Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Automatic Fun of Inauguration Day 2009!

Eight years ago in my silly little diaryland diary I wrote: "I need to start an island like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach." I believe I'd just seen the film. Luckily for y'all readers and for The Macaroni Grill (they had the pleasure of employing me later that year), I stayed right here in America and did not "start" my own wild island of peace and savagery. Now I can never leave the country, 'cause I've lost two passports in two years, but this isn't about me, this is about TODAY! How does anyone "start" an island, anyhow. I am an island!

Seriously from now on this is about everyone else, for example:

1. Barack Obama

This is super awesome, today is gonna be sweet, and I look forward to talking about it on the interwebs with y'all. NYTimes has some cool features, check it out.

- Poll says most black say MLK's vision fulfilled (CNN)
- Bush-Era Abortion Rules Face Possible Reversal by Obama (WSJ)
- MSNBC Inauguration Day Coverage (MSNBC)
- Israel pulling out of Gaza before inauguration (CBC)
- Will Obama get rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? (@san francisco chronicle)

This site, WebTV Hub, features a comprehensive list of where you can catch the inauguration online. Here's a few:
  • CNN - Streaming the Inauguration in partnership with facebook where you can see the status of your friends update as you watch the live event.
  • BBC - Live coverage of the event & other stories from around the globe as the Inauguration takes place. (BBC)
  • MSNBC - Broadcasting the event from its website.
  • PBS- PBS will offer coverage of the event and also has a brilliant library of videos and dialogue of Inaugurations speeches from past presidents. (PBS)
  • Current TV - Live coverage integrated with Twitter for live online discussion of the event.
  • New York Times - Streaming Inauguration coverage from its homepage.
I was raised by politically active idealistic parents determined to enforce a gender-free race-free hopeful mentality. I was sheltered, in some ways, by a community safe enough to be so progressively idealistic. I believed back then that our country was on the inevitable verge of potential blossom -- counterculture and dominant culture could come together and better yet was about to, and then we'd all evolve -- and then I grew up and for the past eight years have witnessed the obscene opposite of that, something quite dangerously different.

I'm glad that we are finally here. I believe this is a new place from which change can begin. Not because Obama is a "celebrity president"/hopey mchoperson, but 'cause he's just cool. He's cool. We'd like to have several beers with him.

2. Crystal's Birthday - January 20th. She's in Australia. You can wish her happy birthday at her blog, right here. I love her.

3. Haviland's Birthday was January 19th. I hope that you have already wished her a happy birthday. I love her.

4. Natalie's birthday was January 16th
. I believe there was sheet cake, I have strong memories of vodka. I love her.

5. More Auto-Fun
- Iceland Melting - poems by Eileen Myles (@vice magazine)
- Another Nation: Only One Mexico (@chronicle of higher ed)
- FourFour Recaps gay Real World Brooklyn: "I'm not saying that I'm going to recap The Real World every week. I'm not not saying that I'm going to recap it either. Right now, all I'm saying is that I can't very well be expected to hold my tongue when I see something like this..." (@fourfour).
- Our Chart: Officially Over. I did that save-webpages-as-PDFs thing I should be an expert at by now, it's what a writer must do to save one's portfolio when the site goes under. Sigh sigh. You have 'til January 26th to gather ye rosebuds before the OC ghost town shuts off.

6. Quote(s)

"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." (Martin Luther King, Jr., "Where Do We Go From Here?" 1967)

"Now there are some things we all know, but we don't take 'em out and look at 'em very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names, and it ain't earth, and it ain't even the stars ... everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings ... you'd be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There's something wa down deep that's eternal about every human being." (Thornton Wilder, Our Town, 1938)

"Old" and "new" are the perennial poles of all feeling and sense of orientation in the world. We cannot do without the old, because in what is old is invested all our past, our wisdom, our memories, our sadness, our sense of realism. We cannot do without faith in the new, because in what is new is invested all our energy, our capacity for optimism, our blind biological yearning, our ability to forget — the healing ability that makes reconciliation possible." (Susan Sontag, Frankfurt Book Fair Speech 2003)


BioGal said...

Great post - but the link to the Obama weird art installation contains a trojan virus - I figured you would want to know.

Have a marvellously Obamazing day!

riese said...

Yikes! Okay, fixed, thanks.

Like that's the point of that link, or I somehow embedded it incorrectly?

LittleTink said...

ZOMG obama, i love you!!!!! omg yayay this is so excitant.. but srsly hoping that we really do see the change that we've been hearing abt for who knows how long.
on a slightly unrelated note, i read on cnn yesterday that white supremacy groups have been increasingly talkin trash and whatnot (although nobody has posed a major threat or anythin).. the main thing that got to me, though, was that those darn things still exist. like WTF! can you people just go do your jobs and try to get promoted or something? arf.

with all the world's hopes & dreams for freedom, justice, and progress,

Jayde said...

OMG! I share my birthday with Haviland!

and Janis Joplin
and Robert E. Lee
and Edgar Allen Poe
and Dolly Parton

Zenmiester said...

Haviland and Jayde, you share your birthday with my father. As most people from his generation from his home neighborhood, Haverkamp, have passed away, and he is estranged from his biological mother for reasons I have yet to figure out, we celebrated with our little family by ordering pizza from my favorite South Asian pizza place, and it was less of an absurdist farce as usual.

autumn m said...

soooo, i have two favorite parts of this Inauguration. one would be i think its funny that Obama couldn't remember what words to repeat during the oath. and my favorite of favorites would be Aretha Franklin's hat. tell me, where does one purchase something so atrocious that it makes it awesome?? i think it could be the next big 'thing'. i want about seven. one for everyday of the week.

a. said...

OMG Americans!!!
"Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey... goodbye!" The crowd yelling that at Bush's helicopter was by far my favourite moment of today.

