Now witness my true form

I’ve been replaying Dragon Quest IV over the past week, since I didn’t really get to enjoy it when I reviewed it. I never even touched the bonus chapter, and I missed out on lots of interesting alternate strategies since I didn’t know about a lot of the optional or non-obvious weapons in the game. I missed Meena’s tarot cards, Alena’s double-attack weapon, all kinds of stuff. This time around has been much more enjoyable.

I faced off against the Marquis de Léon a few days ago, which was one of those standard RPG battles where you fight a horrible malformed monster who reverts to the form of a mere confused and apologetic human once defeated. (Given the original game’s vintage, this was almost certainly one of the early pioneers that helped establish this particular twist as a cliché.) And weirdly enough, watching John McCain’s concession speech last night gave me flashbacks to that battle. Here was the gracious, eloquent, let’s-rise-above-this-pettiness McCain that I so admired in the two previous elections, the one who was replaced sometime last year by a venal, hateful practitioner of the dirty tricks, neo-con policies and petty character attacks he had long stood against. Once defeated, though, he reverted to his true form, seemingly humbled and respectable again.

It’s nice to have him back. But don’t stop level-grinding now, Mr. President-Elect. You still have to defeat the true final boss: Karl Rove.

There’s been a rather jubilant feel in the air and online since last night; the streets of downtown San Francisco were eerily deserted at 7 p.m. yesterday, presumably because everyone headed to bars and parties to watch the results. My girlfriend’s cousin unexpected burst through our door last night around 10, tipsy and giggly and with a huge lipstick mark on her cheek, just so she could give us drunken, celebratory hugs before staggering home. And Talking Time is basically a bunch of nerds giving each other drunken, celebratory e-hugs. I realized last night that a lot of people reading this site have never actually experienced the sensation of having a president they can actually respect, never participated in an election that went the way they wanted and wrapped up tidily with (hopefully) no protracted legal stupidity or cries of stolen votes. So I can definitely understand the excitement in the air.

But let me please caution you to be rational and polite in your excitement. Take your new president’s platform of unity to heart and don’t be an ass to people who supported the other side. Speaking as someone who had the dubious pleasure of sitting through two Clinton victories and a Gore loss while nestled deep in the intensely conservative heart of Texas, I can say with confidence that nothing is more annoying than a bunch of self-righteous, gloating goons crowing about an election that didn’t go the way you wanted. Be excellent unto one another was one of the rules of conduct posted yesterday, and I meant it. Also, don’t be surprised if four years from now the whole world isn’t suddenly a magical place. I’m sure we’ll be largely out of the Middle East by then, and hopefully we’ll be making lots of progressive strides — I’m very excited about the prospect of an administration that might actually sign the Kyoto Protocols! — but the larger economic malaise the world is facing is hardly a Bush-exclusive gift to the world, having been set into motion by policies that were enacted 25 years ago (and, it should be noted, which were hastened along by one W.J. Clinton). I imagine it’ll be a decade or more before things get really and truly better.

I was going to end this with a remark about “this is getting needlessly messianic,” but then I remembered that the hero/heroine responsible for defeating the Marquis de Léon was actually a chosen one. So I guess my analogy isn’t really helping matters much. Anyway, here’s to the next eight (?) years: may they be as constructive as everyone hopes.

27 thoughts on “Now witness my true form

  1. Deal. The mood on the streets of New York this morning was enough for me to stick in my pocket and carry with me for a while. LOTS of big smiles and some dances busted out. As President-Elect Obama insinuated last night… this is really just the start of a long journey.

  2. I’m absolutely ecstatic about Sen. Obama being elected. Too bad Prop. 8 passed. :( You win some, you lose some…

  3. Actually, the whole “Oh my… sorry I turned into a monster and almost killed you all” bit actually was pretty well-established by the time DQ4 rolled around. Which is just as well though, since DQ4 was pretty much the first RPG with enough self-awareness to embrace all the RPG tropes it could manage and all.

  4. What’s the proper etiquette on Proposition 8?

    Also, the Kyoto Protocol is going to need some revisions before the U.S. can feasibly commit to it.

  5. Prop 8 was different than the general elections, as it was out-of-place, inappropriate social legislation. Feel free to be as angry about that as you like.

  6. y’know, I turned it to Fox News channel last night just to see if any heads had exploded, and to my surprise, there was Karl Rove, and he was saying nice things about Obama. Some of the stuff he said were back-handed compliments, sure, but a lot of the things he said were genuine praise.

    hell hath frozen over.

  7. Amen. Let’s not only hope that Obama not only does things differently from the past few presidencies, but also succeeds at it.

    Regarding propositions, I’m more displeased, though not too surprised, that Prop 5 was struck down.

  8. I try to be a broad-minded fellow, but after proposition 8 passed with copious help from out-of-state LDSers, let me just say: I am now prejudiced against Mormons. Sorry, but they really EARNED it.

