Last night, Nov. 4, 2008, was about many things, all breathtaking and all of which will be discussed by far more eloquent people than I. But I'd like to comment on just one tiny part of what I saw -- not my favorite part, not the most moving part -- but the one on which I feel most competent.
It's the map.
How often does a map become the center of so much global attention and focus? Not often enough, if you ask me.
Having now been on TV several times, I know that news is really about talking heads. Words are so fast, easy, and cheap, both to say and to technically process.
At their worst, newscaster words make us believe we heard something of value and that we "got" it. But they're mostly an empty way to pass the time and fill us up; like eating potato chips: crunch, crunch, another please.
At their best, when commanded by a genius speaker like our next president, words are an extraordinarily uplifting drug, a universal tool, and a powerful weapon.
So where does this put the map? While we were listening to the endless play-by-play, our minds wanted something to *show* us what it all meant. And since the actors remained offstage until the end, the visual star was nothing more than a map.
And what a star she was.
I'm one of those people who never plugged in the cable TV connection after I moved four years ago. So I watch everything on the computer. This is what my screen looked like last night:
How amazing: my own complete video control room in the living room.
Thank you Mr. McCain for being so gracious, thank you Mr. Obama for making dreams comes true. Thank you map for showing how it happened.