the Kool-Aid

i heard an old interview with the late David Foster Wallace with Terry Gross in which he said he was bothered by how desensitized we’ve become.

How certain parts of our society have taken on this detached air of arrogance towards everything…so much that nothing really matters. Everything becomes a joke and apathy is not only accepted but expected. 

Kind of a crisis in an inability to genuinely feel or care about something.

This got me thinking about Obama and how of course my initial “yeah he sounds great but whatever” attitude first struck me. But i was inevitably saturated with his face and his speeches and like millions of people grew to really like the guy.

Then friends of mine accused me of drinking the Kool-Aid and falling prey to the rhetoric and empty promises. And for a minute i thought–maybe they’re right?

But regardless of your beliefs on whether or not Obama is a true outsider, ready to shake things up in Washington, there is no denying he is an outsider in our cultural experience. Just based on his looks he’s changing our perception of politics, race, and success. And his political plans aside, his whole campaign he’s stuck to his mission statement of not dividing but bringing people together. He’s trying to move beyond race and politics and speaking not to individuals but to the human experience. He’s changing the script for not only our political but also cultural norms and speaking to the detached, apathetic and desensitized and making it seem possible for things to change thereby making it easier for us to not only care but more importantly to hope.

I think that’s what makes this moment in time very important, very rarely do public figures come about who make us question the fabric of our society and inspire the type of change that has turned me around…i mean i’m only speaking personal experience but if he’s had this effect on me, i’m sure there are a few others who feel the same.


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