  9. What I always liked more than transforming into a monster and back was when there wasn’t even a transformation, they were humans, then when you fought them they were grotesque monsters, and when you revert back they’re normal without explanation.

    But I imagine Amano’s battle sprites had something to do with that.

  10. It really saddens me that people are genuinely surprised when the losing side isn’t all wrecking shit. (This comes on the heels of someone holding a sign on a corner yesterday that said “If McCain wins, REVOLT” – come on America. You are better than that)

  11. There are actually some people who are livid over Obama’s victory (i. e. boos in response to McCain congratulating Obama during the concession speech), so it cuts both ways Tomm.

  12. Uh, yeah, hysterical froth comes from both sides. No faction is scot-free in this or any election in any country.

  13. Interesting how you remember McCain as “gracious, eloquent.” When I think of him, almost completely opposite descriptive words come to my mind. Like hostile, impatient, disrespectful, immature and short-tempered. I wasn’t at all swayed by his concession speech, as I just thought it typical empty political rhetoric, with barely a genuine word to be found therein.

  14. this elusive “real” john mccain, was most evident to me in his 2002 snl appearance. he was genuinely funny and seemed to be really enjoying his time with the show. shrug. that was 6 years ago. but he was still pretty cool 6 months ago.

  15. My boss, an ex-marine, is wearing all black today “in mourning.” He still (unknowningly) ate one of the Obama Cookies I brought, though. I was teasing when he said he was “in mourning” and said, “Well, you didn’t REALLY think Nader had a chance, did you?” He legitimately laughed.

  16. This election was, unfortunately, also a horribly good opportunity for racists to start coming out of the woodwork. I have several friends who I’ve known for a year or so before finding out that they were terribly bigoted. It’s sort of hard to stay hang out with them when we’re in Philadelphia of all places. One also claimed she was moving out of the country if Obama won, but she’s unfortunately still around. Oh well.

  17. Well, Ark, obviously McCain is a politician whose real personality is carefully moderated in public. So is every politician, except maybe for crazy sincere people like Ron Paul. I have no doubt McCain can be as nasty and vindictive as insiders claim; that doesn’t change the fact that he preached for years against the vicious slimeball tactics of the Rove corner of the GOP only to turn around and employ that precise bag of tricks once it was his turn at the presidential rostrum. I’m happy to see him step away from that persona, regardless of the fact that it is indeed a mere persona.

  18. Even though I voted the other way, I support Obama (I was pretty sure he’d be elected). No, this isn’t the end of the world, and no, he’s not the savior of all that is wrong & twisted, but he may do some good yet – it’s undeniable, though, that he’s a great image for our nation.

    Re: proposition 8, I was actually surprised to hear that California voted Yes. Judging from previous comments, it would look like I’m in the minority on this site – but I was happy to hear it. Still, from my previous knowledge on the state, I woulda thought for sure something like that would go down. Something happen?

  19. Obama’s election renewed my faith in our Republic. Prop 8 unfortunately renewed my beliefs that California’s “direct democracy” is fatally flawed. There’s a reason why its so hard to get shit pushed though constitutional conventions – a simple majority of the electorate shouldn’t have the power to change the highest law of the land.

  20. Woo Obama! And I understand Parish in that respect- we really need to stop this stupid, partisan stuff. Acknowledge the other side; he may have voted differently than you, but he’s still an American who thought he or she was doing what was best for his or her country. The fact that he or she was really deluded? Perhaps, but we need the norm so that we can respect each other. In that way, smears will never have such power ever again.

    On Proposition 8: I tend to see it more as a setback than The End of The World. After all, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act did not need the Supreme Court; those were elected politicians who solved the South (Brown v Board was important, of course, but it was the elected politicians who got it all working). We need to really push through the idea that Gay Marriage will not make California spontaneously combust; we need to show why it’s a Good Thing and not some Evil Import From Massachusetts That Will Eat Your Children.

    Otherwise, California will never have Gay Marriage. Come on, we just elected a Black Man! We only need to push harder and put the issue back on the ballot, and really, really push it through! Won’t be the first time! YES WE CAN!

  21. Er…below. Whatever.

    My understanding is that the California electorate merely reaffirmed what they voted on several years ago with the passing of Prop. 22. I have to admit that as a general principle I’m not really okay with the courts overturning the will of the electorate, no matter what the issue.
    Also: In the interest of full disclosure, I am LDS and I don’t think my church or its members have somehow earned prejudice just because we happen to disagree on a given issue with other people. We were hardly the only group to support Prop. 8. As far as the statement that out-of-state members contributed large amounts of money, none of that was at the behest of the Church itself and was the choice of individual members. And by the looks of what I’m getting from Google, the vast majority of money still came from within CA itself.
    Oh, and if I’ve never told you before, Parish, I’ve always liked the site and your writing. Long time reader since the TFJump days.

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