Have a good day on Tuesday. Take the day off. Have a BBQ and some beers. Sushi and saki. Oysters and champagne. Whatever floats your boat. It’s going to be celebration time.
For the French, too. I’ve attached a half-page ad that appeared in the Sunday/Monday edition of Le Monde, 1-2 Nov 2008. “GO OBAMA!” is pretty clear. The “Help yourself and heaven will help you” (or “God helps those who help themselves”) message is a bit more complex, especially when added to this image. I think it speaks largely to French hopes. That is, Obama is a black American who represents great self accomplishment, and because of this he occupies a kind of moral and social high ground; in return, society and morality is supporting him. So this is really an image by the French and for the French — the hope that this young black man, balancing along the edge of his high rise banlieu apartment building, can “help himself” and thus “receive help” (in that order, not the other way around). Viewed this way, the French support of Obama is an effort by the French to come to grips with their own racial and social problems. I suppose the French hope that the “self help” message that’s common in American ideology might apply here, too (?)…
However you want to look at it, the French are pretty uniformly pro-Obama and anti-McCain. There’s a slightly irreverent news program every evening on Canal+ called “Le Grand Journal”. This week, they are broadcasting live from New York City. Tonight’s guests started with Dominique de Villepin (the former French Foreign Minister who condemned Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003), Roger Cohen (a pro-Obama NY Times columnist who spoke “impeccable” French, as they say), and Ari Fleischer (who didn’t, and had to play the role of defending Bush, McCain, and Palin — and then admitted that Obama is going to win on Tuesday!). Everyone was an Obama supporter; McCain was seen as a so-what old man; Palin was ridiculed. After the program break, the show resumed with a pretty wacky DJ named Moby and Obama Girl as the featured guests (what exactly were they supposed to represent?). Then there was a short series of interviews with people on the streets of New York, asking them who looks better on the beach in a swimsuit, Villepin or Obama? (Villepin does.) The French commentators enjoyed tossing in the words “fuck” and “fuck you” several times, too, adding “these are words you’re not allowed to say on American TV!”
Well, unless you’re Chase Utley.
But if Obama manages to win tomorrow night, I see no reason why the airwaves should not be filled with one joyous, deep-cleansing fuck-word after another.