WOW syndrome and our distractions

in my constant quest to be better at my profession (and procrastinate in the morning while drinking my coffee) i came upon an article recently in the globe about a common new anxiety syndrome, dubbed "WOW syndrome" or Waiting for Obama to Win. apparently a constellation of symptoms is sweeping the westernized world... they include obsessive checking of polls, reading around the election, fretting about the dirty tricks the republican party has up their sleeve and trying really hard not to think about those gun toting paramilitary wackos in montana and what they might currently be up to. this is most likely due to a virus leaping oceans with the aid of international airlines, but could possibly be secondary to a constellation of memes hopping their way through various conciousnesses by means of electronic signals transmitted by the intersuperhyperweb and/or television broadcasts and/or (and most dangerously) oscillations in air pressure, forming waves that impact on the tympanic membranes of unsuspecting citizens, which then send electrical signals DIRECTLY INTO their auditory cortexes.

both kylie and i seem to have a mild form of this syndrome and will be happy tomorrow night to have some sort of closure to this particular anxiety. along with many americans, canadians, palestinians and various europeans we are collectively hoping that finally the american public will stand up and repudiate the last 8 years of leadership in an undeniable manner. obama winning by a landslide would go far to rebuild the international goodwill that the US frittered away in the months after sept. 11.

what could go wrong? so many things... the republican party could pull off their hoodwinking of the christian right in the US one more time. i just saw a video on CNN of an american preacher telling his congregation that the upcoming presidential election was a direct struggle between god and the devil. guess who he thinks the devil is... on the plus side, the story was about the IRS threathening to yank the charity status of churches that tell their parishioners how to vote, so someone is starting to get it. it drives me nuts that so many people still equate moral voting patterns with abortion and gay marriage. mccain is no more likely to ban abortion than obama, or bush jr., bush sr. or stephen harper for that matter. as for the gay marriage stuff, i could get myself in trouble here, so i wont say too much, but if you are a conservative church going heterosexual american for whom gay marriage is a big political issue... it's none of your business who gay people marry! relax, release your homophobia and turn your energies towards paying off your 9 credit cards.

this could turn into a long post if i continue to rant about all of these issues, so i will try to keep it short. i am scared that the republican party will do something highly illegal to rig the voting process and the mainstream media will refuse to cover it and the republicans will sweep into the whitehouse and proceed to drain the country's coffers with an illfounded war and disenfranchise the islamic nations and directly contribute to an increase in terrorist activities and organization and... oh, wait a minute... that has already happened. twice. i guess i am just worried about history repeating itself again and again over and over in redundantly repetitive manner.

i am also concerned about the class divide that the republicans are exacerbating and attempting to exploit between palin's "real america" (read small towns, rural areas and predominantly white christian) and the rest of america (read new york, san francisco, and racially diverse (and quite possibly gay, muslim and liberal as a population)). this is a short term strategy with long term consequences.

we arent just probama b/c we lived in kenya for a year (did you hear he has direct ties with raila odinga, the maverick ODM leader who has been previously jailed for an attempted military coup?) i dont actually know that much about obama, although i have followed the US election to some degree. i just feel that, almost regardless of the candidate, america needs to announce to the world that it is ready for a new epoch, and do it definitively. he seems like a decent guy for the job.

enough about that... i will show you in pictoral format what we have been doing recently while waiting for obama to win.

we had a particularly enjoyable halloween this year, with a record number of extremely polite trick or treaters... and b/c we took our pumpkin in at 20:00 we didnt get a single teenager with a stupid mask and a pillowcase (i always harass these kids but its a fine line between gentle teasing and getting a rock through your front window). i think we had more kids come by b/c of the advent of halloween decorations involving lights; our complex now looks inviting and ripe with candy, not dark and far away.

kids were already coming by as we got home, so we carved jacko here in under 5 minutes out of a maverick white pumpkin (white being a very maverick trait... among pumpkins).

the morning after halloween we loaded up the 4runner and trucked/ferried out to courtenay to visit our friends matt, monique, liam and tor once again.
playing a little dance dance revolution... i bought a second dance mat the next day.

liam at preschool.

ostensibly we came out here for my work (and if you are from revenue canada, be advised that i certainly did), visit our friends and for kylie and i to get a feel for the town, but in reality i am here to mountain bike. this was the site of the MOMAR last month and i wanted to ride some of the things i ran. i went for a quick rip outside cumberland by myself last night before dark and was toured around more extensively by monique today. i hope to go for a big ride tomorrow as well before the election results start rolling in.

