I hated the 2008 election cycle. It was tragic. It was lonely. My concerns about inflation and debt were so uncool. They were inadequately addressed by one party and completely dismissed by starry eyed groupies in the other.
Have you ever been at a really rocking party where everyone is so wasted that they’re seeing different dimensions? Ever been stone cold sober at a party like that? It sucks. Everyone is having the time of their life and you’re just hoping to sneak out the back door before someone asks for a ride home and throws up in your car. You’ve got to get to work in the morning and think maybe some sleep would be in order. The host’s house is getting trashed. The blender is in the fish tank, someone has painted the cat blue, there’s a naked stranger sleeping on the porch, and the bathroom looks like a war zone. They’re begging you to join in and all you want is to get out of there…because you’re sober…and it’s not fun. The 2008 election cycle was the big party that wasn’t fun if you hadn’t drank the Kool-Aid.
I never stopped focusing on boring stuff; “if solar panels are so great why do we need to subsidize them?”, “explain again how free medicine for everyone will save money?”, “if the Dutch East India Company, the Roman empire, and Oprah’s show all came to an end how can any company anywhere be ‘too big to fail’?” and my all time brain teaser “what has this guy ever accomplished?”
The press shoved rose scented bullshit in my face for months and there was no relief. I just had to ride it out. It culminated in this woman’s free tank of gas.
Well the party’s over. I don’t know about you but I’m relieved. Obama got a Nobel prize but I still pay for my own gas and mortgage. I’m no longer badgered by folks trying to explain how this new hopey changey magic future is going to be better than sliced bread.
With the passage of time, all that’s left is the party’s hangover and since I wasn’t euphoric in 2008 the letdown to 2011 wasn’t a letdown at all. It’s better in fact. I’m no longer surrounded by an atmosphere of giddy careless unreliability. Paying your own bills in 2011 it doesn’t seem quaint and pointless like it did in 2008. Nobody is talking about Obama riding in on his unicorn to tank up their car and free medicine is suddenly looking..uh…not free. With half of Europe wobbling in debt purgatory I’m hearing less about how we should copy their Utopian vision of cramped houses, commuting with bicycles, and cradle to grave “security” funded by…uh…nothing.
Folks who thought they’d dodged adulthood another few years are waking up to reality. You have to pay your bills, you have to take care of yourself, you cannot become a fully realized human being on the back of another …even if he’s handsome and articulate …even if you’ve been just dying to have a black president. Life just isn’t like that.
It was a journey each believer had to take on their own.
We’re back on earth again. For some it’s dour. For others it’s refreshing. I’m happy with the uncertainty of real life. Delusion is only fun for the deluded. I hope that 2012 is more reality based than 2008.
I also hope the elated woman in the video has done OK these last few years. I hope she’s paying for her own damn gas. I hope she’s proud of herself for doing it. There’s no need for despair because the free gas never came. Free gas isn’t free.
I hope she made the transition without bitterness. I’m rooting for her and I’m rooting for the rest of us too.