Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Gin" & Juice

So...what's up with "gin up" these days?

I like to consider myself up on the parlance of the times. And I am, to quote my dear friend Chris, "a lover of language." But this is a new one for me.

Not only that, ever since Obama gave his "groundbreaking" (really? more on that later) speech on race in America last week, the term has been popping up everywhere. I counted at least three usages in the Inquirer this week.

Am I an old fart? Or just dumb? ("Honey...we're both," I can already hear my hubby sighing.) Obama just too trendy and relevant for me?

Okay, so back to good ol' Barry. I tend to stay away from politics in my blogs, because there's nothing I hate worse than a half-informed person on a self-indulgent rant. So I'll say this. I REALLY, really like him. I think he's genuinely positive, kind, optimistic, fair-minded. I really enjoy the fact that he's steered clear of the mudslinging. So he had a crazy pastor. (As a Catholic, all I can do is wryly sympathize.) I'm sure he's a good senator. I'm sure someday he could make a terrific president. His daughters are adorable. Michelle is class personified. But I'm a wee wary of how blindly people are jumping on his lil' choo-choo of "change". I've asked several devoted followers (in a completely innocent, "I really honestly want to know, I'm not baiting you" way) what exactly they like about him, and all I get are blissful sighs and glassy-eyed stares off to the distance and lots of talk about "change" and "future." Okay, sweet. Sign me up. But when pressed to name his acconplishments as senator, no one can give a straight-up list. So...what IS he all about, really?

There's a radio ad down here right now, targeted directly to the young 'uns, about how "he gets what our generation is all about." Okay, cool! Um...what is it that he gets? I've watched the debates, I read "Dreams of My Father" (okay, well, most of it), I read his speech (which was really beautiful, and timely, and necessary...but was there a new school of thought voiced that I missed? I've been having the same conversation with people for years.)

Fret not. I finally registered as a Democrat this year (after 12 happy but frustrating years an Independent). I voted for Kerry, whose name I still can't say without shrugging indifferently. And come April 22, I will most definitely be voting for Obama and his mission of change. I just want to be assured of what that change will be.