Barack Obama at lunch in the White House
Barack Obama almost made me forget my mother's birthday was today. It is a date that is hard coded into my memory banks. But even though I've talked to my mother several times this week, it wasn't until Friday that I felt like I was forgetting something, and even then, it took awhile to burrow through all things Obama swirling about in my head to finally retrieve that information.
Obamamania has practically eliminated all the overdone hype for the Super Bowl we normally have to live through this time of year. I didn't think about the game until yesterday, when I saw three commercials for it in a five minute span. Maybe its the fact that its the Arizona Cardinals versus the Pittsburgh Steelers that has contributed to the diminished level of anticipation I normally have for the game. In some ways, the inauguration and its surrounding festivities were the Super Bowl, with all the same type of hoopla, fan hysteria, and musical performances - except you already knew what the outcome was going to be, and the winners were not going to Disney Land.
And like the Super Bowl, there comes a point of saturation - a point at which you start getting tired of hearing "the first African American president" from the announcers on TV, a point at which you begin to resent all the needless attention that is being paid to Michelle Obama's wardrobe, or her hairdo, or her makeup, or any one of the other fifty stupid things lazy media producers insist on using to compare the First Lady to Jackie Kennedy.
One of S.'s friends came over for dinner on Friday. We were all hungry by the time she arrived, so during the brief moments before the meal was ready to be served, with the news announcer reeling off one story after another than began with "President Obama", "Obama" or "the Obama Adminstration", I asked our guest a question. "Are you about tired of all this focus on Obama?"
"Yes, frankly I am," she said.
Then we turned off the TV, sat down to eat, and all proceeded to talk happily, in one way or another, about Barack Obama or Obama-related stories for the next three hours.
The power of this one thing is so great it seems to have the strength of a nuclear chain reaction, which releases several million times the energy of the initial reaction in the ensuing self-propagating reactions. The campaign, election, and inauguration of Barack Obama has unleashed something powerful, especially among us who are African Americans, that only seems to grow stronger with each day.
It is as if there has been a shift in the axis of the entire world, changing the angle at which the world rotates just enough to lessen the pull of gravity - because right now, not only does almost everybody seem to be walking a little taller, and holding their heads a little higher - it looks like we all intend to stay that way.