funk & the savage silence

November 6th, 2012 | No comments yet

You couldn’t help feel the savage atmosphere at Romney’s HQ last night. Somehow, all that money, hate, praying, and underhanded dealings from a few “faulty” voting machines to voter deregistration and intimidation hadn’t done their magic: somehow, Obama had swung some other States they couldn’t sneak new upgrades into, and Ohio didn’t work out as planned.

It was ugly in there. Everyone was mulling about, a few half lost, the in-the-know already fled, save for those making last minute, backroom deals, backpatting in the far rear of that small, star-lookin’ chambers…

Now, over at Obama HQ, it was like some where’s-the-booze highschool party with the lights on, but shit, they were playing some good funk music: Gapp Band, Zapp & Roger, Betty Wright, Stevie Wonder, some seriously tight classics. (According to this, it was wholly dicated by the Obama campaign; playlist also included: U2, Florence and the Machine, Aretha Franklin, No Doubt, Al Green, James Taylor, Electric Light Orchestra, among others).

See, Obama has been ignoring hip-hop this entire time around: in 2008, he was all over hip-hop, featuring the genre in his official playlist. But not this year: his final week or so was spent with both Hurricane Sandy and Bruce Springsteen, and not a hip-hop track to be found on the Presidential iPod. Nor has Obama invited a single hip-hop artist to perform in the East Room of the White House in 4 years. I hope that changes. Let’s get Kool Keith over for dinner.

But the victory party — another story entirely. If not hip-hop, then its precursors: funk, soul, Motown. Track after track it was a slow jam of Afrofunk proportions (apparently thanks to Texas’ Dj Mel). I didn’t catch Parliament, or anything outrageous, but shit, it was deep at points. And with conviction. So here’s the pop culture reading: does this not signal that the real Obama is stepping out? That with another 4 we’re going to see an Obama willing to show both a more compassionate, open side to his character, less dryly strategic, as he was this election, and more outgoing, more willing to reveal all that he is?

Because those sane among us know what we’d like to see: an Obama willing to pick up the gloves and punch-out theocracy; an Obama who is willing to push the US towards becoming the social democracy it could be; an Obama who will address climate change with practical though immediate measures; an Obama who will move on the offensive so the centrist-bankers-but-somewhat-centre-left can drag this bloated, aging behemoth of a country into the 21st century, even if half of its citizens appear to want to return it to the 18th?

We’ll see.

:: 10:47 PM UPDATE (PST) ::

“The best is yet to come,” says Obama: there it is, the message. The Real Obama, he be coming out? And then, in regards to the long lines at the polling stations: “we’ll have to do something about that.” The crowd: Yes. More. Of. That.

:: 10:54 PM :: Nod at climate change. Somewhat belated response, but solid. And it continues: all the promises undelivered (save for less dependence on foreign oil; domestic oil production has significantly increased the past few years, I believe to about 55%; the US now produces 83% of its own energy, up from 73.9% in 2008 — according to Bloomberg News, Oct. 15th 2012 issue, p. 43, stats from U.S. Energy Information Admin, American Petroleum Institute, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meaning the GOP is full of shit on this issue, btw.).

::11:05 PM ON TWITTER. ::: Richard Florida: “Real passion. this is a different Obama.”

Indeed. It be FUNKY OBAMA. Bring on the mothership connection.

More Springsteen, but whatever.



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