So I had all sorts of plans of getting some important reading done, working on some writing I needed to do, and maybe cooking a nice dinner. Instead, I spent the entire evening before the TV, transfixed by the presidential inauguration ceremonies going on in the US. There are other people who have written better descriptions of the event, including this amusing series of play-by-play liveblogging posts on Wonkette, so I’m not going to go into detail about the entire ceremony. Instead, here are a few comments:
- Aretha, darling, how did you manage to find a hat that was both gaudy and drab at the same time?
- Is it some sort of cosmic poetry that Cheney attends the ceremony ending his vice-presidency in a wheelchair?
- Sasha and Malia are still totally adorable, and their outfits were nice and bright. Well done!
- Michelle, on the other hand, I’m a bit ambivalent about. The outfit had a good shape and I appreciate her dedication to wearing a sheath dress for hours in the freezing cold, but that color and that lacey fabric was a bit odd.
- Good speech from Obama, if not particularly uplifting. He gave some pretty strong indirect criticism of the Bush regime while Bush was sitting right next to him, which was pretty awesome.
- The poet-Laureate who spoke after Obama’s speech: wha? The poem was actually quite nice when I read it later in written form, but her delivery was practically catatonic.
- Rick Warren’s “prayer” was infuriating, not only because he’s a well-known homophobe who claims an equivalence between homosexuality and pedophilia, but also because he just couldn’t manage an ecumenical prayer, instead including “Jesus” in his prayer (4 times in 4 languages!), thus alienating non-christian Americans. Also, he said Sasha’s and Malia’s names like some sort of dirty porno narrator.
- Rev. Lowry’s “benediction,” on the other hand, was fantastic and beautiful.
- I was terrorized—to the point of having something akin to pre-PTSD hallucinations—with the possibility of an assassination attempt. I was acutely aware of every moment when he was exposed to a large crowd. During the drive over to the White House, when he and Michelle got out of the car to walk out in the open, I was having palpitations. I’m not even American and I wasn’t even alive at the time, but even I am traumatized by the tendency for promising progressive leaders to get shot in the USA.