Tell Tale Signs

Haven’t posted in a couple weeks…. Didn’t even bother to write up a “review” of the third Presidential debate. I guess my summary would be, to borrow a popular phrase, “more of the same.” Barack Obama seemed smart, thoughtful, and presidential, while once again John McCain came off angry, unfocused, and desperate.

But now election day is getting really close, and I just cant be bothered to comment on the trivialities like the $150,000 spent on wardrobes for Sarah Palin (how small-town regular fiscally conservative gal of her!) or whatever else is passing as news these days. I’ve fallen in to a bit of a silent hopeful pregnant pause… a calm before the storm. I’m hoping that storm is a landslide victory for Obama, but still cautious that it could be the dark clouds of a looming McCain administration…

I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to Bob Dylan’s excellent new collection Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8, Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006. Some spectacular modern-era stuff on these discs from the legend who could dedicate earlier classics like “Masters of War” to McCain and “The Times They Are Changin’” to Obama.

So as we’re speeding toward the election (or are we creeping?), the economy is crumbling before our eyes and amid our financial worries there’s also very real concerns about voter suppression tactics by the Republicans (examined here) that could help ensure a McCain victory.

In the background I hear Dylan singing “Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape / We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape” and “Take a deep breath, feel like you’re chokin’ / Everything is broken.”

And yet I’m excited at the thought of Obama winning and ushering in a new era of… of…. everything: to live in a country with real, intelligent, and inspiring leadership. I know nothing will get better over night, and that this economy will take a while to bounce back, so it’s a cautious optimism for sure.

In the background Dylan is singing “Most of the time, I’m clear focused all around / Most of the time, I can keep both feet on the ground…”

Of course, these last few weeks and likely the next two, the McCain campaign and all the pundits on The Right have been downright ugly. Trying to scare us into these ridiculous notions that Obama is a Socialist and a terrorist sympathizer. By the way, haven’t we always had a progressive tax code? Has McCain proposed a (non-socialist) flat tax? If so, I must have missed it. And while we’re all distracted by the 15 minutes of fame for Joe the Plumber, the McCain campaign continues to drop hints about who’s “pro-America” and just how radical-liberal-socialist and anti-American Obama is. Meanwhile, they downplay Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama as a “black thing,” claiming in various ways that Powell only endorsed him ‘cuz he’s black. Funny, I dont remember anyone saying Joe Lieberman only endorsed McCain ‘cuz he’s white…

In the background Dylan is singing “Have you seen dignity?”

And yet somehow…. After the 2000 and 2004 elections, after living through the atrocious Bush administration years…. With all the impending economic doom and gloom…. Amid my worrying and skepticism, I’m excited.

In the background Dylan is singing “Things should start to get interesting right about now” and “The air burns and I’m trying to think straight / And I don’t know how much longer I can wait.”

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