Monday, September 07, 2009

Status Anxiety

It's been a rough Summer. Spring was just a preview. I think there are a few reasons for this and one is, of course, that I am getting older. And, I find myself struggling with the image of my life or what I thought it would be, versus the reality of my life. Perhaps, this comes from being a part of a generation that was told to do whatever made me "happy"...? Post-boomers, we must be one of the first generations in history who live in pursuit of this ephemeral notion. At the same time we are pursuing whatever makes us "happy" is that it is becoming harder and harder to get by (I am talking facts and figure - middle-class bill paying type of thing). I don't think this makes me a Molotov-throwing class warrior or whiner for pointing this out.

And, to that end, I could not help but be dismayed at the tenor of political discourse this summer. It was easy to hope or think (or maybe fool oneself) into thinking when Obama got elected, that there would be a return to seriousness. The forces of right-wing derangement that were unleashed and danced on the national stage during the Bush years would have been beaten back and retreated into the shadows for at least a year or two to plot their next single-issue voter campaigns for the next elections. But, no. We've had to endure a season of red-faced screaming over health care which, to me, is obviously just an excuse to rage over the shifting racial demographics and the tenuous grasp on power whites hold in this country in the foreseeable future. Less fear of death panels and more fear of a black planet.

But, now the Fall is coming and oddly enough or not, I see it more as a time for renewal than summer. I am sensing rebirth here even as the leaves begin to crack and turn dry. Obama addresses Congress on Weds and I am hopeful that he is going to fight in the spirit of Teddy Kennedy's legacy of noblesse oblige. The only truly civil society is one that takes care of its weakest members. Personally, I am girding my loins too to be brave and hopeful and disciplined in my own life. To continue, I suppose, to pursue that always allusive, sometime happiness and to remember to recognize what a privilige it is to be able to do so.

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