Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trivial thoughts on the Inauguration

Things I didn't stick around to see:

Ted Kennedy's seizure.
Bush's take off.
GeoEye - 1's take.

Things I didn't know until this morning:

Ted Kennedy's seizure
Why Obama fumbled his oath
That the father of the Nation reference was to Tom Paine's speech [via].

Things I remember about the speech:

All that natural world at the beginning - 'still waters of peace'.
How much the entire raison d'etre of America is tied up with the quest for perfection, as if it is an achievable thing, like a horizon you keep in your sights as you pick yourself up and dust off your failures.
The harking back to the past as if it was a simple place whose values we must now find once again in the present.
Those people whose hands America would be happy to clasp if only they would unclench their fists.
I can't say this enough: the idea that the American Dream is a perfectable one, that if only one kept the words of the forefathers fresh and alive and was unafraid of hard work, one's place at the very top was guaranteed (and, by inference, that all those other people in the world who also work hard and aim for perfection would be happy to let America take its 'natural' place at the top).
(Why am I being so sour? It was a good speech, well-delivered).
Non-believers included in the march forward!
Science is to have its place in the sun once again!
He did a variation on winter of our discontent. Anyone remember (offhand) what it was?

Things I'm not talking about (just now):
Elizabeth Alexander's poem
Michelle Obama's clothes
Arrival's departures, the weather, the music and the coverage (there must be forests and acres of persiflage about it somewhere, no?)

It was fun, though, wasn't it?

6 comments:

Szerelem said...

He did do a variation on winter of our discontent - "this winter of our hardship”. I caught that :)

It was fun watching and I adored Michelle Obama looking at him as he took the oath. I think they'll probably have sex in every room of the White House. (Btw - I liked her dress.)

Space Bar said...

Szer: Aargh! No! Now I'll never be able to do one of those silly virtual tours of the White House without thinking of your comment!

Tabula Rasa said...

i liked the non-believers and the science. the rest of it i could take or leave. michelle obama's clothes, especially those she wore in the evening, were trumped only by aretha franklin's hat.

Fëanor said...

See now, you really should have been watching Fox News which spent much of the day trailing Bush on his way out, his way onto the aeroplane, his arrival before adoring crowds in Midland, Texas. Much more fun.

Space Bar said...

tr: :D

feanor: now you're telling me you ere watching fox news while all this stuff was happening? how hard-boiled is that?

Anindita said...

"the idea that the American Dream is a perfectable one"...ooh, I know. That got to me too. I was watching it with three Kodavas and one Scottish guy high up in the hills and the other four in the room were solemnly nodding and tearful though. He certainly knows how to deliver a speech and he has his finger on the pulse of popular emotion, doesn't he? I mean, this is what Americans were probably eager to hear.

And yay for the non-believers and science bits.