Monday, March 29

Change, While Never Easy, is Always Possible

President Barack Obama visited Thursday to give a speech pertaining to the newly signed healthcare bill. I attended, not because I am an avid supporter who acts like John Lennon just walked into the room, but because here in Iowa City, American history was made. Right at my feet. Right in front of my eyes. Why WOULDN'T you go see your country's leader speak? Now I know we aren't famous for unbiased political opinions here on Dyxieland. But what can I say? Dorothy Anne's a feisty little cowgirl. So I want to focus on the importance that March 25, 2010 has in the context of American history, not political beliefs. I've sort of come to the conclusion that my political beliefs are so all over the place that I'm almost off the charts, almost an anarchist who prefers to be labeled as an "individualist," almost still stuck in this apathetic thing our generation has going on, but definitely someone who will never stop advocating for anyone's right to think or feel or say what they want as long as it is not a detrement to their fellow living being.

So with that, Iowa City was buzzing with protesters, with supporters, with press, with secret service (who have been here for 3 weeks without a majority of people knowing and that makes me uncomfortable.), with organizers. It was like Game Day at Iowa. The hotdog stand on Burlington that is generally packed with people in Black and Gold but instead was packed with red and blue and signs, has a banner that read "US Presidents eat 4 free." It normally has the perenneial I-O-W-A written on it. I managed to get a ticket to the speech. One with a red stripe on it. I was volunteering for Roxanne Conlin and am now an official Roxstar. Well, this red stripe got me into the official fenced off area that was about 20 feet (ish) (i dunno) closer to the stage where Obama was speaking. So that was super awesome. The ticket looks like this and is going to either go into my folder of things I want to keep and remember forever, or framed because I think it's just that cool:

It was so damn hot in the fieldhouse. That's one thing I don't ever understand about venues that KNOW there are going to be lots of people. They STILL won't turn the air on. Maybe Iowa's filedhouse isn't airconditioned. It is a possibility, I mean, my house doesn't have A/C and I'm kind of nervous about this summer... But let's be real. Some air would have prevented the man standing about 4 feet away from me from collapsing. Aaaaaaand segue into one of my favorite moments of the speech: Upon noticing this man who fainted, President Obama calmly points it out so the paramedics can help him, says "It happens, he'll be ok" and moves on. I thought this was really classy of him and exactly like the leader of a nation should act, as if he is watching out for his people. This is one of the first presidents that I've experienced in my short life that seems like just a dude. Just a person. I could see him walking down the street and it'd be totally normal. It's a relief that he isn't this weird "othered" politician-man-boy-thing. He's just a dude. With a wife. And some kids.

What I got out of his actual speech was that he recognizes that the bill is imperfect. He took into account some reasons why and the big one was that people (republicans) are unwilling to work with him. But my favorite quote of the whole thing was this: "Change, while never easy, is always possible." WHAT A DAMN GOOD SPEECH WRITER HE HAS. This bill takes America in a historically new direction. And that's exciting. My friend, Southern Gentleman, linked me to this really great chart that sort of explains everything about this new direction. I can't post it here, becuase the quality is pretty shitty, but here's the link to the article from the LA Times. I'm surprised Southern Gentleman came through with this link, I was expecting Dinosaur Comics or something equally as silly and nonsensical.

Anyway. History. I had friends on stage behind Obama. Those pictures will most likely be in history books. I ill know those people. So if your kids ever need any help with research papers or have to do an interview or something, tell them to call Gay Aunt Chatty. Because in my 3 years in Iowa, it's been the place to be. From gay marriage, to the caucus, to Obama. I've totally got the first hand goods. The protesters were also a very interesting part of the whole day. I also knew some of them. While obnoxious, they were fascinating. My favorite was this chick with an Obama shirt on and a sign that said "This Lesbian is for liberty." FASCINATING. And SO contradictory. But hey, you go protest your contradictory political views and entertain me for 5 minutes.

Then my highlight of the day was finding out that after name-dropping Prairie Lights Bookstore (our awesome local, independent bookseller where I've seen the likes of Tom Piazza, Junot Diaz, and Francine Prose and read.) he visited and bought books. I am no where near over that yet.

I think I've got everything covered. Thanks for putting up with my inability to stick to a schedule. I promise to be back on track this week.

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  1. So Pres Obama bought star wars at your bookstore?

  2. He did. As well as the Karl Rove memoir.

  3. I thought he only joked about getting Rove's book.