Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama and Inspiration

Another Neal Boortz great: A caller wanting to object to Obama on the basis of his character flaws and Neal's response is "Character flaws? - you wanna talk about character flaws? Look at me!" He went on to point out that there isn't a president in history who hasn't had a character flaw. Who doesn't have them?

We humans are rife with character flaws. That's why I so enjoy shows like Battlestar Galactica and in fact there is a video interview there with two of the main guys that I watched last week. One of them, I think it was producer David Eick, mentions how those flaws draw people in and help us identify with the characters. He called Baltar the 'most human' character on the show, and I had to stifle a laugh. I know I'm a bit self-absorbed, so I guess I can be relieved that I'm not so self-absorbed as Baltar at least, right? Is that it? He's way over on the insane side of self-absorbed, and I know I'm not that crazy.

I watched the inauguration and was pleased by the choice of "responsibility" as the theme of the president's speech. Responsibility is a virtue that has been steadily declining in popularity in this world. I hope this reminder will inspire many to reclaim and embrace personal responsibility.

Afterward, still listening to followup commentary on the radio, and oh wow, I heard someone say our first “black” president instead of “African-American.” Yay. I agree with Neal Boortz (and some of his black callers that agree with him too) that it’s stupid to call blacks “African-American” when they’ve never lived in Africa at all. It would be like me calling myself an English-American. Or as far as I know, English-Irish-German-Jewish-Russian-Polish-who-knows-what American. Doh. I’m just American.

But, yes, I do recognize that this is a big deal to a lot of blacks (whether they are 10% to 100% black) who have lived all their lives feeling downtrodden and inferior. And I really do hope this makes them feel better about themselves, to love themselves and see that they really are valuable humans, not just the object of some horrible history, forever doomed to mediocrity and lives of violence. But instead, that they really are equal. They can really embrace their own lives as wonderful, viable, smart human beings.

I hope many people will now aspire to greater heights than they would have otherwise. That they will lift their chins and be proud to live lives of honor and dignity, and stop being angry, stop wallowing in misery.

Don't get me wrong. I know the very bottom dregs of society will never change. There will always be those who prefer to take the easy route, to not step up and work hard but just to be content with living on the fringes, addicts to crime and vice. Not everyone is going to suddenly be miraculously changed for the better. But I do think those who would have been semi-happy with mediocrity, thinking it was all they deserve or all they could ever get, might actually now work a little harder, think a little smarter, be a little more confident and get something more for themselves out of life. I hope.

I'm just a little sad that it takes such a huge thing to get people going in the right direction in the first place. American Indians haven't sat around bemoaning their history and pointing fingers. They've moved on and become quite successful in their own right, and they have earned the due respect and admiration of others to go along with all they've accomplished, all without protests and angry disrespect for others and themselves. They've used the wisdom of their ancestors to guide them and they have prospered despite evil done to them in the past, all the while denying that evil the power to define who they are today. Honor, wisdom and grace. These don't just appear overnight but rather are demonstrated generation after generation in the bearing of the people as a whole.

Anyway, enough of that rambling.

Pork chops tonight - pan-fried with just salt and pepper, and on the side, mashed potatoes and cream gravy, and corn. Good old-fashioned stuff. Need to move some meat into the fridge to thaw for the next couple days' meals, too.

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