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Why I Didn’t Watch The Final Obama Speech

January 12, 2017

I wrote this yesterday AM but then my WordPress crashed so I figured God was punishing me but then I remembered that Trump is president so if there is a God and he/she is wasting time on my blog right now we’ve got bigger problems. 

[Photo source: the beautiful Aurelm.com]

I was at dinner last night when President Barak Obama addressed the nation for the final time.

That’s not true. I was in a car on my way to dinner. I technically could have turned on the radio, but I was in an Uber.

That doesn’t matter. If I’d asked my Uber driver – an Ethiopian business school grad who chatted with me about his fascination with American greed – he probably would have said yes. No. Definitely.

But even if he didn’t I could have listened to it on my phone with my headphones.

And if I hadn’t had headphones on me I could have DVRd the speech and listening to it the moment I got home from dinner. It was 8:45pm. I proceeded to stay up for two more hours looking at people’s Instagrams of images of President Barak Obama in response to his speech. I’m partial to the one of him with Michelle on their wedding day, but the gif of Malia wiping a tear last night is pretty powerful.

Not powerful enough to inspire me to watch, though.

You know when you’re little and they give you bad news. First the hammer comes down.

We’re not going to Disneyworld this year. We can’t afford it. So you run to your room screaming and crying because It’s not fair! And Why not!? And You said we were going!! Once you’ve calmed down there’s a knock on your bedroom door. It’s Mom or Dad or – gulp – both. Cue Danner Tanner teaches a lesson music. They’ve come for a sincere and heartfelt talk about why it’s okay that we can’t go to Disney. A. we can’t always have everything we want and B. this gives us the chance to work hard and save money – yes, even you kids – so that Disney is more meaningful next year but – big finish – C. we are going to get through this because we are strong and brave and mature.

The thought of that last part – the talk – makes my skin crawl. It’s worse than the hammer and the crying combined. It’s the part where you have to shut up grow up and be mature and take it. Life’s not fair and that’s a good thing because it makes us stronger.

I don’t remember getting a lot of those talks as a kid. My parents were the kind of parents who – if the potential of no Disney was on the table – went and sat through nine hours of a time-share info session because they were giving out tickets to Disney.

Maybe that’s why I can’t watch the Obama speech. Maybe I don’t have enough experience with early on set disappointment?

I don’t know. I’ve been trying to make it as a writer in Los Angeles for six plus years. I think I’ve made up for any deficit as a kid.

So then why didn’t I watch the speech?

The only real answer I can come up with is I didn’t feel like it.

Yesterday I watched an hour or so of the Jeff Sessions confirmation hearings. It was sad and confusing and disappointing. I pried myself away but wasn’t wildly productive after that bummer.

The day before I spent an hour or so trying to understand this whole Jared Kushner nepotism issue. My Kushner K-hole started after I saw this Tweet:



And then this Tweet in response:



That was Monday – the day after the Golden Globes so I was also huffing and puffing and complaining to my husband about this Tweet:



I went on and one about how what Meryl said is right and true and has nothing to do with government or politics. I raised the issues raised in this brilliant Teen Vogue article about how Donald Trump is Gaslighting America and people like Meghan McCain are helping. I went on this long tangent about how NPR keeps using the term “liberal agenda” like it’s an evil thing. NOT MAKING FUN OF DISABLED PEOPLE IS GOOD, not partisan. MOVIES WITH BLACK PEOPLE ARE GOOD, not disenfranchising. I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

So by last night – Obama speech night – I was tapped out.

It’s my “fault.” Going on Twitter is a mistake; it’s not a place for real discourse. Trying to understand the Jared Kushner of it all is a mistake; the answer is complicated and I’m not going to like it anyway. Watching the Sessions confirmation hearings is a mistake; he has the votes to be confirmed. My phone calls and e-mails and MoveOn.org petitions aren’t changing that – just like they didn’t change the electoral college vote.

Wow. This is getting dark, but let’s just go there.

I didn’t watch the Obama speech because I don’t want to hear him tell me to put my chin up, have hope and get to work.

Deep down I know he’s right. I’ve heard him say it a million times before. I know that he won because of that mentality. I know that someone else with my morals and ideals – another Obama – will win again in the future.

But right now I’m that little girl in my bedroom after a good, long, why why why why cry session. And America’s dad wants to come in to say it’s all going to be okay. And I don’t want to let him in because I don’t want to hear it, because I don’t believe him.

Does that make me the opposite of American? Am I being childish and selfish and immature? Is my attitude how people like Trump stay in power?

I don’t know. I’ve never felt this way before. I have always been the kind of person that watches the speech. Or at least the kind of person that doesn’t watch the speech but comes to the conclusion that she will the next day because that’s how we motivate ourselves to stay on the horse and find new ways to fight.

But guys – I’m really frustrated and sad and confused and I don’t want to watch it.

So I might not watch it.

Am I helping the bad guys win?

Or am I helping myself trying to find some space and distance from it all?

I guess we’ll find out.

For now,


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