Congratulations on your new President.

autumn m said...

p.s. im sure that i missed out on something truly amazing, but i hated that poet chick. seriously. i couldn't get passed the way she was talking. i bet her poem would have changed my life or something, but GA!!!! was it necessary to talk like that the entire time??

keit said...

Full inauguration day 2009 watch on CNN web-site:
watch here
High speed and quality is checked!

Leah said...

I watched the inauguration with my 2 dogs b/c my gf had to work. I blogged it minute by minute for those who missed it back home on the East Coast (my family is 1. not that politically savvy and 2. conservative.) Anyway, fav parts were: Oldie Bush's awful combo of purple scarf/neon yellow turtleneck, Katie Couric mentioning Obama's undies not once, but twice, Biden's teeth, Obama's face as he walked alone on his way out the door, the speech (of course), Bush leaving in his GoGo Gadget copter.

And Autumn, I agree 100% about the poem. I actually loved it, but a robot whose batteries are running low would have read it more eloquently. I wanna google it and print it out and hang it in my living room, but I never wanna hear her read it again. It was disappointing.
I have to say I am not a GWBush lover, but I felt really bad for him as he left. He is a human being with lots of feelings and those feelings could not have been good or easy at that moment of departure. I don't condone what he did or the decisions he made these past few years, and I don't condone the greed that must have driven him. I laugh at the jokes directed at him, and I'm glad to see him go, but I feel sorry for the legacy he leaves and the fact that he has to live with it. It has to get to him at some point. Obama is calling for compassion and I can't help but feel a tinge of it today.
Tomorrow, I'll be over it.


riese said...

zomg I think I spent two hours this morning trying to get streaming @ the office I'm at today and nothing worked, now I still haven't seen anything besides about five minutes of the obama speech and 20 seconds of michelle and joe biden's wife walking down a hallawy of some sort. curses! Mostly I missed Aretha's hat which's already famous. You'd think they'd have people in control of that stuff.

where's asher, she had Elizabeth Alexander as a teacher and could let us know if she was nervous, or if she always talks like that (obvs just going by your descriptions here, as nothing will load for me today)

But Leah yeah I kinda know what you mean. I think that's how I feel about all humans -- I have a hard time really tearing someone to pieces unless they've already done the same to me, and then all the rules change (e.g., most relationships end up this way).

So I guess I should just watch clips of Bush talking about the gays and approving tourture and giving his frat boy smirk to reporters asking genuine questions before following up the smirk with a silly smug answer that's totally inadequete and says nothing then I feel like it's okay to hate. But just looking at a sad stupid man walking away to his helicopter out of context can stir conflicted feelings for sure. Especially because I think that for as evil as he is, he does deeply need approval in some way, you know?

That being said, I do hope he is prosecuted for murder and manslaughter eventually. Though I doubt it. It would be neat though. Like if he was punished for all the punishments he lay down upon innocent people.

And look at all of these fiesty capricorns! well, it's a new dawn, it's a new day.

no more george w. bush! yay!

autumn m said...

RIESE!!!! WTF, YOU MISSED THE INAUGURATION?!?!?!? you are the one person who i thought would be watching it like your life depended on it. i would be pissed if i was you. cause now you have all of us talking about stuff and you have no idea whats happening. so i suggest you watch it ASAP!!!! just sayin...

NEP said...

i have been drunk (2 parts vodka, one part hope) for the past 120 hours because DC has been a zoo and its necessary to be drunk to get anywhere since any form of travel resembles cattle herding.

it is all kinds or ridic, but the chaos is contagious/exciting/amazing. i heart america.

a;ex said...

Wee! Happy Inauguration Day everyone!

Autumn - it turns out that the Chief Justice Whatevs misspoke the oath of office: http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/01/obamas_oath_faithfully_misspok.html

obvs Obama probably had it memorized years ago, or since he was born, or something.

autumn m said...

Seriously now i feel like a jerk for laughing when he couldn’t repeat the oath. obvs, Alex is right when she said he probably had it memorized since childhood. Practicing in front of the bathroom mirror or something. I would fire the dude who messed up. Personally....

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah said...

BTW I didnt know where to put this so Ill put it here, that author you love, who wrote that book you love, is coming to do a lecture at the symphony hall that I work at. Now I wish I was in on that book club cuz I can go to any show for free. Im sure he's going to NY too, but the tix are FREE I TELL YOU, FREE!!
...and who doesnt like free? Just thought you'd like to know. I hope he comes out for some coffee and dessert, then I can wait on him and promote your site to him. Yes. I will do this for you. Nonono, dont thank me, its my pleasure...

Oh yeah its Junot Diaz.

Sidenote: I was glad you understood my feelings about G.W. Then I thought you were being facetious and mocking me. Then I thought you agreed with me again. Now I think you see what I meant. Anyway, I'd hate to be seen as a G.W. lover. You get it though...

*deleted this the first time cuz I forgot to put "that I work at" after symphony hall...*

asher said...

well, no. Elizabeth Alexander definitely did not lecture in such a robotic fashion. i felt bad for her - for anyone who would have to follow Obama's speech. his whole speech is poetry. to follow it with a poem - eh, not easy.

i feel the same. i think i would appreciate reading the poem. but her delivery was pretty bad.

like i said, we never read her work in class. and she was a *decent* prof - but, definitely not one of my favorites.

but, to answer your question Riese, no. she does not normally talk like a robot. although i've never really known how poetry is supposed to be read - i don't think the answer was provided today.

not by her. the Benediction, howevs. omg - totes hands down awesome!

DJL said...

Is it warm in LA? I can't feel my toes. Wah.

FYI, I'm starting to see the benefit of a Twitter account. I'm such a conformist.