Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The craziest thing I've seen in a newspaper lately

From the NYT story on the Somali pirates who are holding 25 members of an oil transport ship hostage:

Once pirates get aboard, however, the ship is theirs, because crews on commercial vessels are rarely armed, according to Mr. Choong and other maritime experts. “They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons,” he said.

I guess the mental part goes without saying, but not physically fit to hold guns?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Happened Last Night

We were dancing in the streets last night. We were throwing arms around strangers’ shoulders and talking earnestly about what we’ve been called to do, all of us. We were lined up facing each other, maybe once it was a firing line but last night, no, it was dancing, cheering as cars processed between us. We were cheering the garbage men, the hipsters on bikes, even the cops (cheering even when they gave us citations for public drinking)—in short, we were cheering ourselves, because we did this, we—not our parents and not our grandparents, but we—made this happen.

Everything was spontaneous but still had a feeling of a being on a stage. First we stood on Flatbush and cheered and cars honked back their love. We stopped people on the street and gave our love; we gave high fives and what-the-fucks and hosannahs and maybe-it-aint-all-shits.

There was talk of Going East, where the Black People live, because we all knew this is theirs first. Then we got it in our heads: Go East!: because one day we all went West, but we bounced off a wall a hundred years ago, and since then been we’ve been reverbing in Wasilla or some such shithole Wal-Mart parking lot. But now we go Back East: we reclaim. It’s ours. Or so we all thought last night. So we went East, so far as Vanderbilt and Soda Bar at least, an ersatz outpost now certifiably New Brooklyn. And they, Old Country, came West, they whose this is. And we stood on opposite sides of the streets for a while, then we crossed over and we loved and danced and cheered.

When we woke up this morning, we knew we had something: This is ours, all of ours. But more important, for the first time in our lives we knew that such a thing as we actually exists. The birth of the Obama Generation.