Monthly Archives: November 2008


The buzzing sound in my head increased to the pitch of a circular saw by 10:00 A:M so I had to release some pressure. I went downtown and voted.

I walked through downtown Tallahassee past the capitol where I stood screaming my head off in 2000. I remember looking at the crowd at the Recount rally and noticing that we were not a bunch of citizens united, we were a variety of issue-advocacy groups. I felt separate and apart.

I don’t feel like that now.

I walked out of the court house next to a guy who looked like Lil Wayne and we were both putting our stickers on our shirts. He looked at me and shrugged, ” Well, I guess we find out tomorrow whatever happens.” I pulled out my Obama/Biden button and shook it saying, “I hope to God this happens!” all the while foaming at the mouth with my eyes rolled back in my head.

He broke into a platinum grin and we terrorist-fist-bumped. He said he wished he had a button so of course I gave it to him and we parted. I saw him walking as I drove out of down town and he was sporting his button and his I voted sticker and striding like he was 10 feet tall and bulletproof-which he surely was.

A plane towed a picture of a 10 week old abortion through the skies encouraging you to vote for John McCain. Another plane towed an Obama/Biden banner without any pictures that I could see. Voting helped, but a bad case of the crazies was setting in again.

Now things have come down to what I always knew they would-screaming in the front yard for change in this country. Inkjet, whom you know by other names around here- supplied the drop cloth and I got the spray paint. My brother, code-named Tres joined the fun then we spent a couple hours on the corner with Lil Juan Wayne, pictured above.

Around 700 people honked, cheered, and raised fists, peace signs, and # 1’s while about 10 flipped us off exhibiting some of their fine classy ways.

One man hollered, “You people are out of your Goddamned minds!” to which I would respond, “Oh yes sir, we are most definitely that.”

All are welcome to come by and holler tomorrow. It feels really, really, good.


Family Values

Do it for the families lost in Hurricane Katrina, still lost and scattered like puzzle pieces across the nation.
Do it for the families who need their mothers and brothers home from Iraq.

Do it for the same sex families that carry their share of the load and get shit on for their efforts.

Do it for anyone who has a funny name who got picked on in school.

Do it for Evolution.

Do it for Choice.

Do it for the Age of Reason.

Do it for Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and using torture in our name.

Help Halliburton cash their final check of our money.

Do it to say fuck you to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and everything they stand for and the hobby horses they rode in on.


Give him the @#!% ball

Unity, hope must conquer division, hate
The killers would have worn top hats. Having already murdered 102 African Americans, 14 by beheading, they would have driven at top speed toward Barack Obama, leaning from the windows of their vehicle, dressed in top hats and white tuxedoes, firing guns.

That was the plan, according to law enforcement officials who disrupted it a few days ago. Now the alleged conspirators — white supremacists Paul Schlesselman, 18, and Daniel Cowart, 20 — are in federal custody, an appropriately bizarre coda for the presidential campaign of 2008.

I mean, it’s fitting, isn’t it, that the campaign end with yet another appeal to fear, yet another portrayal of the Illinois senator as Not One of Us? It makes sense, after two years of viral e-mails, blog postings, talk radio rants and Fox News reports depicting Obama as a Communist socialist radical Christian secret Muslim black militant-marrying atheist-raised terrorist fist-bumping America-hating Manchurian candidate trained to subvert the United States from within.

Well, if that’s what some folks think he is, let me tell you what I hope he is.

I will preface with a line from Gil Scott-Heron. The singer and poet used to say that people often asked him what he thought of the 1960s. His reply: I personally think the ’60s are over.

Me, I’m not so sure. Indeed, when I consider the four presidential campaigns preceeding this one, it’s hard not to regard them as an extended debate over that era. Those campaigns, after all, turned largely on questions of drug use, feminism, Vietnam, draft dodging, anti-war protests and other issues Richard Nixon or Hubert Humphrey would have found instantly recognizable.

I’m reminded how a young man told me a few years ago that he loathed Bill Clinton because the former president was — and I quote — ”a hippie.” I was floored. Love Clinton or loathe him, that is, putting it mildly, an unlikely description of a man who spent the hippie era as a Rhodes Scholar and Yale University student of law.

But it makes sense if you buy the premise that we have been re-litigating the ’60s here, seeking a balance of values between the freedom some of us won and the ”good old days” others of us lost, between the whispered promise of change and the shouted, strident threat.

Indeed, if you buy the premise, then John McCain’s recent attempts to conflate Obama with William Ayers are hardly surprising.

Whatever you think of the ’60s, though, one thing is undeniable: They tore us apart, ripped American society to pieces and threw those pieces in the air so they rained down like confetti, falling into new configurations, nothing where it used to be. It was an angry time, those who found stability — identity — in the old configurations fighting those intoxicated by the possibilities of the new.

Which is why some regarded the presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy with such ineffable hope. His was a promise to reconcile the shredded pieces, to make them — make us — whole again. Then he walked through that hotel kitchen, and we lost everything that might have been.

Forty years later, we are still angry, still sifting through confetti pieces, trying to find a way to make them whole. And here comes Barack Obama wanting to be president.

He has an economic plan, sure. He has a healthcare plan, yes. He has a promise to end the war in Iraq, fine.

Those are important matters, certainly. But when I look at this guy and reflect on the hate I see in my country, the lack of purpose I see in my country, the division and fear I see in my country, those concerns feel distinctly secondary.

You know what I hope Barack Obama is? I hope he is reconciliation — the end of the 1960s at long last. And the beginning of something new.

Leonard Pitts- Miami Herald