Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Ready For A Brand New Beat

Harry reckons the time is certainly right for Martha and the Vandellas




And I am immensely cheered to read the following account from today’s Guardian:


I emerged from the subway in central Harlem at half-past midnight to what sounded like the seconds after the whistle at a World Cup final. (One of the many subsidiary victories being celebrated was the death of ice hockey as the country's presiding sports metaphor). On Martin Luther King Boulevard the traffic congealed around thousands of pedestrians, who rapped on car windows to embrace the inhabitants, climbed on to fenders and generally met and exceeded every cliche of mass public joy in existence, including the D-day celebrations and the final scenes from Fame.
Every stereo in the neighbourhood was jacked to full volume; every car bonnet drummed on. People weren't dancing with but at each other, in undulating circles that admitted new members as they flowed up the street and must have looked, from the air, like cell biology. Three women climbed on to the roof of a bus shelter and gyrated outwards to a roar from the crowd, and as I walked east past the Apollo Theatre, a man came towards me engaged in what might just be the prime indicator of emotional overload: banging two saucepans together. ( Read the whole piece here)


9 comments:

Linda Grant said...

And on this one occasion, it didn't matter what you wore just as long as you were there.

Deja Pseu said...

So true. I still find myself periodically tearing up when I hear snippets of his speech or read another story about a voter who braved age or obstacles to get to the poll and "never thought I'd live to see this day." It's an amazing thing.

Toby Wollin said...

My SIL in London woke up my daughter at 4 a.m. to tell her the good news. Supposedly, she did not stop crying for an hour.

Toby Wollin said...

Pseu - on lunch yesterday, I was walking downtown and walked past a guy painting the front of his building(I know the guy - he's rehabbing an old warehouse downtown for arts use). He had a huge boombox on the cement next to him, playing Obama's acceptance speech. When I walked back, the same speech was on, so I'm going to assume he'd recorded that speech on Election Night and was playing it over and over - as much to savor it as for, ahem, the rest of the world to hear. I gave him a big "thumbs up" when I passed.

Arabella said...

A fine article, don't you think?

diane said...

i LOVE her and her dress!

desertwind said...

Linda, here's an account from my brother & his boyfriend in Washington, DC. (YouTube has shakey video of that street corner party.)

"This is just too astounding for words.

Jose and I went with our neighbors to a club at 15th & U Streets. When the announcement came the first reaction was a roar, followed by a lot of hugging and crying -- followed soon thereafter by dancing on the furniture!

The crowd then spilled out onto the street where people were jumping out of their cars, cheering, singing, drumming, embracing....

And to think this was the same street that was torched during the riots in '68. Just too astounding.

Now we'll have to collectively support Obama as he grapples with enormous issues ahead. But I think he has the wisdom and temperament we'll need; and the ability to gather the best minds around him."

Linda Grant said...

I wonder if Obama's election night speech was the first to mention 'gay and straight.'

By the way, Obama improved support in all religious voting groups apart from evangelicals. The Jewish American vote went 78 per cent Obama.

Patty said...

Thank you, Harry, for reminding me of one of the favorite songs of my youth, and one that is so perfect for this moment. Are we ready for a brand new beat? You know we are.