Hurricane Sandy struck over two weeks ago. When the storm first hit, I was sitting in the kitchen looking at satellite photos of the gray mass that was descending on the East Coast. Suddenly mother nature was in charge, and one of the iconic American cities was about to be annihilated with water. I made a joke, wishing that the superstorm was hitting the West Coast instead, for love of drier climates. I immediately took that back, however, considering I wouldn’t want my childhood home flooded, or an impossible number of friends without power or transportation. It got me thinking about Apocalypse films (my favorite being Independence Day) and the possibility of natural disasters as the end of the world. I always thought it would be ideal for the Earth (or other cosmic entity) to destroy itself before man got to it. Wouldn’t it be better if California did fall into the ocean, or if the Magnetic Poles of the Earth did switch? It’d be a disaster, yes, but then we wouldn’t have anyone to blame. We would all be on the same human level once again, our petty ideologies dissolved.
A natural disaster happens within one week of the long-awaited Presidential Election? Now that’s what I call a wrench. So the question was, who can act the most Presidential in the next week? Romney and Obama had to forgo the usual amount of last-minute vote pandering in exchange for creating relief efforts. Perhaps in the now infamous quote, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said “I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the Shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.” In a way, Sandy gave us all some relief from the long, bitter campaigning.
The election was a week ago now. Last Tuesday night we were all patiently waiting, watching the energy of the crowd at Obama HQ wane and resurge between the time Romney conceded and Obama took the stage. In those couple hours there was an interesting feeling of suspension. I had been following results mostly via Facebook, with spurts of the live feed online on Fox News and CNN. Not watching the results live on TV took the face off the immediacy of the election fever. When it was nearly 2AM EST and the Obamas took the stage, the disjointed idea of the the candidate took form once again. And Donald Trump made his dissatisfaction known on Twitter. And Proposition Porn passed in California. There were true triumphs for gay rights, woman leaders, and even marijuana. What an exciting wave of human opinion and individual rights being actualized through people and policy! It makes democracy very attractive.
The election may be over, but now the Holidays are coming, gaining speed and strength by the hour. Here comes the American Excess Consumer Machine, sponsored by Target. Save yourselves.