Monday, January 21, 2013

What I typed

Inauguration dog T-shirt. Via Salon.
I decided to open a file after I turned on the TV for the inauguration. This is what I typed with a couple of small additions:

Mrs. Evers-Williams, Senator (D-Brooklyn) Charles Schumer introducing the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir with a very ritzy and I thought not very attractive arrangement of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Lamar! Alexander introducing Justice Sotomayor for the vice-presidential oath. [I was going to add a question as to whether it's obligatory to have a Republican or whether this is part of the task of cutting them in half or both. I don't hear the MSNBC crowd commenting on it.]

I noticed in the vice-presidential oath, with a thrill of recognition, the clause according to which you are taking the oath "without any mental reservation"—you know what that is, right? It's to make sure no Jesuit (or presumably Muslim) can falsely take the oath and sneak into the office.

Did Obama refer to "the tenants of your faith" or is that a phonetic thing like the "Uninted States" that people can't help doing?

Truths may be self-evident but they aren't self-executing.

Muskets and militias won't do, and we need science teachers. As one people.

A decade of war is ending, economic recovery has begun.

Reject the notion that we must choose between social safety net and paying down debt. Our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves but to all posterity—we will face down the threat of climate change. The path will be long and sometimes difficult but we must lead the transition. How we will maintain our national treasures and preserve our planet.

We the people still believe that national security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.

Not because we are naive but because we believe engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. [later: Chris Matthews thinks that's a callout to Iran, but also that it's meant to enrage neocons. And that avoiding war with Iran is the most important thing he can do, which is maybe some kind of excuse for the rest of the foreign policy...? Like the drone campaigns and detentions are somehow subordinate to and even in support of it?]

We the people declare today that the most evident of truths, that all are created equal...

Long crescendo on: Our journey is not complete until... and the self-evident truths.

Don't treat name-calling as reasoned debate.

And it's over quite suddenly, a superb, crisp, confident speech, not a tear jerker but a great pleasure.

As Kelly Clarkson sings My country 'tis—very quietly, not going up the octave till the God verse—I google my favorite verse from God save the King, more appropriate than ever:
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!
Saks inaugural popup shop at the Ritz-Carlton in NW. Via USA Today.
In the poem I have a brief moment of confusion mishearing "Adams" as "atoms", alas the most poetic moment we get. A flash of fancy imagery in the "plum blush" of something but I instantly forget what. The "plum blush of snow" can't possibly be it. The poem as a whole sounds exactly like an inaugural address by a writer much less gifted than the president.

During the benediction I get an email from Haaretz begging me once again to subscribe.

The benediction cites Micah what does the lord require of us but to love justice...
A personal blessing for Mr. and Mrs. O in Spanish.

The sound system isn't set up for Beyoncé's tiny lower register in the national anthem, a kind of dumb arrangement in 4/4 time, a horrible idea, and the Marine band. Turns to the normal 3/4 with fermatas at the end. I'll listen to her singing anything of course but I hope she realizes some day that she's really a jazz singer. For what it's worth the most musical moment we got. Other than Obama's crescendo.

Jimmy Carter looks really delighted. Maybe just to be photographed. Leon Panetta kissing a lot of people, including Kerry. Here's Chris Hayes saying it was a radical speech. Selma, Seneca Falls, and Stonewall. Rachel gently corrects him to note that it's not just identity politics but democracy, change through citizens.
Wax Obamas (the real ones don't need a tour) from Mme Tussaud's,  via  UPI.

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