Tuesday, January 20, 2009

watching it (not quite being there)

Like other transformative moments--weddings, funerals--I sense a hyper-real, intense focus on the meaningless bits and minutiae of the day as they stream by, because a focus on the meaning of the thing just can't be sustained. Car exhaust, is the hat coming back?, lemon-meringue color, Cuban-American designer, cold weather. The crowd watching the motorcade pass takes a bit to register its presence and meaning before waving their flags and whooping and hollering.

I'm on my couch, Obama T-shirt, knitting at hand, fire in fireplace, happily breakfasted and enjoying a fresh new pot of coffee. Peaceful and a sense of physical well-being. Clare again went to bed easily and slept well and was supremely happy this morning. Yay for school. Should have put her in her Kids for Obama Tshirt this morning, but it's so cold...

Chris Matthews thinks George W. is "not interesting."

I adore Rachel Maddow.

David Gregory look like he wishes feeling that "sense of history" would keep his feet warm.

Text from a friend: the national nightmare is almost over. Text back: Amen.

Wow. America can do "spectacle" too. Though there is an absence of multicolor-costumed acrobats.

Bush Sr. apparently looks old. Or is just walking old. Maddow: he's just bundled up--that's how I walk when I'm bundled up for the cold.

Clintons arrive. "President Clinton looking unusually somber."

Perfect sunny weather. No divine tears today I reckon.

introductions: "...and Mrs. Roslyn Carter." Interesting. No "Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy"? Are we finally done with the archaic and horrible practice of formally obliterating ALL of the wife's name? "...and Mrs. Barbara Bush." "and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton." AWESOME. She gets to be introduced with her OWN FULL NAME. Yaaaaaaaaaaah!

Brent's breaking out the wine glasses. Must drink coffee in the next few minutes in preparation for our celebratory beverage.

Okay I really like that dress. It remind me a little of the classy get-up my mom wore at my wedding: very flattering but not fussy.

Booing President Bush? Maddow: not classy--not what I expected. Agreed. People, make this an event we can be proud of. If you want to protest, do it in some substantive way, don't just be obnoxious and ugly.

This just in: Brent says Obama told Katie C. that he'll be wearing long johns, because he gets cold easily.

Who is the dude with the voiceover? It sounds like a football game voice! Couldn't we get a version with more pomp-n-circumstance to it than the alma mater fight song? Plus he stumbled over "Mitch McConnell"--not exactly a difficult furriner name.

"this is all really happening"--Keith O. See what I mean? We push the moment away and focus on the meaningless--until it overwhelms us, and we push it back down.

Barack H. Obama. Damn! Where's the Hussein? I changed my Facebook name for you!

There's a part of me even now that resists the name-chanting. Too much adulation? Too much blind faith? Too much mob-mentality behind it?

He looks pensive.

Brent: can you imagine being George Bush in the middle of all this? Ouch.

Here comes Rick Warren...hold your horses folks...Almighty God has balls...God loves all he has made...how often does one pause for applause in wording a prayer?...there's shouting in heaven...are those sirens in the background??? while Warren prays for God to protect him & fam...help us to share, to serve and to seek the good of all (except gays who want to marry?)...what's with the Jesus-of-many-names (bookend to +Robinson's "God of many understandings?)...ending with Lord's Prayer.

Whooo! ARETHA!

this is it.

That's a Big Ol' Bible.

We have a new VP.

Aretha, then chamber music...I love the plaintive but serene quality of this arrangement, moving into happy chipper mode, very celebratory and optimistic. Good choice: American folk song, classy folksy. Gorgeous.

pleas stand...but how will I blog it???



Justin Burton said...

I assume you noticed Warren's strange pronunciation of Sasha and Mahlia's names? Not sure what the deal was there, but I find it hard to graciously interpret anything he does. We were watching at Pacific Standard in Brooklyn, and the whole bar got a belly laugh out of it.

JTB said...

I did notice that! Brent and I both looked at each other and said, what was that about? It's probably uncharitable to assume it's just the whole white-person-thinks-black-names-are-funny thing. But that's certainly how it came across to me.

Much nicer was Rev. Lowery's reference to "our little angelic Mahlia and Sasha" but even so, I found myself wondering if it feels invasive to these little girls to suddenly be talked about as if they are somehow the emotional property of a whole nation. It's a little weird, the whole notion of first family, first lady, first daughters--even though they evoke a sense of maternal protective attachment in me as well, I admit. But if I were Michelle, I would be all about trying to defuse that national interest/ownership stuff.