Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Politics and music metaphors, together at last

All my life, I basically haven't grokked jazz. It's like speaking italian to me: I get there's substance, and content, and beauty in there. But you could speak italian to me for hours and I'd still have not a single clue what you're saying, or what you want me to do. If you put me in a concert hall with jazz greats on stage, I'd be the guy looking around at everyone else, thinking "what am I missing?" The only Louis Armstrong on my MP3 playlist is "What a Wonderful World" -- what a wonderful song, but not what the man built his name with.

The recent Democratic Primaries were kind of like that for me: I was never so mad about Sen. Obama's candidacy that I hated Sen. Clinton but even before I decided, post-Edwards, to support Obama I just didn't get supporting Clinton. She had started off as a lousy speaker, and though she got better throughout the campaign, I never really grokked where the passion came from.

Last night, I heard Hillary Clinton of New York sing "What a Wonderful World", and now I get it.

Full text of her speech here, but you should really watch the video.

In particular, this part near the end (20:00) had me nearly cheering:
How do we give this country back to them?

By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.

And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.

If you hear the dogs, keep going.

If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.

If they're shouting after you, keep going.

Don't ever stop. Keep going.

If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
The text doesn't do her delivery justice.

I loved all the chatter beforehand of whether Clinton would be able to -- are even want to! -- patch up the differences in the party. She's Hillary Clinton, you fucktards. You think she wanted to be the Senator whose tiny, vocal minority of supporters screw everything up? You think she wants to be the Ralph Nader of 2008? You assholes, she wanted to be President. More than that, she (unlike Ralph Nader) wants to beat the Republicans. So yeah, the game face was on last night. Does she still hate Barack Obama's guts for beating her? Who cares, this is politics and she knew what she had to do. And she did it in style.

I won't be working tonight or tomorrow night (for once this summer!) so I'll actually be able to watch Bill's and Joe's speeches tonight, as well as Al's and Barack's tomorrow. It's like the Superbowl for politics nerds.

1 comment:

Steve Muhlberger said...

It was a good speech and I liked that part best. The way she connected it to the present in the next few lines was fabulous.

Your critique of the pre-game whining is also excellent. Post-facto whining is equally unrealistic and irritating.