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The Revolution WILL be on YouTube

June 1, 2008

So, I had heard about this, and I liked what I heard. And then, finally, in the way of all things searchable, I looked it up. I started out looking for text, but the first thing returned by the search engine was this video on youtube. I watched, quietly, sneakily, as though I was doing something embarrassing. I felt as though I should have seen this years ago, as though I was telling the whole world how uneducated I was in matters of culture and counterculture. Then I watched it again. And again. I called my boyfriend over, and I made him watch it. And then I said something which should not be taken lightly when coming from an English major: “I think that this is the most powerful piece of spoken word that I’ve ever heard.”


After I watched the video, I felt unbearably disappointed. I wanted to be part of the revolution. I wanted to know the men (and women) behind the revolution. I wanted to BE the revolution. I didn’t even care what the revolution was, as long as it was something that bettered the world. (I don’t want to end up in a revolution that results in hot dogs being banned or something ridiculous like that.)

After this, I started thinking about the political situation around me. Am I missing out on the revolutionaries? Is there some great force of change out there? OH! Wait! There IS! And it’s Barack Obama. . . I mean, John Edwards . . . I mean, Hillary Clinton. . . you get the picture. All of the candidates in this presidential race (or at least all of the Democrats, I am not as informed about the Republicans as I should be)have claimed that they are “agents for change.” The change that they talk about, I think, is minuscule compared to “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

And I begin to wonder whether I’m just drawn to charisma, to counterculture. My favorite class in college has been a class on sixties literature. We read “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” and “Steal This Book,” among others. I was enthralled. I still am. For a recent costume party, I went dressed as a “Revolutionette” in combat boots. So maybe my comments should be disregarded as those of a hippie-wannabee. But maybe not. Indulge me for a second. Scroll back up to that video I posted. Click play again. Listen carefully. Really LISTEN. Does your heart swell just a little? Does your pulse race? Do you have the urge to DO something, anything, as long as you are DOING something? I did.

What does that mean about what I want for this country, and for the world?  What does that mean about my vote for the upcoming presidential election? I genuinely like John McCain, and I trust him, except when it comes to the war in Iraq. I can’t stand Hillary Clinton, even though I would be thrilled to see a woman become President, and even though as a kid I was awed by “Bill”, as I have always called him. I just don’t trust Hillary. Barack Obama . . . at first, I thought he seemed two-dimensional. I didn’t want to like him. He seemed like a puppet to me. But as time has gone by, I see his charisma, and his desire for change, and my hopes have begun to revive. Maybe Barack Obama is what we need to make changes. Maybe he is what we need to be proud of our country. Maybe Barack Obama is the Revolution. Maybe he isn’t. Maybe he’s the wrong kind of revolution.

My candidate was initially Richardson. I chose him on my own, after considering all of the information and all of the candidates. It was the first time that I had done such a thing. Imagine my gratification when, on the last day of my first politics class, my professor announced that he, too, backed Richardson. So, going into the Democratic Convention, going into the election in November, I’m thinking of the Revolution and I’m voting Obama. 

Assuming, of course, that he gets the nomination. I don’t see how he can’t, but Hillary seems pretty damned sure that he won’t. Also, I know for a fact that my grandmother is praying that he won’t. I’m not sure how “in” she is with God. But there’s my vote. There’s my reasoning.

Convinced, anyone?




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