Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Bumper Stickers and Barack Obama

For my queerness's birthday yesterday, I ended up making an unplanned trip to actually spend the night with my hot girlfriend. Susan thought she was going to pick up her new truck, but there was a problem with her loan paperwork and she ended up needing a ride home. She should still be able to buy the truck in another day or two; she just has to wait for her insurance to finish processing the payment for the accident first. Anyway, I drove through four different counties to rescue her and take her home, and then I made microwaved Pasta-Roni in her kitchen for a change, because she had already eaten and didn't feel like cooking. She got out a fork and proceeded to eat a fairly significant amount of the Pasta-Roni from my bowl, all the while exclaiming repeatedly, "This is really awful. It tastes horrible!" but still continuing to eat more of it. I asked her why she kept eating more of it, then, but she didn't seem to know.

I also rearranged the bumper stickers on my car this morning. For years and years, I've had a rainbow stripe sticker with a an Abbie Hoffman quote centered underneath it: "You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not by the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." I liked this arrangement so much that even when I bought a new car, I bought identical bumper stickers for it. But the one thing that did get on my nerves was the fact that the middle (yellow and green) sections of the rainbow stripe sticker always end up cracking and peeling off in less than a year, so I've had to keep buying new rainbow stripe stickers over and over and over. I must have bought at least seven or eight of them by now. So when my latest one cracked and peeled, I decided it was time to search for a more lasting rainbow car decoration.

I bought and installed a rainbow-striped license plate frame a few days ago, but as Susan pointed out to me as soon as she saw it, it's not as recognizably a queer symbol as the rainbow stripe sticker was; it tends to make it look like I'm just a very happy rainbowy person. And my bumper just looked very empty with only one sticker on it. So this morning I added a "Think outside THE BOX" sticker to the left of my Abbie Hoffman one, and a "QUEER: bold or daring, brave, original, unrestrained by existing conventions, uninhibited" sticker to the right of my Abbie Hoffman one.

I like this arrangement because even though the three stickers comment about three different topics, all three of them are linked by a common theme of nonconformism. I'm still considering adding others, though. In particular, I'm considering adding an "Obama '08" sticker. Pros of adding it would be that he will be the first Democratic Party presidential nominee I've ever voted for; I feel he will represent me to a degree that no other politicians except one of my U.S. Senators, Barbara Boxer, and my former and current U.S. Representatives, Bob Matsui and Doris Matsui, have ever made me feel represented. The prospect of Barack Obama becoming president of the United States - which I'm actually very convinced will happen - makes me feel more optimistic about the future of the United States and the world as a whole than I've ever felt before in my life, and I'd like to be able to take credit for having done something to help cause this to happen.

Cons of adding an Obama sticker to my car are that I'm pretty sure that feeling this much fondness for any politician, especially such a successful one, surely constitutes clinical insanity. He is still a politician. If he gets elected (which, again, I do believe will happen), inevitably he will do at least one thing while in office that will make me absolutely furious at him. And because I like him so unreasonably much right now, the later disappointment will be all the more painful. At that point, what would I do with the Obama '08 sticker on my car? Remove it, and disclaim responsibility for helping him get elected when actually I would know full well that I was still guilty of it? Leave it there, and glare at my car every time I see it? I dread having to confront these sorts of options. Actually, I dread the likely disappointment in Obama's future actions even if I don't put a sticker with his name on it on my car. There's just so much that seems wonderful about him, I can't help but be terrified that he's too good to be true.

And what's with the extremely strong correlation between Obamamania and age? Susan is ten years older than me, and although she was fairly impressed with his speech on racism a few weeks ago, she's just somehow not susceptible to the overwhelming adoration of him that I am. She was a much bigger fan of John Edwards, whom I had zero interest in. Edwards, to me, was just another white male politician who voted to let Bush invade Iraq. This means John Edwards is EVIL and THE ENEMY. And Hillary Clinton is the same except female, which means she has value as a figurehead due to the accident of her birth (which is by no means insignificant; it means enough to me that if she did somehow become the Democratic Party nominee, I would grudgingly vote for her, whereas I would not have voted for John Edwards), but it does not mean I have any more trust in her actual decisions. Barack Obama, to date, has not registered on my EVIL-detector. I'm very afraid that someday he will. And there's something kind of disturbing about how 95% of people I know who are under age 35 are utterly crazy about Obama, while hardly anyone I know who is over 40, even if they did actually vote for Obama, feels a comparably overwhelming enthusiasm for him. At least not if they're white. I have heard some unmistakable real enthusiasm for Obama from black people over 40, but I don't think that's any surprise to anybody.
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