Wednesday, January 6, 2010

If only it were that simple.

I saw a fairly ironic or at least somewhat puzzling site today in the metro. As I haven't taken public transport or been near any University campuses for some time, I had all-but-forgotten the folks who stand with literature and signs lambasting the evil American government for this, that and the other atrocity. They are always, always extroverted and usually quite grouchy. I am sure I am related to them somehow.

Now, most of the time on a basic level I agree with what they shout about. I don't exactly have fond memories of George Bush, and I don't think that the majority of actions democratic nations take on a governmental level make sense for just about anyone. If I sound simplistic here, well, perhaps that's part of the point I am trying to make. The generalizations strewn about in that sentence I just penned look like nuanced, ambiguous references in comparison to the wholly black-and-white accusations the folks with these slogans muster up.

Which brings me to today. A sign blasting the periphery of my left eye showing Obama with a Hitler moustache with the words, "Obama's Changed" across the top. I only assumed this was in direct reference to his new 14-countries (and counting) screening agenda currently available at all American airports. While I totally agree with the fundamentals of what they're saying, (that the policy is hugely racist and highly, offensively problematic) I am so bewildered at their delivery of said state-of-mind.

Has Obama actually changed? Is he now effectively Hitler, a ridiculous and rather insulting comparison (and not just to Obama)? Or is he someone who perhaps is a bit more nuanced than folks had dared to imagine? Could he be in fact, human, and not the perfect solution to all of North America's (and the globe's) woes around the ludicrous actions and ideas coming out of our parlimentary systems?

In saying this, I do not take the anti-responsibility shampoo in my bathroom and give the man a good washing. People need to be human and this means being in part, imperfect, yet also accountable. I just think that we all saw this coming from a mile away and tried to fight it. I know I did. There is something so wondrous in believing that change can come from an almost mythical hero. Hopeful or wishful thinking is not necessarily a bad thing. We had a type of hope at the time he came into office, however, that was likely inflated and bound to disappoint. Barack Obama, the pefect president, best friend, man to marry, woman to date, child to rear.

To hope is in some ways to plough on, so good on everyone for having a bit of that magic left in the heart. But when heartache comes, don't go running to blame the image you've created in your mind of a person or place or life that doesn't actually exist.

What I mean to say is that more often than not the external world doesn't change, but we (be it our bodies, thoughts, viewpoints, or understandings of) do.

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