Survivor? SURVIVOR?

Survive this, chumps.

Seriously, A. Survivor? Wouldn’t you much rather watch a mechanical River Tam travel through time and beat the crap out of robots? I know you would. In fact, I think thatthis comic pins down what everyone wants to see.

Hell, while I’m talking about comics, you good people should check outYourmometer. My pal Hobbes takes time out of her extremely busy life to create a well-drawn and highly entertaining comic strip, and she does so for free. Her Valentine’s Day strips are particularly amusing. Here’sthis year’s.

Now. As regards the hash/the rhetoric of hope: Bring. It. On.

It’s a testament to Obama’s skills that he can take the deep disaffection of people with the dogshit of the Bush years and channel that alienation into hope. Of all things, hope. Now, I remember my Greek mythology. And, yes, Hope was the last and most awful thing to come out of Pandora’s box in the original story. But this isn’t ancient Greece. We have room for hope. If not, it’s time to curl up into the fetal position and wait for the end. Most people have to believe they can make things better before they can find it in themselves to try.

I was reading theGroup News Blog the other day, and Doc Wendel was kinda down on the non-specificity and emotional content of Obama’s campaign speech in Seattle. I saw pretty much the same speech in Madison Tuesday night, and I didn’t really have the same complaints. Like the Seattle event, Obama filled a large sporting venue, and the gate staff ended up turning people away. And, yes, the crowd was hype. So he didn’t lay out wonky policies in detail. Fine. He’s engaging people from 18-85 and making them believe they matter again. All of them. After the 50.0001% majority Bush years, the crowds at the Obama events really seem to want to unite large majorities of the country to get positive things done for most of the people. Naturally, a great deal of the people at these events are already predisposed to like Obama. But the man does appeal to broad groups. I don’t mean to be down on the folks at the GNB; I really enjoy their site. I just don’t think that engaging people on an emotional level is the worst thing that a candidate can do.

Especially since, as Athenae astutely points out, Obama’s rhetoric isn’t entirely bullshit, and isn’t predicated on fucking over everyone else so the rich can run off with the treasury.

10 thoughts on “Survivor? SURVIVOR?

  1. Of all things, hope. Now, I remember my Greek mythology. And, yes, Hope was the last and most awful thing to come out of Pandora’s box in the original story.
    Actually, you’re conflating two different versions of the story:
    Version 1 is that Hope comes out of the box and makes it possible to continue living after all the ills have been released on the world.
    Version 2 is that the last, most awful thing in the box is Despair, which Panadora manages to trap inside the box. If Despair escaped, everyone would just lie down and die.
    I think we moderns have a very…um…”fluffy” view of hope. We tend to have the “I hope I win the lottery” and “I hope Michael Shanks decides to become my love slave.”
    In hard circumstances, hope isn’t whimsical: it’s a necessity. Sometimes, it’s the only reason you can come up with to open your eyes in the morning. I grew up during the “I hope Reagan doesn’t fucking launch a nuclear bomb today” era. My parents grew up in the “I hope we have enough to eat next month” and “I hope Hitler doesn’t take over the world” era.
    In the 90s, things were pretty darn good for a lot of people. Hopes changed from “I hope I don’t get laid off again” to “I hope I can land that job with the higher pay” or “I hope my stock options stay high until I can cash out.”
    These days, I just hope that Bush actually fucking leaves office on Jan 21 instead of declaring martial law or finding some signing statement somewhere that says “I don’t hafta if I don’t wanna!” I also hope he doesn’t pull a “last 10 minutes of a Model UN or Diplomacy” stunt and just launch all the nukes cause, hey, we paid all this money for them, and the games almost over anyway…

  2. “last 10 minutes of a Model UN or Diplomacy” stunt and just launch all the nukes
    I so would have joined Model UN if I’d known you could do THAT.

  3. Jude, about hope. I totally agree.
    Although I very much want to hear the details of Obama’s plans (and find the lack of details somewhat offsetting), the details won’t unite people. The oration on the underpinnings and principles of his plans are what unite people. Additionally, to unite people and change things, the next prez is going to have to be able to speak in a way which brings them along emotionally. Obama is a great speaker (I’d really love to hear a speech-off between Obama and Edwards).
    As a pragmatic aside, the demo nominee is going to have to beat the republican – which is looking McCain-ish. So we need a candidate which can pull in the independents and the dissatisfied Repubs. Which points to Obama.
    As a personal disclaimer, my state has already had its primary and I looked at Obama and Clinton and basically couldn’t balance between the two. Topic A was +2 for Clinton and Topic B was +2 for Obama, etc. etc. I take consolation in that whichever of the two it is, my decision on who to vote for in the election will be easy.

  4. Athenae,
    When I was younger, it was a fairly common rule that no time pieces of any kind were allowed in Model UN sessions. Too many clock-watchers resorted to “Hell, we’ve only got two more rounds before the world ends anyway–let’s blow it up first!”
    Which is why the whole “End Times” talk scares the ever-lovin’ shit outta me. I do not ever, EVER want an apocalyptic True Believer to have access to the launch codes.

  5. A, *everybody* would have joined Model UN if you could do that. Unfortunately, Model UN is to the Real UN as Barbie is to real women.
    And Summer Glau freakin’ rawks. I am, however, a little perplexed at her typecasting niche. It would be hard to go through life as “that freakishly beautiful girl with no emotions who can kill with ballet.”

  6. This critique arising that “Obama’s not specific enough” is a gas, man.
    First off: Don’t fix what isn’t broke. He’s sweeping to landslide after landslide these days doing what he’s doing. And THIS is the time people demand he change his tone?
    Last: Have these complainers been around these last years to see what’s been happening in our Presidential campaigns? Only us hyperactively informed peeps want wonkery from the candidates’ stump speeches.
    Making a voter feel good makes it more likely they’ll vote for you.
    I was an Edwards supporter, but by the time I heard John talk about the 50+ year old man with the unrepaired cleft palate for the tenth time, the disgust and anger it caused in me was not making me feel good. At that moment, I reluctantly admitted to myself, “John’s not going to turn it around this way”.
    Now, was it important that John inform the voters this sort of thing is happening with our current f***ed-up health care system? Yes. Could he, or any other candidate, win the Presidency with that rhetoric? Very, very unlikely.

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