Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Viva the Mod Squad!

It's a stunning image, isn't it? I was cruising through the New York Times slideshow on Michelle Obama's style while in Europe for the G20 summit, and this one stopped me in my tracks not because of what she's wearing but because of, well, let me count the ways. 

First, there's the hysterical size difference between the Lilliputian royals and the land-striding first couple. Second, there's the difference in complexion and all which that says about the strides we've made in the Unites States. (If the Queen and her consort were black and hip, I bet there'd be less discussion about doing away with the royal family. "What's your name? Who's ya daddy? Is he rich like me?") Then there's the d├ęcor, and the perceptible difference in smile-ability.

It was after I walked away from my morning peruse of the news to water the plants on my balcony that it struck me. It's so simple. 

The Obamas are modern. Queen & Gang, God bless'm, are not. By choice or by accident, they just aren't. Then it hit me that Bush wasn't modern either, and that was one of his major flaws. And McCain, as much as I sort of respect him, didn't strike me in many ways as modern, either. While conversations and debates raged on during the election about conservative v. liberal, capitalist v. socialist, right v. left, Republican v. Democrat, something was missing. We weren't talking about modernity, and we should have been.

Modernity is a great word. Because it's not about leaving the past behind. It's this: "The quality of being current, or of the present," and what could the world possibly need more than leaders who are "of the present"? 

Bush and Co. made me want to flee from "now," because they were essentially driving us back into the Dark Ages anyway. The Obama's, on the other hand, have so quickly restored my sense of happiness about being alive in this day. I rest my case and leave you with one more image. I'll go back to digging in my own modest—but modern—dirt now. —Charlotte

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