Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the donkey in the room

It's pretty much a cardinal sin not to talk about the inauguration today. Well, maybe yesterday was the day to talk about the inauguration, and today's the day to critique the inauguration.

I could barely open the Wall Street Journal today, for fear I'd be confronted with yet another interpretation of Chief Justice Roberts' bumbling over the swearing in. He did it. It was funny to talk about once. Move on. I mean, really, when a drunken Diane Sawyer giggled about it over and over last night, I thought I might shoot myself. And then this morning my beloved NPR had the audacity to discuss whether or not the swearing in even "counted." As in, since Roberts apparently made the biggest blunder in history, do they have to have a secret do-over?

Oh. my. word. . . Listen, NPR, don't you have a new novel to discuss or something? No? How about Gaza? Embarrassing.

Aside from the actual swearing-in ceremony, I thought the rest was ridiculous. Too many forced metaphors--retracing the steps of Lincoln's train ride to Washington, using Lincoln's Bible, etc.

And the ball last night. . . sickening. I thought the Oscars were on a month early. Really. Maroon 5? Cirque de Sole acrobats (or whoever those tights-wearing carnies were)? Have some class.

If we're supposed to take you seriously as an administration--all this talk about the common man, the economy, the war--do you really think an oyster-filled lunch and an American Idol-worthy celebration was the best way to go?

Now, the swearing in, that was classy. Solemn. Fitting. I'm going to have to say I enjoyed the metaphors of the opening prayer and closing benediction--the young, popular Rick Warren welcoming everyone into a new age while the Civil Rights veteran, Rev. Lowery, sends us off, passes the torch (with a bit of humor, might I add). I thought it was well-played.

And the poem by Elizabeth Alexander, while not well-read, in my opinion, and a bit choppy, contained a few beautiful lines:

"Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of."

Just lovely. (End rant).

Side note: I voted for Obama, okay. I'm allowed to rant. And I don't like oysters.