Hey, There’s a Bird in This Mirror!

Diversion Enthusiast Society, est. 2007

We’re half awake

with one comment

Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated, though, as dear Chavez suggested, I am fairly certain that the GOP is trying to kill us, one infuriating, inaccurate, scare-mongering, hateful speech at a time. The only successful treatment I’ve stumbled upon is regular donations to the Obama campaign. It would seem that others agree.

Here’s what’s what – Within the space of a couple of weeks, I got an actual librarian job and Dave started grad school. We’re getting used to seeing one another for fifteen minutes at a time during the week and figuring out how to spend quality time while sleeping. Or, you know, quality time while staring at the ceiling, thinking about how I haven’t been taught to operate the phone on the reference desk yet or the LCD projector in the classroom and I have desk shifts next week and four sections of the same class to teach and it’s five a.m. and the birds are probably mad because they don’t get to exercise during the day now and I hope Dave’s getting enough sleep and, God, meal planning is going to be a pain all semester and I haven’t wrapped the gifts for the baby shower yet and Jim better propose to Pam in the season premiere because, Jesus, that’s what people in love do so they can go about losing sleep over their lives together, dammit.

Things will calm down, I’m sure.

Until then, let me leave you with this: Brother Barack’s campaign has put out a new video, using the music from The National’s “Fake Empire.” I watched it twice last night, because it’s a beautifully shot short film and because I adore that song. Now, I know that there aren’t a lot of people out there who’ve heard of The National (one of the things that’s wrong with this world, frankly), but I’m pretty sure that the Venn diagram of National fans and Obama supporters would show that the former group is very nearly contained by the latter. The fact that the lyrics are absent in this video just begs one to look them up –

Stay out super late tonight
picking apples, making pies
put a little something in our lemonade and take it with us
we’re half-awake in a fake empire
we’re half-awake in a fake empire

Tiptoe through our shiny city
with our diamond slippers on
do our gay ballet on ice
bluebirds on our shoulders
we’re half-awake in a fake empire
we’re half-awake in a fake empire

Turn the light out say goodnight
no thinking for a little while
let’s not try to figure out everything at once
It’s hard to keep track of you falling through the sky
we’re half-awake in a fake empire
we’re half-awake in a fake empire

Given that the song is not credited anywhere on the Obama campaign’s site nor in the video, it’s hard to resist the idea that whoever put this together is speaking, quietly and in code, to anyone who is listening with the right ears. The lyrics are an excellent encapsulation of the darker, more cutting side of Senator Obama’s message. “Fake Empire” is part heart-on-our-sleeve earnestness, part tongue-firmly-in-cheek mockery of the idealization of America, the combination serving to point to the real problems of living in a beautiful, largely untroubled corner of the world, the geographical equivalent of plugging our collective ears and humming. Life is a wonderful thing here, but it also requires a considerable effort to stay conscious of the real, ever-present injustice just under this shiny surface. Senator Obama’s campaign is asking us to be awake and fully present, to realize that we must work in whatever ways we can to assure that the considerable blessings that have rained down upon our collective heads also extend to others who haven’t been quite as lucky.

Dave arrived home at 8:30 last night after walking through what’s left of Hurricane Gustav, the first significant rainfall we’ve had in weeks. He put on his pajamas, I heated up some leftover soup for him, and we re-watched this video before we settled in and attempted to listen to what John McCain had to say. I’ve been exhausted for days and worrying too much, really, but I am a fortunate, fortunate person, in that I get to worry about things like my brand new job; the maintenance of my warm, safe home; and my husband’s graduate education. I want to keep this in the front of my mind at all times and, as I’m being asked to do by a mainstream Presidential candidate, thank God, consider what my responsibilities to my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters, are. We don’t have to figure out everything at once, but we have to start, right?



Written by Raina

September 5, 2008 at 11:19 am

One Response

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  1. man, no post-Obama gloating post? You guys are SOOO behind.


    November 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

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