Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Obamas at Ke`ehi

Yeay! I've been hoping Obama would make a public speech here, so I was happy to get this in my email. I've already spammed my address list with the invite (less the three token Republicans). I'm all little-kid style excited to see him. On one hand, he's just a candidate I like. I agree with him on most issues, and have significant concerns about him on a few others.

But on the other hand the history of this moment awes me. I look back on all the generations who have been jailed or killed to bring our country just to this point, where we have a black man on track to win the presidency, and it's happening now ... I might lose it.

***

Post Script

So that was a bit anti-climatic. I was expecting something a bit more dynamic. Instead it was a perfectly nice little rally. Obama certainly seems presidential enough, but it was such a curiously sedate afternoon.

Jeff picked me up at 1pm, and by 1:30 we were in a line that stretched half way across Ke`ehi Park. For those who don't know, it's a big park, and it was a long line. Talked to Cliff on the phone, and they had been in line over an hour already.

You have to be HOT to work SWAT.

It took us just over an hour to arrive at security, crisped by the sun to a nice red. Security were the same charming thugs that man the front doors to all the clubs here, only today they wore orange instead of black. We sipped our waters for them to show that the bottles weren't full of something sinister and unsippable, turned our phones and cameras on and off for them, were patted down, and then forced to give up our contraband. Contraband like the whistle on my keychain. Thug monkey one pointed it out to thug monkey two: that's a whistle. Thug monkey two passes the info on to thug monkey three: he's got a whistle. Thug monkey three tells me: that's a whistle. Yes, I say, feeling as if I'm missing something important. It's a whistle.

I can order a sandwich in seven languages, but I still can't understand basic thug. After a brief game of twenty-questions I figure out that the whistle is banned, that I am not able to simply leave it at the gates, but that I am able to leave it in the grass outside the gates - presumably far enough from the stage that it can't cause any damage.

Meanwhile, a good proportion of the crowd is carrying umbrellas. I think about telling the thug monkeys about Georgi Markov, but Jeff was already well past security and patiently waiting.

Cliff and Tim were inside, but by 3 pm grew tired of waiting and went back to work.

Fifteen minutes later our local politicians took the stage. Senator Akaka kicked it off with a big Aloooooha! That was the high point of his speech. He talked a bit about how Obama was a keiki o ka `aina and so we know he has good values. Like, if a school needed painting we'd paint it, and if an old person was hungry we'd feed them. And if a man is homeless, I thought, we'd treat him like a criminal and run them out of town. And if the school needed books we'd build the students a pro football field.

Akaka explained that malihini, those of us who weren't born here, might not always understand these values. It was actually a bit of an offensive speech, so it's probably a good thing he mumbled through it and that no one actually paid attention.

Then he said that it was Hawaiian style to keep things pono, and so it was time to pray. Everyone bowed their heads but me. Fucking sheep. Senator Akaka rambled on and tried very hard to keep it non-denominational, though he almost tripped up at the end with and we ask you this in the name of ... uh ... hmmm ... the heavenly creator. Amen.

Amen, and Rep. Abercrombie took the stage and started to testify. I've never seen him act like this before; maybe they showed Sister Act on the flight over. Maybe he changes personality around black people. Some people do. The problem is, he's a short little hairy thing and at first I though it was a joke and I started to laugh but, oops. Nope. Not a joke.

But it really does look like a stand up comedy routine, right?

Mufi spoke about JFK, and so I tuned him out. Later Obama would call Mufi one of our country's greatest mayors. That was interesting.

So. Barrack Obama in the flesh. Seemed like a nice guy. He's much more handsome than I realized, and Michelle was beautiful. Funny, I didn't expect that. I find strong women beautiful anyways, so I don't know why I was surprised. But I was.

The Homecoming King and Queen

We got a normal speech from him. She waved, he talked about his vacation. Thanked us all for our hard work, said that he was going to relax on the beach with his daughters and eat plate lunch and body board at an undisclosed location and visit with his grandmother. He got a little political, but it was standard stuff: we need to care for our veterans, we need to educate our children, we need a rational energy policy, etc. If any theme stood out, it was that our nation finally needs an "energy policy." It seemed to play well with the crowd, so I expect we'll see more of this at the convention.

We don't listen to speeches anyway. We just take photos of them.

He seemed like a nice guy. He was relaxed and casual, and ... sure ... he seemed presidential. Good enough for me, and I don't say that often about politicians (see above).

Someone tell FOX news that this is a secret terrorist radical shaka he's giving

I did learn that I've been pronouncing his name wrong all along. I've been saying "barrack" like the building, as in I snuck in the barracks last night to rendez-vous with a soldier. I didn't know it was" buh-Rock." These things happen when you read more than you watch tv.

Jeff says his butt is too big, but I say it's just about right

1 comment:

AH said...

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