Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Now I can go back to sleep.

Well, thank fuck for that.

I stayed up late, to make sure this time. (Last two American elections I went to bed with a Democrat President-elect, to wake up with George Bush. You can imagine...)

Still, I must admit feeling a little underwhelmed by the whole thing, now, at 5am GMT. I don't feel any of the hope or change that I was promised. Just relief.

And I'm more than a little fed up, already, with the renewal of the over-inflated estimation of America the Greatest from the American 'left'. Yeah, I felt bad for a lot of people in the US who had to endure under Bush, but this 'Once again we prove that America is the Greatest country on earth' refrain is puzzling, really. And a little annoying. Amnesia is a terrific thing, eh?

Something has happened, something has changed, so I'm told. But I have a bad feeling that it isn't anything more than the birth of a new symbol. A new idealised container, in Kleinian parlance. Which might be something in itself, and might be worthy of some celebration. And certainly the importance of Obama's election -- as a symbol, as a reality -- for the blacks, and race-relations generally, in America, and beyond, shouldn't be ignored. That, unproblematically, is a Good Thing.

But how much will really 'Change'? In foreign policy? economic policy?

(Is it the comparisons with Kennedy, who's record never really bears up to the romanticised fantasia, that makes me nervous? I've heard at least a half-dozen references to a 'new Camelot' already. Innumerable 'new dawns'. Lazy, lazy, complacent hyperbole. Let's hope for something more... substantial.)

Good luck, though. It would be a really cynical bastard that didn't will Obama to live up to at least some of the hype.

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