Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Good on Us

For two days and nights, trying to cover the journey of time over the hemispheres, I have watched my other country, America's, struggle with history. My New York friends, Dawn and Linda and Paula, were with me, and Daniel too, on the day-night of the victory we had all so feared was slipping away. I cannot begin to tell my Melbourne friends what happened inside of us as the blue of hope filled in the screen. For many here, America is seen as the arrogant exceptionalist State, the big army, big money, its-all-about us spoiled child of a country. And this is all true, we have visited much misery on the world. But, when we get it right, when out of the cold nights of shattered dreams whether it be on Staten Island or along the streets of Hoboken, from the shuttered homes of Detroit, from the struggling towns and cities all over this vast geography, lines and lines of people,     appear out of the darkness, unrelentless in the pursuit of their right to vote, we, they, get it right. When the  secret faux governements of the right wing billionaires like the Koch brothers or the Edelsteins are foiled in their attempt to buy elections, we get it right. When the endless lies, misinformation, attack after attack of the Fox propaganda channel fail to convince, we get it right. The final call for President Obama came in my afternoon here, and I went out onto my street, little Fitzgibbon Avenue, the images of thronged New York and Chicago centers in my head, I went out in to the vacant streets, my heart bursting to shout the news; two young people, in their shorts and flip flops, crossed the street just at this moment, and I shouted out to them, "He won, he won, Obama won!" What they must have heard and saw, an old lady with a strange American accent shouting victory to the wind, and they picked up their pace a little, but soon the young woman turned back to me, "Do you mean Barack Obama won the presidency again?"
"Yes, yes,"
By this time, her bloke had joined her. And they started to smile and clap and said, "that's wonderful, it makes us happy too" and he gave the thumbs up sign. "Good on you," he said. Good on us all.

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