Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Regardless of present and future disappointments, I will always remember this as Edward Kennedy's finest moment. It is not remarked upon enough that without his switch during the primary, Obama would likely not gotten the nod over Clinton.
There is hope and the subsequent reality that reveals hope to always be an ideal of what could happen. The Kennedys embody that problematic yet essential potentiality that defines the sunny side of the 1960s, the flipside of riots, assassinations, cults and coups.
Bizarrely, it is as though the 1980s are dying now, SIMULTANEOUSLY with the 1960s. Did "the 1970s" really exist, as anything other than aftermath or prelude? Surely the 1990s are an equally identityless decade when compared with the nightmare of Bush. The 60s and the 80s are counterpoints to one another, pure ingenuousness and pure falsehood, or as they called it then, simulacrum. Perhaps the 80s cannot exist without this earlier decade that it relentlessly tried to erase from memory. Now both will go together, while the rest of us gaze out on an abyss.
In this sense, the speech above is one of the most moving rebukes of death that I have ever witnessed. For these instants he staves off the demise of an entire era, and shoulders its weight.