Thursday, November 06, 2008

No Title to Peddle

This image is an homage to the late Michael Crichton, who passed away on Tuesday. I was a follower more of the movie adaptations of his books than the books themselves - having seen "The Andromeda Strain" (1971), "The Terminal Man" (1974), "Rising Sun" (1993) "Jurassic Park" (1993) "Disclosure" (1994) "Congo" (1995) "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997) "Sphere" (1998), "The 13th Warrior" (1999), and "Timeline" (2003). I only read the Jurassic Park novels and "Eaters of the Dead" (the sourcebook for "The 13th Warrior"). Crichton is a master at making scientific conjecture very plausible to the reader, especially the ones who have illusions of understanding the science in the novels.

This image is also a reminder that much has to be done to end the dinosaur politics of old. The win of Barack Obama, I hope, will be the start of the mass extinction of the old kind of politics. On an aside, I kind of snickered when Madam Gloria tried to congratulate candidate Obama and he didn't give her the time of day - obviously, he gave more time to people he considered more important. She probably would have done better sending him a sweet SMS. Aren't we Filipinos champion texters of the world?

I do hope that President-elect Obama lives up to the hope (not the hype) that buoyed his electoral campaign, from the time he took on the Hillary Clinton juggernaut to roundly beating McCain.

For all the media coverage, this win appears like the ultimate anticlimax. It seems all the fears of a McCain uprising and Republican comeback were mere wisps of smoke. This was supposed to be a titanic struggle - a real nailbiter. It ended up like watching the Celtics wax the Lakers in that ho-hum six-game series last June. The anticipation built up nicely, but the elections were hardly competitive.

Still, throughout all the cheers of the crowd, and the attempts at introjection of the unscrupulous and the wily to give handshakes and pats on the back, only the true faithful understand how far the winner had to travel just to get to the battleground. Rooting for ignored or forgotten causes and hard-luck teams does have unexpected and over-the-top rewards - the unbelievable rush of euphoria being the first.

Here in the Middle East, the Arabs (at least the ones I meet) are roundly congratulating everyone on the Obama win. Nationalities from other countries are pretty much saying the same thing — the end of the Republican reign means a fresh start. Life, at least for one day, has suddenly become rosier, and the prospect of a better world isn’t all that hopeless.

It's funny how most Filipinos fail to see the need for an overhaul --- ours is one of the few countries that actually wanted John McCain to win.

I would candidly say that my support for Obama was guarded even though his message and the image he presented were very powerful - as is my hopes are guarded over what his administration can do to turn things around.

It doesn't change however the slight tinge of delight his win brought, as if my belief in the inherent goodness of humanity has been somewhat validated. Just speaking for myself, of course, but looking at the jubilation all over the world, if in this way Barack Obama has already affected billions worldwide, just by being there, it's encouraging to see that there is hope for us human beings after all.

We can, if we so choose, live as if everything we believed mattered, and so everything we do in support of that belief matters.

(As my post title goes, there is nothing to peddle today, so I have no catchphrase in my title today as well.)

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