Terrorist Fist Jabs for everyone!

September 17th, 2008 · 6 Comments · By

Just found out that Michelle Obama will be in Charlottesville this afternoon, along with Jill Biden (about whom I know absolutely nothing). I’ve long been a Barack Obama supporter (voted for him in the primaries), and I think his wife is pretty awesome as well, even if she’s not the former black panther that right-wing attempted to portray her as {I’m one of those people who would actually like her more if she were a radical communist black power activist. But she’s still really cool.} Incidentally, I’ve just decided that I do sort of like Joe Biden after all, after reading this article about him this morning.

They’re appearing at Newcomb Hall at around 4:50pm, as part of a Women for Obama voter registration rally. Presumably, seating may be limited.

Surely this is Charlottesville-related, but what does it have to do with music? Only just yesterday I discovered the website Noise for Obama, run by Lighting Bolt drummer and comics artist Brian Chippendale, along with Eva Aguila and Brian Miller, friends of mine from college who are noise musicians in LA and awesome people. They’re compiling a list of statements from various noise artists about why they’re supporting Obama, which you can read here. They’re all pretty great, especially Brian C.’s and Eva’s.

Living here in our little Democratic haven, most of the folks I know are Obama supporters, with a handful of naive centrists and misguided libertarians. But I’ve also talked to quite a few people who are involved in the underground arts / music / DIY subcultures, who have expressed apathy towards the election in general, who have dismissed Obama or claimed that he’s no different than any Republican candidate, and who feel that all mainstream politicians are beholden to the same interests and that things will continue to be terrible no matter who wins this election.  I acknowledge that point of view, and I understand the frustration that leads to that apathy and disgust, but quite frankly I couldn’t disagree more.

Look, I don’t think Obama is perfect, and I don’t love everything about him. He’s a Christian, and I’m a devout atheist. He’s generally OK with the concept of the capatalistic free market, whereas I’m a socialist who favors extreme government regulation of corporate interests. He’s willing to use the threat of American Military Action in situations where he thinks it’s necessary, whereas I’m a pacifist. These are issue about which intelligent minds can disagree.

But there are even more things that I like about him. I’m thrilled that the central message of his campaign is about the power of individual people to make a significant change in their government and in the world. I love that he’s open-minded and willing to listen to valuable input from others instead of shooting the messengers who disagree with him. I like that he’s refusing to play the Republican game of campaigning by debasing the opponent’s character rather and refusing to discuss any serious issues. I love that he’s campaigning as a liberal, instead of being afraid of the word and running to the right of center, as the rest of the Democratic party has been doing for my entire life. I think the fact that he was a community organizer is something that should be praised, not criticized. I thought his DNC speech was amazing, especially because on those issues on which I disagree with him — gay marriage, for example — he made it clear that he respected my point of view and that we both had the same goal.

This election is hugely important, and I believe it’s outcome will have a significant impact on world events and the daily lives of billions of people. And I’d much rather have Obama as my president, instead of another smug patriarchal asshole who doesn’t understand any of the significant world events of the past 25 years; who holds open contempt for women, minorities, and the working class; who has sacrificed every single ounce of integrity that he once had by running the nastiest major political campaign I’ve ever seen; and who is at heart a reactionary, short-tempered warmonger. Not to mention the fact that he’s so desperate or misguided that he picked as his running mate a drastically underqualified, stunningly corrupt, fascistic separatist religious lunatic just because she’s an attractive woman and he thinks he can steal the Hillary vote. Can you imagine how fucked we’ll be if McCain wins this election?

That’s why I’m voting for Barack Obama, and that’s why I’m writing about it on this blog.

Now I’ll stop off my little soapbox, and remind y’all to go check out the country music or the poetry reading or the potluck or the movie tonight.

Tags: news

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Invisible Hand // Sep 17, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    James, thanks for posting this. It is very important for everyone to be involved in this election becuase, as it stands right now, the ability to vote is the only thing we can do to make a difference; it’s our right to decide who the face of this country is. Y’Obama!

  • 2 John // Sep 17, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I second Adam’s comment.

    It’s picking one thing out of a million reasons, but I was particularly taken aback by Palin and the Republicans’ mocking of community organizers during the RNC. I think that on many levels these people are incredibly important to the fabric of a community, whether it’s people in Charlottesville putting on sweet shows or art exhibits, citizens expressing that they don’t want a loud music venue in their neighborhood, or more famous organizers like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dorothy Day.

  • 3 James // Sep 17, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I didn’t even understand why “Community Organizer” was being used as a criticism, until someone explained to me that in conservative code “community organizer from the south side of Chicago” = “he was stirring up trouble amongst poor blacks.”

    It’s like their view of the world is so fundamentally different from mine that sometimes I can’t even parse their euphemisms. {although usually I’m pretty good at it: “elitist” = “uppity,” etc.}

  • 4 James // Sep 17, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    also re: Adam’s comment about “it’s the only thing we can do to make a difference”

    I’d argue that it’s actually just the EASIEST thing we can do. Certainly there are other things that everyone can to do make a difference, but those things are usually a lot less obvious, and I, like everyone else, am struggling to figure out what they are.

    The infuriating thing about conservatives painting Obama as an egotistical,* pseudo-messianic figure is that it’s actually the complete opposite of the central message of his campaign, which is that ordinary people who work hard at things that they care about can do important things — it’s the thing he mentions in every speech, in every slogan, in every interview; whenever anyone praises his accomplishments, he deflects that praise towards people like community organizers and grassroots political activists.

    *(I mean, there’s obviously a certain amount of ego involved in being a politician in the first place, but you know what I mean. By any comparative standard he’s remarkably humble.)

  • 5 James // Sep 18, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Local cartoonist Jen Sorensen has photos and a description of the event here:
    http://c-ville.com/index.php?cat=1992008083510744&act=post&pid=12151709083249964

  • 6 Invisible Hand // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    It’s true that we can do many other things to make a difference though, voting speaks directly to the ones in charge. There is definitely a TON of merit in being a community organizer (making a significant difference in one’s community). these kind of positions should be respected. the problem lies in a bureaucrats eyes, not seeing the value in it which, I think, happens a lot. how can we convince these politicians that important things happen on a molecular level? vote!