I've been kind of out of it all week. Post-Inaugural ennui, worries, lots of appointments... whatever it was, it really sort of shut me up. But when I saw the Obama video I've posted just below here, I started thinking about all the creativity that the campaign, and this presidency, seem to have engendered.
Then a friend sent me this. I admit I'm a sucker for this kind of music, but it really is a combination of politics and joy that only such a campaign could have inspired.
And this, one of my favorites, just for the discipline.
I guess Les Miz must really resonate, because here's another one.
Of course these are only examples; there are dozens, probably hundreds more - and if you count the images, posters and paintings, many many more. If this kind of creativity goes toward solving our problems, we're in good hands. Either way, it's exciting (at least to me) to realize how many vocabularies came together to speak for this new president in the long journey that got him here.
Great minds definitely think in sync, at least some of them. Although this week's Blogging Boomers Carnival isn't "all inauguration, all the time" there's plenty of The Big Day top choose from, although the perspectives differ enormously. Beyond that there's everything from fashion to comic books to retirement in a bad economy. Stop on by.
I haven't written much about the Inauguration or the first week of the Obama Administration. Partly it just hasn't sunk in, I think. Partly, like many people, we never got into our ticketed section. That wasn't so bad; we were there and that was what mattered.
After the swearing in though, we had a tough time getting off the Mall: lots of pushing and shoving and none of the spirit of earlier in the day. We were cold and exhausted like everyone else and felt really sad and beat up. I just didn't want to talk about it. Still don't.
But now, as I get used to hearing "President Obama," watch the Robert Gibbs briefings and listen to various cabinet members as they emerge, as I struggle to believe that George Bush is really gone (my husband refused to leave the TV at the reception on the Hill where we watched the actual swearing in until we saw the chopper take off) and that we have a smart, classy, competent and deeply pragmatic president, I want at least to weigh in.
It was a beautiful day. I don't know anyone, either personally, among the crowd or just around town, who isn't proud. Those I know who live abroad report the international excitement you've seen reported. We've done something wonderful. But you know that big cliche "now the hard part begins." Well, it's true. Just like it's easier and more fun to work on a startup than a big, established company, it's easier to campaign than to govern. Instead of one goal - getting elected, there are countless tasks and crises and they all happen at the same time. No news bulletin in this.
I wonder though if people are scared enough about our problems to give him time to make his way. From the first day there were people on the Hill blocking nominations and it felt to me that it was just because they could. I know that Americans don't want that to be happening but all three of the major roadblock Senators were men up for re-election so I guess they think it will benefit them at home. Reporters call it "red meat" and it's what's been troubling Americans for the past eight years; I can't imagine what these men think they're accomplishing, particularly with Eric Holder, the Attorney General nominee and widely praised including by his former Republican colleagues. Yet his confirmation was put off a week - and he, Tim Geithner (Treasury Secretary) and Hillary Clinton were all kept from early briefings where security was involved and from being an official part of the Inaugural because these guys decided to make trouble. Petty, huh?
So let's hope they come to their senses and that all of us are strong enough to hang on until the planned economic and diplomatic initiatives have time to move into place. It will all happen faster if we wait to fight until there's really something to fight over.
So much has been written about this Inauguration that I thought I'd take you on a little tour; there's not much I want to say beyond what's been said and said and said again, so I'm sharing the thoughts of others instead.
By the time you read this, we'll be either on the Metro or already downtown. We don't have any fancy tickets; I've had those plenty of times when I haven't cared nearly as much as I do this time, but credential or not, we're going. As I told my friend Mom-101, who's so sad not to be here, I think there's an almost biological need to be part of this.
I hope it's a wonderful day. I hope that all the families and friends who have come here are safe, warm and inspired. If I can get through I'll tweet all day; you can follow me on http://twitter.com/csamuels Otherwise, watch this space. Until then, maybe you want to read about my trip to the Kennedy Inauguration and its relationship to this one. I'll be back as soon as I can.
Hard to believe, the the fiercely productive Blogging Boomers offer, this week, their 100th carnival entry. Among the posts to celebrate this landmark: life after a tough divorce, supercentarians: what it's like to be 105, keeping all that personal stuff off your "official" Facebook page and much more. Help us celebrate our 100th effort: come by and show some love.
Beside him, Bruce Springsteen, a modern troubadour whose songs speak for many Americans whose opinions are never sought, whose voices are seldom heard.
As they stood together at the Lincoln Memorial in celebration of the Inauguration of Barack Obama, they represented, to me, all that I had believed and tried to help bring into being. To many, though, they were "the ultimate in subtly old-left populism." Speaking about the concert early Sunday before it began, I kept talking about Bruce. A younger friend gently suggested that he was probably not the day's headliner. That would be Beyonce Knowles, she said. I'm sure she's right.
As one who was present the last time "the torch was passed to a new generation;" as a strongly defined Baby Boomer, it's painful to hear anchormen celebrate the fact that "there will never be another Baby Boom President." It' s not that I mind the fact of that; it's just painful that it seems to be something to celebrate. So many of us have tried so to be productive agents of change, have spent our lives working either full or part of the time to see that our country offers more to the least powerful, demands quality education, justice and maybe, even peace. So to hear Joe Scarborough revel in the fact that "16 horrible years of baby boomer presidents is over" really hurts. All my adult life we've been tarred by the brush of the least attractive of us while the work of the rest of us went unnoticed. For most campaigns, as I'vewritten before, we were the secret weapon of the right.
So as exciting as all this is, especially for one who has supported Obama for so long, it's also bittersweet because I feel the shadow of the disdain in which so many of us are held. I really don't know how to respond. If I were to try, it might be by offering some of the words to Si Kahn's They All Sang Bread and Roses. It's better with the music, but it does the job.
They All Sang "Bread and Roses (Si Kahn, 1989,