January 20, 2009

My own thoughts

Just a few reflections on the Inauguration...

Funniest moment? Heard on C-Span open mike, Joe Biden arriving at the top of the stairs to walk down to the main platform: "Well, I made it."

Least expected moment? Rick Warren's prayer.  I am not a fan of public prayer.  For two reasons. One, prayer is (according to scripture) to be a personal, secret act.  Two, public praying tends to become a sideshow: quoting, telling God all kinds of shit he already knows, showboating by the pray-er.  You know what I mean.  Warren's prayer followed a more humble structure: he praised God's greatness, he humbled himself, he asked for intercesion, and ended with the Lord's Prayer.  Nice, actually.

Best moment? The Williams Quartet with YoYo Ma and Itzak Perlman.  Amazing.  And yes, I am a sucker for both Ma and Perlman.  Especially Perlman, whose playing regularly moves me to tears.

Most surreal moment: Again, captured by the C-Span open mike: At the end of Obama's oath, the crowd began chanting "CHANGE!" a la Randy Marsh.

By the time The One spoke, I was getting sleepy.  I noted that the first half of the speech sounded like a Republican (personal responsibility, huh?).  And then I crashed.

I could have done without Aretha.  Hang it up sister.  Your voice is going away, as it does to all divas at your age.  Let us remember you at your finest.  She did have a killer hat on, though.

Finally, poor Chief Justice.  His nerves got the best of him and he flubbed the Oath.  Here's hoping he gets it right in four years.

What say you?

Posted by caltechgirl at January 20, 2009 12:36 PM | TrackBack

I didn't watch. I am a head-burying ostrich ;)

Also, I'm at work.

Posted by: Ken S, Fifth String on the Banjo of Life at January 20, 2009 01:21 PM

I had to work and didn't watch. Then again I wouldn't have watched even I wasn't working. I've never watched one in the past and really, I had no desire to start now.

Posted by: Contagion at January 20, 2009 04:06 PM

I hadn't planned to watch, but my new bosses had the tv on the entire day, and invited me to come watch the inauguration. So, despite what I said about it, apparently you COULD pay me to watch.

I'm pissed to now know the names of both daughters. My goal for the next 4 was to never know their names. Thanks to Warren praying their names, I know them. Grrrr.

I loved Aretha's hat, not her song.

Loved Yo Yo Ma and Itzak Pearlman! My bosses had no clue who they were as I gushed. We're from very different backgrounds.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at January 20, 2009 07:12 PM

Well, I watched it while trying to remove tar from my apartment (thank you incompetent roofers). Given that I probably felt for the last seven years the dread that some of the right are beginning to feel now, I was pretty happy. I'm worried about the future, and I'm terrified that either he'll screw it up, my party will screw it up, or everything is already so screwed up that there's no fixing but surviving.

I was really pleased with Ma and Perlman too (and Joe was surprised that I knew the words to Simple Gifts).

I didn't care too much Rick Warren's prayer...not so much with the content but I'm like you and don't think prayer is for show but something immensely private (and I just had an argument/discussion with my Southern Baptist friend about that recently actually).

I did notice that there was a heavy emphasis on the personal responsibility (which if you've listened to his speeches for the past year, he really hammers it). Though I think Republicans have done a great spin job in laying claim to that value, I am really happy that Obama is defining it again as an American value, and not a party specific one. I thought it was a decent speech but I felt his election night speech was more moving to me. But that's probably because it was the super drama moment for me too.

Lastly, I didn't care for the poet. I turned to Joe and said, "She is no Maya Angelou." Actually, I don't think I liked any part of the poet's poem/speech.

And yeah, that hat was awesome. :)

Posted by: SBC at January 20, 2009 07:23 PM

I didn't watch - I was at work. One of my colleagues did pop his head into my office to tell me "we have a new president now" (I choked down the impulse to sarcastically say, "Oh, so they DIDN'T bomb Washington after all?" or somesuch).

I don't know. The Responsibility talk worries me a bit because I am enough of a cynical bee-hotch to suspect that it's really code for "those of you who were living responsibly will now be Responsible for bailing out those who weren't. Oh, and by the way, be Responsible for doing more volunteer work."

Those of us who already are frugal and already volunteer are not going to be happy to be told "but you need to do more!"

Or, another thought I had: "Responsible spending: Congress, I will show you mine when you show me yours."

Posted by: ricki at January 20, 2009 08:09 PM

I should also add that I was revulsed by Lowery's prayer. Racist is Racist, whether it's against blacks, whites, browns, or purples with green polka-dots. Audacity and a platform are no excuse for bigotry.

Posted by: caltechgirl at January 20, 2009 09:13 PM

Are you talking about the end where Lowery he did the talk about the different colors/races? I didn't think you were so PC -- I didn't get offended but maybe its because I'm used to being called by my color.

Posted by: SBC at January 20, 2009 09:53 PM

Just tell me what's NOT racist about "when white will embrace what is right."


Posted by: caltechgirl at January 20, 2009 11:30 PM

Ah, I see. I thought originally you were talking about the color referencing -- I didn't realize you took offense only about the comment about white people. Yeah, that wasn't very PC, but I think you're personalizing it. It was said in hyperbole, referencing a long history of one ethnic group having power and control and not always having moral justification. It would be absurd if he meant that all white people today are bigoted racists. In fact, the text of that part of the benediction was about exercising racial caution.

I didn't feel it was racist, but I guess I can see how some people would be sensitive to it -- my white husband didn't get offended and neither did most of my other white friends, as they focused on the spirit of what he said.
But I am surprised that you would take offense to it, as then it would make a lot of things that you, your DH, and I have said into non-PC/racist stuff and certainly on our blogs.

Posted by: SBC at January 21, 2009 11:39 AM

i hated it all. the street fair mentality; what the moonbats did to president bush when he came in; michelle's clothes; lowery and his hateful self; even aretha's voice was disappointing. (i did like her hat somewhat though... very spiffy)

rick warren i didn't mind too much. i know michelle's feet were positively bleeding after walking in the parade --- those heels looked like they were pinching bigtime.

mostly, i hated the idea that W wasn't in the white house anymore. damn.

Posted by: kate at January 21, 2009 11:05 PM