Tuesday, November 11, 2008

1 Week Anniversary

This is the 1 week anniversary not only of Barack Obama's win-to-tha-max, but also of John McCain's redemption, achieved through the classiest concession ever. He couldn't exactly totally redeem himself for spending two long years systematically going back on everything he believed in, but he came close to making up for it. Because I am most capable of expressing my feelings through the movies of my childhood, as is much of my social ilk, I was resoundingly reminded when watching McCain speak of a scene in Hook. Hook was panned critically - this is a fact of the universe that I still have not come to terms with, because it remains one of the most touching and inspirational movies in the history of movies. It has weird colourful food, baseball, Dustin Hoffman being typically awesome and Robin Williams being typically endearingly manic. It was a massive collective underestimate on the part of all critics everywhere to not revere and adore it.

And now it has provided me a comparison for McCain's redemption. When Peter Pan (or at that point, Panning) returns to Neverland, he's an asshole, a bumfuck overweight lawyer who hates fun. None of the lost boys believe it's Peter Pan, except the littlest one, who traces the lines on Peter's face with his finger. NOT saccharine, genuinely moving. At some point, the kid's face lights up in the subtlest way, and he says, "Oh, there you are Peter!"

It will always be cuter and better and more moving in Hook than it was in real life, when I realized I was saying to myself, "Oh, there you are John McCain!". But still, it was pretty great to see this human, who I genuinely think is much less cynical than most people of our generation*, shed his facial ticks and weird gestures and relax into the comfort of being his old self again. I mean, his old self, but still. I think it's incredible that this man has been in politics for four decades and he still really can't lie without showing it all over his face, and I'm not excusing him for lying or anything, but isn't that kind of incredible? He looks like a maniac when he lies; he is calm and self-deprecating when he doesn't. It's such a noticeable difference, and it's a whole lot of "Oh, there you are!"

*Don't believe me? Believe David Foster Wallace and what he writes in "Up, Simba", an article he wrote for Rolling Stone about the McCain 2000 campaign, which can be somewhat accurately represented (sort of) by DFW's sentence in the middle of the essay: "Maybe they really can coexist - humanity and politics, shrewdness and decency. But it gets complicated".

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