Ladies and gentlemen, President Barack Obama…

President Barack Obama takes the oath of office.

Though it’s now become a cliched political phrase, it’s quite a telling and true statement, and one I can hardly yet believe – after eight long, torturous years, our long national nightmare is over.

No more will we have to suffer at the whims of a no-nothing frat boy who prided himself on willful ignorance and an appetite for apathy toward all those who weren’t like him, who didn’t tow the corporatist line.

We now have a new president who values the worth of the written word, the wealth of our ideas, the shared wisdom of our collective experiences, and is ready to lead us forward into tomorrow, with a bold agenda of progressive ideas aimed squarely at getting our economy back on track, helping our burdened families and workers, making health care affordable and easily accessible, and restoring our standing in the world as a national power that trusts and values its allies and their opinions.

These are but a sampling of things the Obama administration has in store. Will they get to them all? Who knows? I certainly hope they do and will be attentively watching each and every day at every policy decision and administration idea.

For now, let us celebrate President Obama’s historic victory and enjoy that our nation has come so far and made a momentous leap forward, on a path forged by those that came before us and one we will follow again, in order to make our nation that great beacon of hope and possibility it once was and can be again.

Much like President Obama and his beyond amazing Internet team transformed the face of modern politics by growing their support base through the vast resources this technology provides (and did so like no other candidate and now President has ever done), President Obama has now brought that innovation to the official website of The White House (which was online precisely at noon Eastern Standard Time)…

Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House, explains…

Welcome to the new I’m Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog.

A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and his new administration officially came to life. One of the first changes is the White House’s new website, which will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world.

Millions of Americans have powered President Obama’s journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country’s future. is just the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.

Just like your new government, and the rest of the Administration’s online programs will put citizens first.

And just like the administration, the website echoes the same ideas of communication, transparency, and participation and ushers in a new era that values its citizens opinions and ideas.

As we all celebrate this historic day, a day I am overjoyed with, take some time to surf over, browse around, and enjoy the brand new and totally redesigned White House website. Let us all enjoy ourselves today.

A new year fraught with possibility, uncertainty, and hope…

It is now the year 2009.

My 2008 was nothing to write home about. It started like any other – it began with me mourning my dead dog and ended with me mourning my dead mother. To say my emotions ran like water out of a faucet is the most futile of understatements. I miss her every day, have had several dreams about her, and am keeping on keeping on the very best way I can, the way she would have wanted me to.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Honolulu. My friends/hosts have been truly wonderful and I am having a blast and a half.

As much as I’ve tried to maintain contact consistently with what’s left of my family (father and sister) and the few errant friends I have in Savannah, it’s quite an ordeal. First there’s the time difference – they’re five hours ahead of Honolulu. Second, I have a prepaid cell phone. I should be using one of my friend’s cell phones but recent events have cooled me off on the whole contact thing. The last time I spoke with my father, there was a tone that seemed to emanate from him, one of the whole “okay, gotta run” vibe. And my sister’s firmly ensconced in her own world, busy with work and school.

So the chips have fallen where I knew they would. Precisely the location. I knew in my heart of hearts that once Mom died, these two would retreat to the hallowed halls and walls of their own design, to the makeshift castles they reside in – drawbridge retracted, lights turned off. So with these actions, I have come to an altogether frightening yet slightly exhilarating decision.

My mother was my world. She was my best friend. No one else will ever fill that void. And since she’s no longer around, since everything in Savannah reminds me of her, and since my alleged “family” has not been one in recent months ( thanks for the Christmas card you said you’d send, Dad! Oh, that’s right, I only sent the address I’m currently at TWICE.), Savannah is dead to me. As dead as my mother. As dead as the futile hope that I could ever believe that I would be welcomed with open arms into the meager carrion that now purports to be my family. It’s all a myth, one the Greeks never could have dreamed of assembling.

So when I leave this place, I’m not returning to Savannah. There’s nothing there but memories, sadness, and nothing else. I may return sometime but for now I need a very extended break. I know not where I’ll land – I’m thinking Austin, Texas – – or what I’ll do. Maybe I’ll seek a transfer from Target. Maybe I’ll get a different job. Maybe I’ll get three jobs. Four jobs. Whatever it takes to make it, I’ll do it. If those that state that they love me truly love me, yet never make a concerted effort, a true show of force to make that emotion known, then they’d have done so frequently in these past few months. But no – the same old same old is their modus operandi. Since my time in Savannah and here I’ve been invisible to them. Now it’s time to truly make that a reality by starting over fresh in a new city, with a new outlook, in a new year.

Maybe then they’ll understand my frustration with them. But more than likely, they’ll merely go about their day, their own world swimming about them, like a haze. I’ve always been standing outside of that haze, looking in at them. Now it’s time for them to see a new haze –  the dust I leave behind, as they choke it down and eat it up.