Category Archives: obaaaama

Bad Motherfucka

“Go in that bag and find my wallet. It’s the one that says ‘Bad Muthafucka’ on it.”

Pulp Fiction

From whiplash (Osama’s dead!) to backlash (How dare you celebrate?), I counted about 30 seconds. It’s a bit exhausting. Sure, the jingoistic “America, fuck yeah!” nonsense is annoying, but so is people being pious about how all murder is always bad. I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t support the death penalty. That doesn’t mean I’m going to pause and mourn the end of a killer.

Maybe I’ve just been watching too many action movies, or maybe it’s all the Game of Thrones I’ve been reading (I’m on Book 3 and I’ve counted about 2,300 corpses and 657 rapes). Maybe I’m desensitized.  Or maybe, as the Onion puts it:

I’m going to devote my energy to wondering how this will affect Barry O, newly President Bad Motherfucka.

Blue state boyfriend Nate Silver addresses the issue here.

Seems to me it helps Obama that Osama wasn’t captured and brought to trial: that helps him break out of the detached intellectual stereotype. I mean, even Rush Limbaugh took five seconds off today from his usual habit offending all decent people to say, “Thank God for President Obama.”

This makes me think I’m not alone in admiring the way Obama made this happen. There was good intelligence and more good intelligence; there was thinking and planning and THEN targeted, specific, successful action. If our wars had been considered along those lines, they would be going a hell of a lot better than they are now — or, even better, they would never have been embarked on at all.

My brother points out that, in an ideal world, perhaps this raid would have happened in October 2012. You know Karl Rove would have arranged that if he could. But one can’t have everything.

{Hilarious gifs and images compiled by the folks at Ranker.}

so much to do!

My Busy and Important unemployed life demanded that I buy a planner for the first time. So far I have lots of exercise classes written in there, which is a great first step!

I also made an elaborate color-coded Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the 63 (and counting) agents to whom I have sent my proto-classic manuscript. I should make another to keep track of the jobs I have applied to, but that would cross the line into depressing. At least the agents have been encouraging, even the ones who pass. One fellow even asked me to keep in touch and let him know what eventually happened because it was such a close call.

I’ll tell you what’s eventually going to happen: I’m going to get to meet Barack Obama. Yeah, that’s right. Somehow I will get from here — in pajamas in an armchair with my laptop — to a handshake with our heartthrob president and it will be because some agent takes a chance on my book. (Maybe if I write that in my planner for sometime in the future, it will happen. That’s the Secret all over, right?)

Essentially I’m trying to stay active and focused. The big project at the moment is the mortgage, because if we can actually get the pre-approval and make a bid on the apartment we want, that will address one leg of 2009’s Triathlon of Major Problems. These are, in case you’re just joining us, that I

1) got laid off
2) am soon to be homeless
3) heard my Dad has cancer again

Is “problems” too strong a word? Should I say “challenges”? Someone who knows the Secret let me know, please.

1) is the hardest to fix, as I feel like I’m competing with every English/Film/Humanities major in New York City for every open position. But the unemployment checks help and I’m not in danger of insolvency soon.

2) could turn out to be a good example of falling up, if we do manage to get a loan and buy this one guy’s amazing Cobble Hill apartment for appallingly little money (by New York standards). Regardless, though, I’m going to sow the fields with salt before we leave. I can’t believe we planted a garden in our backyard and won’t get to stay here to see it bear fruit come summer.

3) is not as dire as it seemed initially, thank god. I’ve now been to and from Washington twice to see him (well, and to see C.J. Roberts tussle with Obama, wish my grandma a happy 96th birthday, and meet my brother’s new 24-year-old acupuncturist Californian girlfriend). Everyone’s feeling more optimistic now that there is a treatment plan in place for him. This time last year, he was just getting over being chemo’d and radiated; now he gets to do it all over again, after which he gets to be skillfully disemboweled for the second time. Oh, the wonders — and limitations — of modern medicine.

My February horoscope looks good, though!:

The year 2008 seems to have been a little frustrating for you, but planets gathering in your eighth house will hasten your transition into your new life phase. … On the agenda will be the basic questions: What will make me happy? How can I go about creating real, lasting changes – ones I will genuinely want – that will be in place for years to come? Certainly you want stability, so that’s what will be on your list of questions to answer, too.

So true. I’m very open to suggestion, friends.

Go Inaug Yourself

While I tried to jet down to DC, my queer Brooklyn posse, which was already in the city, scoured websites and schedules and even called the Secret Service in order to plot our strategy. Around 11:00 pm, they informed me of the plan and though I yelped in protest, I gave in. So it was that after three hours sleep, I got up and got ready to leave at the house at 4 AM and met them inside the appointed Metro station. Even at that hour, Tenleytown/AU was thronged by hopped-up youngsters, many of them looking like they hadn’t bothered going to bed at all. The first train that came by was too crowded to board — and that was the first warning signal of what this crazy, historic, overfull day would be like.

The second signal came at the final station, where enough people to fill a football stadium stood paralyzed by the Metro’s insistence on swiping cards again to exit. The roar of the standstill grew until some frightened Metro employee finally made an executive decision and threw open the turnstiles so that the impassioned hordes could pour through. This was 5 AM.

