It was a great speech—and did a stellar job of everything it should have done. It outlined policy specifically enough to persuade the doubters without getting tediously pedantic. It aggressively challenged McCain and outlined many of their differences without getting nasty. It celebrated the moment but stayed firmly on the goal. It nodded to the moment of the occasion without being overwhelmed by it.
But nobody but a few politicos will talk about this speech thirty years from now. There’s no question this is a historic occasion, but Obama isn’t running for a sidebar in American history books. He’s running for the Presidency. He is candidacy is groundbreaking, but he is not running as a groundbreaker. He is running as the best candidate America has seen in a generation. This speech isn’t the pinnacle of a political career. It is a speech to outline a set of policies and win an election. It’s important—but it’s not the rhetorical gem your grandchildren will memorize in fifth grade.
They will memorize the one given after the election, the one given to inspire a country with an eye toward history. They will memorize Obama’s inaugural address.
“The doors open again. You step onto the train. The car is full of Hasidim from Brooklyn… You take a seat beside one of them. He is reading from his Talmud, running his finger across the page. The strange script is similar to the graffiti signatures all over the surfaces of the subway car, but the man does not look up at the graffiti, nor does he try to steal a peek at the headlines of your Post. This man has a God and a History, a Community. He has a perfect economy of belief in which pain and loss are explained in terms of a transcendental balance sheet, in which everything works out in the end and death is not really death. Wearing black wool all summer must seem like a small price to pay. He believes he is one of God’s chosen, whereas you feel like an integer in a random series of numbers. Still, what a fucking haircut.”—Jay McInerney
“During the fifteen years I’ve been sexually active (with some pretty long dry spells in between), I’ve been in monogamous relationships, been single, had one-night stands, threesomes, and hookups. I’ve slept with people I loved, and people who I’d just met. Some trysts were amazing, some were forgettable. But isn’t that the same with everything we do?”
I feel like I should weigh in on this, but I also feel like I’ve missed my window because I was on a plane and everyone is back to fucking sticking up for Tucker Max and celebrating/denouncing feminism again. But all I have to say is this: I spent a whole fucking year writing about this shit exactly, and how women should reclaim the word slut and “own” the notches in her bedposts, while dudes should man the fuck up and not look at a “promiscuous” woman as dirty or spoiled or somehow unfit for a fucking relationship based on the number of different peens that have guest-starred in her orifices over the years/months/weekend. BUT GUESS WHAT? I found out real quick that I can’t change the world or even the views of a college campus, and your Tumblr probs can’t, either.
If a dude is so motherfucking insecure that he can’t motherfucking handle the prospect of some other dude rocking a lady’s world before he came bounding into her life, dick swingin’ and all, then he’s got more shit going wrong for him than just his cuntiness and I would highly, highly recommend he work it out before he goes dipping his stick anywhere else.
And while I’ll admit that some chicks throw their numbers in your face all the time and wear that shit like a badge of honor, I will say this: how many dudes we’ve slept with is, really, no more your business than how many different intact pieces of food you were able to identify in your poo this morning is ours.
Oh, and this wasn’t a personal attack on anyone who reblogged this or whatever. :) Kisses to all. Let’s talk about periods.
Dear Jenna, you are my hero for the rest of the week.