Frankly, this doesn't even have to do with President Obama himself. (That's a separate issue.) It's the "celebrating a new era" that really is the old era for most of us, just with fancier dressing. Case in point is a YouTube video about how Obama is ushering in a "new era" of personal responsibility. I won't post the YouTube link because I refuse to submit anyone to such schmaltzy feel-good celebrity back-patting. Essentially, you have about 15 seconds of flashy OBAMA hype followed by a bunch of celebrities smiling as they pledge to do the kind of things ordinary people have been doing for ages:
* be a good mother (WHAT was she before?)
* help feed the poor (been doing that for years myself--is this a new idea?)
* find a cure of Alheimers (with her theater degree?)
* I pledge to CONTINUE my work for Unicef (so she's already been doing something good, but now that Obama is President, it's special?)
* consider themselves a American and not an African-American (This one makes me especially furious because its what we ALL should have been doing for ages.)
What is boils down to is "I pledge to take part in propagandizing responsible behavior as as something newly inspired by the Obama administration."
It's along the lines of all those commercials of movie stars who were nowhere near New York nor had family there talking about how 9-11 has traumatized them and changed their lives. By airing their personal pain, they trivialize the people who were experiencing real pain--and not just in the US. In the same way, this "celebrate Obama" video trivializes the millions of ordinary citizens who don't pledge but have actually been good parents, worked for charities, spent years of studying in order to become the kind of people who can find a cure for Alzheimer's, continue working for a charity (big or small) without advertising themselves, and have not bought into the need to separate themselves from our joint heritage by making themselves a sub-section of the American people.
Are we really such a spoiled brat people that we need to wear our tragedies like badges of honor and our responsibilities like a medal?
I wish I had the resources to make a counter video. I'd show my friend, living alone in Alaska with six kids while her husband is deployed to Korea. There's a good mom.
I'd show people actually working in the soup kitchens and doing food drives like they have for years. They are feeding the poor. I'd show the PhD who can't afford a nice car because he's still paying off student loans while he does post-doc work in neurology. He's our best hope to find a cure for Alzheimer's.
And I'd post this guy. Here's someone who has been looking past his color to look at the issues not because it's the new "cool." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acQluy7nymw&feature=channel
One more thing: this is an interesting take on the "difference" between what Bush and Obama say. Skip the sarcasm in the beginning but look at the clips from their speeches: http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=216538&title=changefest-09-obamas-inaugural
Guess what? Some things never change--they just want you to believe they have.