We made it to the southern part of the mall where the ticketless were allowed to congregate, and after doing a lap to consider vantage points we committed to a location. Only then did we realize several key things:

  1. It was fucking freezing.
  2. We had almost a whole workday’s length of time to kill
  3. No one had thought to bring a blanket

We took turns sitting on the one stool we had with us and taking walks in vain attempts to keep our feet from petrifying. On one of my walks, I sought refuge in a port-a-potty, hoping it would be a little warmer. Finally, with the memory of the Time-Traveler’s Wife vividly in mind, I decided drastic action must be taken, and I begged temporary shelter from a CNN man with his own trailer.

Kind, gentle man, he let Reb W. and me both into his lair which smelled like hot chocolate and which informed us, via several screens, that it was ten degrees outside. “Stay here,” he said, leaving us alone to watch one TV count down the hours til the proceedings (4:40 to go …) until he returning bearing hand and foot warmers. We blessed him and thanked him as we bowed our way out the door. For the first time in 2009, my boldness had won Reb W.’s respect.

Back with the posse, we danced to keep warm, played games for distraction, took pictures of the ever-expanding mass of people behind us, and watched the sun rise over the capitol. Never have I been so grateful to see that busy old fool, unruly sun, which almost immediately began to help us thaw. It wasn’t doing the job fast enough so my friends ended up sacrificing belly warmth to tuck each other’s bare feet under their shirts.

A few yards away from our camp I spotted John Oliver reporting live from the field for the Daily Show and snapped a few pictures. I have a huge TV crush on John Oliver but in person he looked depressingly normal, so I decided not to throw myself at him, even though I’ll bet he too had a warm trailer that smelled like hot chocolate and could have given my feet a hot oil massage to bring them back to life.

After what felt like the entirety of Bush’s presidency had flashed before our eyes again, the festivities began. The objectionable Rick Warren made a largely unobjectionable speech, forgoing any mention of hot topics like the gays. I had to laugh when he recited the “sh’ma” in English and said Jesus’s name in Hebrew. I guess that’s multiculturalism for you?

We cheered for everyone related to the Obamas and glared at folks who rudely booed Bush and his henchman Cheney, looking more diabolical than ever in a wheelchair. The lady behind me put it best as she chided the crowd: “People! What would Obama do?”

We shrieked when John Roberts fucked up the oath, laughed every time the booming announcer voice said “You may now be seated,” and swayed in disbelief when the smart, calm, resolute, handsome, strong, thoughtful man I have every faith in came forward at last to assure us, over eighteen and a half minutes, that our years of wandering through the desert were over. The text was thrilling enough but the subtext was even better: It’s all going to be okay. This is for real now. It’s all going to be okay.

And then Bishop Lowry, possibly hopped up himself, had us all shouting Amen! to his fervent prayer for a time when “black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.” That’s my kind of God talk.

Later, after the festivities finally ended around 12:30, we realized the city had left the millions of us on the mall no way to get home. The parade route had blocked off half of downtown, and the subway entrances were so swamped they looked like temples directly before stampedes. We holed up on the third floor of the Hirschorn, leaning on each other for strength, as we tried to wait out the masses. But, as it turned out, that was a bit like trying to wait for a bathtub full of molasses to drain through a narrow hole.

Despite the fact that we’d been up (and literally up on our feet) since the wee hours, battling soreness, sleepiness, and the beginnings of hypothermia, we decided our only option was to walk, and walk we did, around the police checkpoints and blocked off streets, through winter-savaged gardens and on curbs, over four miles, and some of it at the pace of molasses draining from the bathtub because we got caught up with the masses and could only walk as fast as the cops and traffic would let us. By the time I made it to Dupont Circle where my parents were, I decided I would never venture outside again.

But it was absolutely worth it.


Governor Blaggo, you are as transparently, hilariously, on-the-record corrupt as a James Bond villain. Thank God Obama’s staff heard his offer — cash in exchange for appointing their preferred person, apparently Valerie Jarret, to Obama’s senate seat — and told Blaggo where he could stuff the seat, if it would fit. This led, by the way, to a tirade in which Blaggo called the president-elect a “motherfucker.” AND rumor has it that Obama’s dreamy, morally-upright people were the ones who tipped off studly prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Yes! See, these are the kind of glad tidings that joyous-up an otherwise dreary holiday season.

Of course, it’s easy for Obama to turn his nose up at a briefcase full of cash. He’s like the only person in America with a positive balance in his checking account. (And yet somehow I still get emails begging me to help defray Hillary’s expenses.)

The other north star in these dark skies is, of course, top ten lists and Culture Awards. I haven’t seen much that’s knocked me over this year besides Milk and Wall-E, though I’m excited about Rachel Getting Married, the Reader (because I am gay for Kate Winslet), and Doubt (because I am also gay for Kate Winslet-in-training Amy Adams).

Luckily I’ve had great TV to fill the void, in the form of 30 Rock, the Wire (which I watched in its entirety this year), and especially Mad Men. How I Met Your Mother, which has taken over lunchtimes at my office, has helped my brain take a much-needed break every workday for a while now. Thanks, Barney!

Mr. Ben and I also decided to try to shift the holidays from Bearable to Awesome by leaving civilization over the long Christmas weekend. New Orleans, we decided, was a little far and a little pricey — but you know what’s neither of those things? MONTAUK. An off-season, deserted winter paradise where they basically throw classy hotel rooms at you and stand in line to rub your feet when you’re done wandering around empty, windy beaches. Plus we’ve never gone anywhere together just the two of us, except for that time we tried to have a honeymoon in the least romantic country on earth during typhoon season.