When I returned to NY last, I watched the inauguration on CNN. It was so historical! However as I went to sleep, I had conflicting thoughts about the day. I felt pride for the country, but I felt myself rebelling against one of the primary messages that makes Obama such a special president — his Kennedyesque vision of civic and community responsibility. If anything, it took eight years of the Bush administration to finally work its way into my consciousness. By 2009, I am completely ready to throw myself into the world of selfishness and me-first-ism. I want to be more successful, wealthier, and happier, with more sex. Why shouldn’t I be more selfish and self-absorbed? It’s my time. How do I integrate this new administration with my new commitment to selfishness?
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve already started on my road to me-first. I just registered for BlogHer. Good move. I can win more attention for myself and my blog. I bought an iPhone so I can keep up with the cool kids. If I want to date again, I need to make more money. Who wants to date someone poor? The bad economy has made me worry about money and career more than any time in my life. Who has the time or energy to care about the downtrodden?!
I have been inspired by many of your wonderful posts about Obama’s election, so much so that I am authentically worried about writing this kvetchy, neurotic post.
“What is wrong with this guy?” I can hear you saying. “Can’t he just be happy with Obama’s inauguration? Why does our celebration have to be so quickly turned into self-doubt, ruining the mood?”
It’s not that I am not thrilled about this change, but I tend to be introspective and worried about historical events, and my words do not come flowing out. I’m also less of an inspirational speaker than a kvetcher, trying to figure out the “meaning” of the event.
I am in a transition point in my own life, and it is ironic that at the exact time we move from the Bush years to the Obama years, I am thinking about embracing selfishness. Am I taking a wrong turn at the wrong historical moment? I am seriously approaching this new administration in a very personal way. What should I do differently during this new era of American politics?
Having a young, African-American president is terrific for the country, but it doesn’t transform me into a new person. I had no issues with voting for a black man. Maybe “America” did, and the country now shows maturity. But I am a personal blogger, and I am much more interested in talking about “I” and “you” rather than “We” or “America.” The questions that are on my mind are of a personal nature:
How did the eight years of the Bush Administration affect me? How did I benefit from it? How did the culture that grew out of those years make me who I am today? It is bullshit to say that I wasn’t part of this Bush-era culture. We all were. We had no choice. The blogosphere grew up under this culture. All the obsessions of A-listers and B-listers, and monetizing your blog are modeled after the high-rolling laissez faire attitudes of the economic and international policies during the Bush years.
Obama is “inspiring,” but what exactly is he inspiring ME to do? Should I volunteer more? Should I think less about myself and more of others? Does this mean I shouldn’t put up advertising on my blog? Should I donate it to charity? Should I try to date more African-American women? What does an Obama presidency mean to me?
Have you been inspired to make any changes in your life?