There's a great column in the LA Times today about the crying epidemic that accompanied Obama's victory in the election last week. Even pillars of masculinity like Magic Johnson, Will Smith and some guy on YouTube named Sam succumbed, sobbing as if their lives depended on it.
Most folks attribute the reaction to the fact that we've finally shattered the black-and-red stained glass ceiling that's been the country's biggest divider for the past 250 years. These people have ignored the evidence that the entertainment business has been predicting this moment for a long time: 24, anyone? They've had two black presidents (but no women!) on that series. And don't forget that Morgan Freeman has made an entire career out of playing God.
Frankly, I think it's a combination of grief and relief: grief over the general state of affairs; relief that we might be able to finally get back to the business of being the planet's biggest, messiest, loudest and most-watched celebrity--the Chris Rock of the world's political stage, so to speak--a little crazy, but spittin' the truth.
I myself was standing with a self-described "bunch of Jews" the night of the election, and sure enough, we all cried like babies. And the resulting round of Obama-parties the following week was exhilarating, as well as exhausting. ("Hey neighbor, what are you doing?" "Going to another Obama party." "Hey, me, too!") Slowly, but surely, the street-dancing is winding down, and people are starting to take stock of what lies ahead. It ain't pretty, but hey, it's ours, to overcome together. And I, for one, am hopeful that if we quit dubbing those who don't agree with us "Unamerican," we might actually get there.
I'm going to try hard, myself. Too many rounds of Obama-partying created my own personal political fallout: an overdose on wine, harsh words, the loss of one of the people I've come to care most deeply about over the course of a hard-fought political campaign. Another kind of catharsis, altogether. Maybe there's a big hug at the end of this one, too.
Hope and change, y'all.