Historic first now inevitable

One of these people is absolutely, positively going to be in office come next January.

One of these people is absolutely, positively going to be in office come next January.

I was initially nonplussed when I heard the news early this morning that John McCain had selected Sarah Palin (who?) as his running mate. I know a lot more about her now than I did twelve hours ago, but nothing that’s been added to my brain in that time span has done anything to change my opinion that this was a move that was at best cynical, at worst a sign of utter desperation (and/or utter cluelessness).

Along the way the geeky but not terribly profound thought occurred to me that (as I’ve always liked to think anyway) the Democrats are like Apple in this election, and the Republicans like Microsoft. Apple delivers true innovation while Microsoft plays copycat and catch-up. But despite offering what the people really want and need, Apple usually loses to Microsoft and whatever appeal it offers. (Really, I don’t know. Why do people like Microsoft? And why do they think the Republicans represent their interests? Unless they count themselves among the select group of Americans who think people making $4,999,999 a year aren’t rich and are even more self-centered than that would suggest.)

But then another thought occurred to me. A non-partisan thought (for once). History is going to be made in this election. History has already been made of course, but nominating someone who’s not an old white guy is not so new (1984, anyone?). Having someone who’s either non-white or non-male (or both, but Oprah’s not running this year, and I don’t mean that to be as glib as it sounds) actually win election to either office, president or vice president, is something that’s never even been close to happening before (again, 1984?). But it is definitely going to happen this year. There will be an African-American president. Or there will be a woman vice president. One of the two of these things absolutely is going to happen this year.

Wow. Of course I have a preference. And I suspect that accusations of racism and/or sexism are going to be flying for the next couple of months. But in the end, history is going to change, and we don’t even need a flux capacitor to do it.

Pure ’80s goodness (what ’80s goodness?)

Despite the fact that it was the decade of my youth, for which I am often nostalgic, I don’t often look back on the ’80s decade itself with a great deal of fondness. Sure, there was Pac-Man, The Breakfast Club, Duran Duran, various other things in popular culture that I liked. But that’s offset with Ronald Reagan (no I do not consider his presidency a positive, and I could catalog the ways if I cared to, but I don’t), hair bands, this version of Pac-Man, hideous fashion (yes, it was a reaction to the ’70s and its own hideousness, but as bad as it was, ’70s fashion never produced the likes of these fashion nightmares), etc. etc.

And yet, thanks once again to the brilliant musical programming of MPR’s The Current, I’ve become drawn to the unabashed nostalgia for that dark decade served up dripping in digital synth excess courtesy of M83‘s latest album, Saturdays = Youth. After contemplating it for weeks, I finally bought the album on Amazon MP3 this morning, and have been listening to it nonstop (currently on my fourth time through).