, but I’m with Obama–I don’t want to wait and see how much worse things can get.

Just had to vent some of my thoughts that emerged during the press conference.  Now I must get back to my compulsive CNN viewing!

xx Charlee

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‘the time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit’

I intended to write about this day and what it means but to be honest that is too daunting a task for me right now–today was one of the most beautiful days in history, not only American history, but the history of the world.

To try to put something like today into words is like trying to put a striking work of art into words–how do you characterize such an incredible moment with something as comparatively rudimentary as language?  I don’t think you can.

I feel so proud of America and so privileged to be a citizen of this amazing country, where a day like today not only CAN occur, but did occur, and was almost poetic in its timing, and the myriad of people joining in and being represented by the festivities.

God Bless America :)

-C

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elation, nonsense, and hooray for martin luther king junior :) (and obama)

Okay–first and foremost, I would just like to say I am ABSOLUTELY ELATED that this long-awaited day, January 19th, 2009 is finally here.  I think I’ve been looking forward to this date for 8 years!!! Bush is FINALLY peacing out!  I’m actually not much of a Bush-hater, but he obviously has struggled throughout the course of his term and to be frank, the very constitutionality of his term is not clear in my mind.

So I’m not going to talk politics but I cannot remember the last time I was this happy about the state of affairs in this country!

Anyway I am terribly sorry I have not written in the past few days,  particularly because they have been quite eventful!

Friday I went to a work party, where Sam and her boyfriend got into a fight.  I’m a fan of Sam’s boyfriend because he’s quite chill–not as swift as I might like but he’s cool enough.  Anyway, for some reason he and I began talking about politics–something I try quite hard to avoid in most situations, but the one exception to this rule for me is if I think someone is open to learning something that I am able to help them grasp…which was the case here, so I discarded my usual policy.  Of course, Sam is kind of crazy (and rather dim) so she kept making belligerant comments and trying to change the subject although her boyfriend (Callum) was listening rather intently.  So eventually he told her to take it easy or something like that, and she completely overreacted and stormed off…a few minutes later, Mason came to tell me that Sam was crying outside and angry with me.  Greatttt.  I went outside to see what was up, and long story short, she was being drunk and irrational…so it’s all good now.

So then Saturday I worked with Mason, and he said Marley (roomie) and I were “making everyone cry” to which I obviously asked him to elaborate, and he said that I had upset Sam and Marley had upset Chad.  To be perfectly honest I hadn’t been keeping too abreast of Marley and Chad’s situation so I didn’t have much to say on the subject, but later after discussing it with roomie, it turned out that she had decided she didn’t really fancy him after all–pretty standard for Marley, but that’s part of her charm…in my opinion anyway!  But apparently not those whom she loses affection for so quickly…

That night, Mr. Martini and I had a very relaxed night watching a documentary entitled “Resolved” about high school debating.  He and I always do the most random things together!  It was something we just saw and thought looked interesting so we viewed it, and it turned out there was a lot of racial context that one wouldn’t generally expect given the subject matter of the film–there was a team that challenged the way high school debating works in this country by saying it is exclusive and more or less racially discriminative.  I’m not sure how much I want to go into this concept because I’m a bit short on time, but given the date and current events and all, I will say that several of  the people I love most in the world, my best friends (and one of my former roommates) are black and I have spent a fair amount of time working in public schools where 99% of the faculty and students were African-American, so I feel that I have an understanding, or as much of one as any white person can have, of the challenges that they face and it is an issue closer to my heart than it is to most (white) peoples’.  That said, in this film, the team was not arguing the resolution they were given, but was instead arguing that the entire framework/institution of high school debating were racist; the documentary obviously did not show their entire argument, but something about it really didn’t sit well with me.  Last time I checked, the better way to get your point across would be to argue the resolution, and win, thereby instituting the so-called change they were working towards (assuming that their allegations of racism were indeed founded).  Not to mention–a lot of people, and probably me before I became familiar with the black community, believe that we live in a post-racial society.  So to “pull the race card” and completely skirt the issue that is meant to be debated is really illogical and uncalled for in my opinion–and furthermore, sets our society (and the black community) back several years.

I think in many ways that is what is so inspiring about Obama, and Martin Luther King Jr. before him.  Martin Luther King Junior did not play the victim, he was aggressive in his campaign for change, but in a way that was poised and so incredibly admirable–I don’t think there are many people, and certainly not myself, who could maintain such a calm and articulate manner in the face of an issue so inflammatory and passion-stirring as racism. Obama, on the other hand, took this to an entirely new level.  Politics aside, I don’t think I have ever been so inspired by someone as I am by Obama–and throughout the election, I was always the one telling friends and family that he was creepily subliminal and psychological in his speeches and that he came across as such an inspiring figure because of the tactics he used.  However, when he won, I was so incredibly emotional and elated that it became a night I will never forget.  He really is evidence that race is no longer an issue in this country–and though it has never been an issue in my eyes, I can say that I have experienced racial tension/discrimination first hand; but even so, to know that most of the country does indeed subscribe to the “post-racial” concept is so incredibly beautiful and amazing to me that it is one of the few things that truly leaves me speechless.

Obama affected change not by going over the history of the country or by listing his grievances–and to be perfectly honest, I think he would have been completely justified in doing either–but instead, he portrayed the world and the country as many of use see it and hope it actually is–and in so doing, taught us all a thing or two about the power of belief and coming together with others who share our beliefs.  Obama was not part of the political machine, he was (and is) part of the people.  He showed us that we can live in a country we’re proud of, that we can say “no” to the things we don’t accept or believe in, and that, more than anything, “yes, we can.”  His entire campaign was built upon the concept of change, but in so many ways, Obama himself is the change.  Or to quote him, the “change we can believe in.”

No matter what your political beliefs, we could all learn a lot from this man.

ANYWAY that got a bit lengthy, but I’m in a bit of a daze of Obama inaugural excitement, and to be sure, I’m not a Democrat, so I’m hardly one of the sheep I so despised throughout the campaign.  However, my emotions have really gotten the best of me today because I’ve been thinking about what tomorrow means to all of us, and how the world really is changing; and of what it will mean to so many of the young people I have worked with who have expressed feelings to me that I cannot imagine feeling and that I know will be replaced with a new worldview because of Barack Obama–America is indeed the land of opportunity, and anyone can do anything.  It isn’t all just lines of bullshit as so many of us may have suspected.

Viewing the film Saturday night, by the way, was accompanied by consumption of copious amounts of wine, and by the end, Mr. Martini and I were getting a little more lovey-dovey than we probably should have.  I blame the wine.  Alas, I spent the night in his bed, but we were not intimate–truthfully, I kind of wanted to be because I adore him and am physically in need of some loving, but I have an inner “flooz-o-meter” (n. the inner meter of the degree to which one is acting like a floozy) that prevented us from getting down.  C’est la vie.

I’m truly a bit frightened by the intensity of my feelings for him as well as the intensity of his future planning involving me, though.

Anyway this has taken much longer than I had hoped–I must get ready as we are having a dinner party tonight to celebrate Bush’s last night in office.  Hooray hooray hooray!

Hope everyone else takes a moment to give thanks this evening as well–whether or not you’re an Obama fan, so many lives lost is reason enough to be thankful that by this time tomorrow night, there will be a new sheriff in town. ;-)

xx Charlee

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