synthetic zero

November 6th, 2008

I was watching the election on NBC, mostly, because they were calling states earlier than the other networks … when they called Ohio I shouted, jumped up and down, and yelled for quite a while.  Still, most people around me, in real life, or virtually, were bracing themselves for some sort of 2000 or 2004 redux… could this really be happening?  I got IM’s and text messages: are you sure he’s won it?  Are you really sure?  Yes, I’m sure, I said, but I couldn’t help feeling just a tiny bit relieved and that much more excited when the networks all, in unison, at precisely 11:00pm, put up the full screen graphics … BARACK OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT.

It was and still feels like a surreal moment.  Of course we all shouted and whooped here in the Bronx.  A friend in Malaysia IM’d be they were celebrating there.  Jenny Doussan, in London, added her whoops to ours in New York.  Caroline skype videoed me a scene of Canadians, who had been watching the election on CNN up there, break out into a spontaneous rendition of America the Beautiful.  It was so sweet and touching; an acquaintance of mine was moved to tears, hearing about that.  So many other stories of people crying, shouting, laughing, pumping fists, celebrations into the night in cities all over the country (such as my former hometown of Portland) and even all over the world.  After the speeches I drove Katharine, who’d been watching the elections with us, back to her place, and on the way back, encountered a raucous street party in Harlem; the police had closed off much of 125th Street and were directing traffic.  Strangers looked at me sitting in my car and shouted and pumped their fists in celebration; I honked my horn in return.

By the way: the Oregonian has called the Senate race there for Jeff Merkley; I trust their projection based on what I’ve read, meaning we have at least 57 seats in the new Senate. Quite an election.

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