Let me begin by saying that there is nothing like starting a Tuesday off sitting in a cramped room with 20 Eskimo school children watching a live broadcast the first African American president of the USA get sworn in while under a cold medicine induced haze. Truly a one of a kind moment in my life.
Here were my impressions of the whole event:
First: I was struck by how it was so medieval feeling in the beginning with the long horns resounding and the announcing in proclamation a new king was to take the thrown. Here ye, Here ye all come to see the procession to the great hall and phallic monuments as sir Barack of Obamanton takes the silver sword out of the stone.
Second: I love that Dick Cheney hurt his back yesterday moving boxes. Irony you slick bastard.
Third: I love how I get to be reminded of just how religious our country is when we swear in our secular democratically elected president. I've never heard so much praying and mention of "God" in my life. The first white guy preacher dude who went on and on about god this and god that really made me uncomfortable and irritated. I wish I could say something positive about religion but in this sense I can not, while this is a melting pot of a country, it is still obviously a Christian one, and that will always scare me. The African American guy at the end was a little better though, and at least humorous and proud. But seriously I always get reminded of how I truly am not part of the spiritual American conscious that is constantly represented in our policy, politics, media and public image.
In Obama's own words "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers." In fact we are a nation of Buddhist's and Wiccans and Rastafarians also and lazy people and spiritual consumers too and a whole lotta other whacky beliefs as well that won't ever get mentioned. I personally don't fit into any category he mentioned because I don't consider my self a "non believer." Even when my beliefs are acknowledged in a speech they are labeled in contrast to the monotheistic status quo. It should have said we are a nation of Religious People and also of Rational people and logical people, or anything but god damn "non believers". I hate that term, I believe in stuff, my stuff, its SO frustrating to just be lumped into some sort of heartless heathen category.
Fourth: that little frustration aside, I wasn't put off enough by it to make me think that it was anything less that a powerful historic speech. I loved the speech. He called out everyone to wake up and do their part. To get up and dust our selves off from staggering blows to our national confidence that have a been a result of the last 8 years of presidential debacle. He acknowledged the huge shitstorm that America is currently enduring. He prophesied the immense challenges ahead and said, "Yes" we are up to the challenge. Maybe the American's under the Bush Regime wouldn't be up to such a challenge, but this new America that has done the previously unthinkable of electing a minority to the highest office, it might be possible. Maybe in this new America people won't be the uneducated, resource wasting, pop culture blood thirsty, globally compassionless population/land mass of beer drinking, cheeseburger eating, firework exploding idiots that it really is. Maybe in this new America education, sustainability, healthcare, and creativity will be the new norm and focus. Or maybe its all a bunch of talk, either way we have four years to see where its all gonna go. 2012 should be a big year for more than presidential reflection anyway.
Fifth: I love that Obama messed up the repeating of his oath. It makes him human. If I was getting sworn into the presidency I would also be wearing diapers to catch all the mess as I crapped myself.
Sixth: I love Aretha Franklin for never wearing anything normal. Nice hat lady.
Seventh: I thought the poem by that lady Elizabeth Alexander at the end was bad ass. Bad ass. She said a lot of things that needed to be said, mostly about the need for love and praise for song.
Lastly, I am still pretty young. I've lived through a few very historical things in my life. 911, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now the election of the first Black Prez. Where were you when it all happened? I was here. You were there. It was good...for now.
I can say with all sincerity that Barack probably achieved more good and more positive progress in that one speech than ol' W did in 8 years, and that is a good start.