janet yang on obama

Got this passed along to me froma friend. Movie producer Janet Yang has some thoughts on voting for Barack Obama for President:
I am exhausted and bleary-eyed from too many nights with too little sleep. My mind can't stop racing and my heartbeat is unusually quickened. I speak to many who are in a similar state. Am I in love? Have I caught a fever?

Actually yes on both fronts, and the culprit of this heightened state of existence is a married man whom I have met only a handful of times. Once, I got to kiss him on the cheek. He is having an effect on so many people like me for a reason -- because for the first time in our lives we care DESPERATELY that he become the next President of the United States of America. His name is Barack Obama and we are convinced, that whatever the outcome of the election, he is already making history.

I ask myself why this man? What are the qualities he embodies that have created a veritable national movement? I try to look at this moment in time with objectivity, and I see two revolutions taking place simultaneously. One is the technological revolution. It is the one that's changed my life because I no longer have to worry about returning phone calls within the proscribed hours of a business day. I can instantaneously and effortlessly "talk" to people all over the world – and if I don't get to them when I need to, I have only myself to blame. It is the revolution that allows people to find the right mate, apartment, object, factoid, to near perfection. It brings like-minded people together, whether one's thing is collecting 18th century antiquities or "furries," exploring the limits of the universe or reveling in the nuance of a birdsong. It is a revolution that encourages people to be extremely particular, evolved, and individualized in their identity. If you can design your profile with your own words and pictures, checking boxes to declare who you are is suddenly terribly unsatisfying. Those boxes just don't fit who we are most of the time.

This revolution has given the individual the tools for unlimited empowerment -- to flourish, express, seek, beckon -- in an uncompromised way.

The second revolution is the spiritual revolution. This revolution has been quietly taking place for decades. It is evidenced by the books that make it to NY Times bestseller lists. Although often termed "new age", this revolution is fueled by notions taken from ancient and Eastern religions and medicine. It recognizes what scientists today now say is "provable" -- that we are comprised not so much of matter as energy. Our very beliefs can affect the "real" world around us. We are all interrelated in this swirl of energy that we call the universe. What one person does affects another.

These two revolutions have something in common – they are truly grass-roots by nature. They are not being dictated from above by government or any institution. Rather, the traditional institutions have some trepidation about their uncontrolled nature and must try hard to stay abreast of their emerging trends. In these revolutions, each person counts. Each person is a hit on a site, or someone newly empowered. There is usually no regard to race, status, geography, party affiliation. These revolutions, in my opinion, together can bring about something akin to our liberation as a human race. By this I mean we can strive to become our most fully realized selves, in all our uniqueness and authenticity, and still recognize that we are irrefutably in this together as one. Rather than trying to "fit in" to the types cranked out by statistical analysis or lifestyles projected from TV shows, as many of us have done in the past, I have a soaring hope that we can now create a world that truly represents who we are.

Barack Obama is so popular, especially amongst youth, because he has an innate understanding of this phenomenon. He recognizes that our separation will be our downfall, that we can no longer afford to compartmentalize our demographics or ignore what's going on on the other side of town or the world. Artists must talk to scientists; young must talk to old; Muslims must talk to Christians; laborers must talk to CEO's, if we are to survive. For the first time ever, we have the tools for reaching virtually everyone. And we have no excuse not to.

We have been living at least this past century overly enamored with the notions of categorization, specialization, division of labor, delineation of race, differences of age, differentiation of gender. We have lost our humanity, and even an innate sense of logic, in the process.

More and more, young people especially don't want to be categorized. They seem to recognize that society should not be dominated by any one group of people. They are better informed, more self-aware and more worldly than we were at their age. I tell my nine-year old that he will be better equipped to solve the problems of the world than I am. These are new problems that we have never faced before – how could anyone trust someone like me, who was foolhardy enough to slather baby oil on my body to further attract the sun's rays, to handle global warming?

I am glad Barack Obama is relatively young. He is, for the record, barely younger than Bill Clinton or JFK when they assumed office. But his refreshingly unencumbered life in politics is a tremendous asset for me. How else can someone be clear-thinking and bring fresh ideas to the mix? How else can you see through the glass we've made murky and clouded to see it still, half-full?

Barack Obama is a person first, and a politician second. In this coming era, it is so important that we look at who are, and not just what we do. He has the substance of character and that unseen power the Chinese call "qi" that serve him well beyond the political arena. He is an authentic human being with an unneat personal history – like so many of us. He has taken his God-given attributes and made the most of them. He has courageously embraced his soul's journey and found his calling in life. He has tapped into the zeitgeist of what undeniably already is. Barack Obama is the one whose hand I want to hold when marching into the uncertain future.
Janet Yang is a film producer of such works as THE JOY LUCK CLUB, THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, ZERO EFFECT, HIGH CRIMES, and the soon to be released DARK MATTER, with Meryl Streep and Chinese star Liu Ye.

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