i didnt manage to take any pictures of myself, but i got a few nice ones of monique riding some suitably slippery stunts.
nice sequence of monique bringing it home.

check out the grippy mesh fixed all the way up this fallen log. made it easy for monique to land that drop in a controlled manner.

this one was a little too slippery and high consequence for her to risk it. there were some beautiful fall colours on this side of the mountain.

cumberland (courtenay's neighbour) is quite a nice little town, with a kickass bakery, an espresso bar where kylie assuaged her anxiety by ingesting caffeine and reading the paper and a HUGE network of bike trails.
in the foreground, the espresso bar where kylie calmed her nerves. in the background, the bakery... they make an amazing spinach and feta croissant with pine nuts, and some seriously soft doughnuts. we could learn to like it here.

gobama go!


Anonymous said...

Totally unbelievable how out of phase with reality your political understandings are. I hope you will eventually grow out of them, as you seem like a great guy.

Mama Bear said...

My thoughts:
1) i don't know who wrote the above message, but he/she is rather rude, no?

2) I hope Obama wins. I soooooo wish i could vote in the american election.

3) I really gotta buy a dance mat for my Wii cause it totally looks like fun!!

4) I love vancouver island! they have everything! And everybody is just so friendly.

5) I love reading about your guys' adventures....so fun!!

Anonymous said...

Obama is in the lead so far Marc, and I am glad it looks good for him to take it.
I read a letter to the editor in the Leth Herald Sunday Oct 19 which was enlightening. "The situation our U.S. neighbors are in is a direct result of politicizing capitalism. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter and Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act ...." and so on. Check it out on line, Page A6.
Over enthusiasm on the Left (Subprime crisis = economic meltdown) and the Right (Iraq invasion etc) has led to this unenviable position that the U.S. politicians have put the U.S. and the World into.
I'm hoping for Obama, and praying that he will be the leader you speak of who can restore respect and vitality to the American people and economy.
Love, Dad G.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I am so sick of being told how to vote in church. As far as the abortion issue I'm sure we could do alot more by fighting the social justice issues that lead to many abortions instead of simply condemning it.

marcandorkylie said...

he did it! and definitively as well... no quibbling about hanging chads in this election.

thanks for all your comments... mr anonymous, i opened the discussion, but your comment is a conversation ender. ie. it does not invite further discourse. thanks for the gentle chastening shelley.

dad, i agree that excess is a major problem in north america, and that capitalist/socialist have become buzzwords rather than concepts in the popular media. a rare find to see such a thoughtful letter in the herald!

and vickey, you make an excellent point. churches could have a much more positive impact by concentrating on activities outside the realms of sign holding and scorn.

thanks guys.

now obama has a long road ahead of him, and he is likely to disappoint, but at least he is starting strong.

marcandorkylie said...

oh, and shelley, when you get dance revolution, be sure to buy an extra dance pad... its waaay more fun with 2 people! we alternated election coverage with a full DDR tournament last night.

Mama Bear said...

awesome! i'll follow your dance pad advice, for sure!
And i'm SO EXCITED that Obama won!!!! I can't wait to see what he does first and how the world will change because of his ingenuity. America finally has a president with a heart, soul and brain :)

AF said...

I agree with anonymous marc, your political understandings are way out of phase with reality.

My reality is defined by the discursive space presented by one or two media outlets that Ive chosen as my window on the world. Think about it. I know I don't.

If you would just allow the great moral and ethical issues of our time to be framed in convenient binary terms, your reality would be closer to my reality, the real reality.

AF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt, Monique and Liam said...

Hey Marc and Kylie,

Looks like things got a little heated about your post but I think it's great to write your opinion as you did because it creates discussion. I am glad you guys were here to witness Obama win and of course the DDR tournament. Christine confessed that she secretly loves DDR but she has sequencing probs so she was a wee bit embarassed. :) Matt the last few nights has been dreaming about DDR I am sure as his legs were moving all over the place in his sleep.

Thanks for putting the biking photos in they totally make me look like a stellar biker...if people only knew. haha

Liam and Torr miss you guys already and hopefully we'll see you soon. We'll be in Van next week for my half.


AF said...

i'd like to apologize for my sarcastic comments.

keep it real.