Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A certain mania

Obama-mania reached some parts of London today.

Mania is the right word because it is a form of madness and is based on nothing rational or proven. It is simply based on a feeling and a vague hope.

Even in allegedly serious corporations and firms such as the one I work for, an email was received inviting all those interested to attend the auditorium and watch coverage on TV from 4.45pm GMT. Never mind the credit crunch, never mind work, all were welcome and implicitly encouraged to watch the Obama inauguration. I, for the record, did not go and watch it "live".

We would not do that for a change in our own prime minister so I fail to understand why that is necessary for a change in American president. It is of course political correctness, trend following, jumping on the band wagon or whatever you want to call it.

The ludicrous expectations, it goes without saying, will be disappointed. I am strangely neutral to Obama now certain he will not be as good as people say but not certain he will be as bad as "Obama-cynics" such as myself feared.

As with Blair in 1997, the worst aspect of Obama is not the man himself but rather his ludicrous followers talking as if a new world had arrived. The agenda of some of his backers is to be feared but whether they will prevail remains to be seen. The lesson of Blair is that those cheering loudest today will ultimately be most disappointed while those most cynical today will end up pleasantly surprised. I am sure it will not be an exactly the same but it seems to be the way of things that those who cheer loudest at "new dawns" often go to bed the most disappointed !

So am I simply miserable today ? Not at all. We live, as the cliche goes, in interesting times. Records are constantly being broken, corporations are collapsing daily, jobless totals are soaring, house prices crashing and yet I do not see dispondency.

There is an awakening of something positive and a realisation that the age of unabated consumerism and debt addiction is both over and that it is a good thing too.

The suffering of some people, especially those who were poor to start with, is undoubted. Yet I remain positive that things ultimately will get better. That hope is not based on one man thousands of miles away but on the God-given innate resourcefulness of people everywhere.

In terms of "yes we can" my advise would be not to look at the media-fest played out on every news channel swooning over Obama like lovelorn teenagers. Instead I would look in the mirror. That is where hope and recovery will come from.

Those most effected by Obama-mania are already on the road to taste the bitter fruit of disappointment. For the rest of us, let's just get on real life !


Rositta said...

I heard numbers like 150 million or 115 million for today's extravaganza. If our your your prime minister did that the media would rightly crucify them yet in the U.S. it's okay? Stock markets didn't much like the whole thing though, everything tanked today...ciao

Luis said...

You mean in cost ? Amazing.

I think the stock markets more or less rallied today so we are about neutral on the first 2 days- still it is going to take more than words to turn all this around.