November 15, 2008 | Graham

Spirit of Change

It’s hard to overestimate the effect of Barack Obama’s win. The photo below was taken on the premises of Jensen Bowers, which is where On Line Opinion subleases its office space, and its context speaks volumes about the reach of Obama.
(Sorry about the quality, but my mobile doesn’t have a flash).
Jensen Bowers (nice website, we can build one like that for you too ;-)) are surveyors. I’m not sure how many readers are familiar with surveyors, but surveying is a robust and independent profession. Most of the early explorers of Australia were surveyors, who were prepared to risk a spear to ensure that if the roads didn’t run straight, at least we knew where they were. Surveyors tend not to stop and smell the flowers, and while they’re smart, they’re unlikely to be found in intellectual drawing rooms. We’re talking uber macho here.
Which is what makes this photo so significant. You can probably only just make out the headline, but this is a centre page spread from a newspaper which has been pegged just above the plan printer in a spot which just a decade or two ago might have been reserved for another type of centre page spread.
And the content of that centre page spread is an edited transcript of Barack Obama’s victory speech.
Forget about the “audacity of hope”. Who would have been audacious enough to think that any politician’s speech, let alone that of a president-elect of the United States of America, could find its way to such a place?
Barack, you’ve certainly made a good first impression.

Posted by Graham at 2:00 pm | Comments (2) |


  1. In my office area that day my team gathered around a PC at the State Library of Victoria and we wept… it was a big moment in our patch… and we were filled with hope anyway.

    Comment by Paula — November 16, 2008 @ 10:16 pm

  2. Yes, I have never ever cried as a response to an election outcome. And this time I did.

    Comment by Sue — November 17, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

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