Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday Top Ten: My Super-Fancy Inauguration Day

[Sidenote: Episode 601 L Word Recap Here.]

I like casting things. I've nailed down bridesmaids with no plans for an actual bride [I'm intensely annoying in eternal doses, haphazardly picky w/r/t mate-selection, and slightly insane], I cast my favorite childhood novels for "fun" [subsequently I rarely approved of castings when these books were actually made into movies, though I applauded Winona Ryder as Jo March] because I am a dork and that's what dorks do for fun when they're too young to drive and computers haven't been invented yet. I'd take Major League Baseball All-Star team ballots home with me from games, copy them, and delight in selecting multiple dream teams, over and over again, again -- for "fun." I've made imaginary programs for Woodstock '93, a "Stars of U.S. Women's Gymnastics" World Tour and at the age of 9 had already scoped out my imaginary Super Sweet Sixteen (New Kids on the Block would open for Paul McCartney, obviously).

And so, although there are many reasons why I'd never want to be President of the U.S. -- I've got too many anxiety issues, I couldn't handle being disliked by at least 50% of the country's citizens 'cause I'm hard enough on myself without a CNN/Gallup poll to remind me how bad I suck at my job -- I really would like to cast my own Inaugural Ceremony! Well, I'd also enjoy presidential perks like fancy foods, the library, and the opportunity to help people. But mostly I want to cast the ceremony.

[Sidenote: We're now entering that black hole time known as L Word Season, when all my intelligent brain cells are zapped by a terrible terrible television program. But srsly I'll do my best to blog & write regularly and reasonably well. Clearly I've been braindead since Wednesday, and this is what I've come up with today. I know. I know! Waa.]

Sunday Top Ten: My Great Big Imaginary Inaugural Ceremony

10. Musical Selection #1

Obama will begin his program, which I believe takes place in the freezing cold, with some kind of cheesy patriotic medley starring the The United States Marine Band followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. I've read up on these groups and they're clearly excellent selections however no contest, hands down totes I'd pick the kids from the Ron Clark Academy, who wrote and performed the genius "You Can Vote However You Like" song during election season, which I saw on YouTube and on CNN and I said: "This is the best video I've ever seen on YouTube." True story.
9. Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
I guess I don't have a choice about the welcoming remarks and call to order, I think Senator D-Fen automatically wins that position, but if I could choose, I'd clearly pick Judge Judy.

8. Invocation

I cannot possibly improve on Obama's standout selection of Rick Warren, Passionate Preacher Lover of All Peoples. Honestly I'd prefer Jeremiah Wright -- in lieu of quality, I accept a good spectacle and counter-protest. Although I have nothing but respect for Rick's opinion that my lifestyle is similar to pedophilia, I might personally choose someone completely different. I mean that. Like the complete opposite of Rick Warren, maybe.

I'm a Jew, doest that make it complicated? Let's be honest, I've got no clue wtf an invocation is. Does anyone know? I pick Harold S. Kushner, Rabbi Extraordinaire and author of "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People," which I became briefly obsessed with because all these bad things kept happening to me and I had a lot of turmoil about maybe deserving them.

7. Musical Selection #2
Aretha Franklin: nice. Howevs, I gotta switch it up, can't have the same performer twice. Wouldn't it be funny if Tegan & Sara played at my inauguration? Everyone would think it was A Double Shot at Love and then get confused, 'cause most people in the world, much to my dismay, are not Tegan & Sara fans, but do absorb random bits of information about queer sets of twins and then get all confused in their mind. Also just realized that T&S are Canadian, which makes them poor candidates. Still though I bet you guys would all come.

Maybe Prince or Joni Mitchell.

6. Musical Selection #3

Obama picked John Williams, the prestigious composer of the Star Wars theme song. That's fine, Williams is really good at scoring music for movies, has won every award ever, etc. and he picked Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill to play the instruments which is a solid selection.

Is Williams gonna write an Obama Theme Song? Like the score for Obama's presidency? I hope so.

He should make a film score that plays in the background during every State of the Union. How cool would that be? Almost as cool as having the students from the Ron Clark Academy ALSO performing at the end of every SOTU. Or if we could just watch West Wing.

Anyhow. I pick Phillip Glass. I don't know what kind of instruments he'd want to use, so I'd leave that part up to him too. I like to outsource my details.

5. Inaugural Address -- I'd actually stick with Obama's choice of Obama. He would clearly make your eyes water, right? Whatever I could do, he could do better. Plus I have all these weird tics, like how I'm always trying to get a particular knot out of my back, I touch my nose a lot, and I laugh with my entire body. If I can see my hair, I'm constantly touching it, and if I see a mirror or a screen, I have to make funny faces. That's why I avoid mirrors constantly, to like a bizarre degree. Anyhow watch yourself in enough videos and you'll see how annoying you are. Meanwhile watch Obama. Besides the occasional overpause, that dude does not annoy me. Not at all! I've listened to him talk a lot and I'm not annoyed.

4. Poem

He picked Elizabeth Alexander, that's cool.

Ok ... basically I've had to come up with answers to all the other ones on this topic just because I felt like talking about how I would like to have a big public ceremony with Stephen Dunn somehow involved. Perhaps a Sweet Sixteen is in order.

3. Benediction

The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery will be performing this function, whatever it is. I feel like this is another religious spot requiring a religious leader of some sort.

I'd like a Tibetan Buddhist perhaps. I'm open to suggestions. It'd be hot if I could get the entire National Mall to meditate.

2. The National Anthem by the United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"

I think this is another no-pick spot. Sea Chanters? What's that. The only anthem I need is "Umbrella."

1. Big Party
Obama's party is really super hip. The first ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball? I want to live in Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder's neighborhood. Where is that oh Los Angeles. Sigh. I wonder if Cat Stevens would come if we invited him. My brother and I both invited Chris Weber to our Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, I also invited Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bill Clinton. None of them showed or sent money.

I'm going to Los Angeles on Wednesday for a thing. So if you want advice from the fabulous H&R advice column this time we're going to turn the sound on for sure when we're recording, so you'll get your advice soon, especially 'cause I've been too ridiculously scattered and busy lately to write anything (clearly). Email! Also when you do I think it helps to be as brief as possible, it helps us to get your answer as rapidly as possible and be sure to cover all the imperative bases on the spot.

I know it sounds sort of cheesy, but I think teevee is the opposite of poetry. I will be obligated to monitor this divide/balance over the next eight weeks, probably will need to read extra poetry.

Who would you cast?


Anonymous said...

maybe i'm just a sucker for poets, but i'd cast seamus heaney, e.e. cummings, h.d., stevie smith, t.s. eliot, and wislawa syzmborska. oh and dijuna barnes, even though she isn't a poet, she kicks serious ass. i am aware that a lot of the people i named are dead, but wouldn't it be fabulous if they were alive? ps if you're actually coming to LA...i still live here. so...i don't know. tell me what you think :)


asher said...

random fun fact - i took a class Elizabeth Alexander taught at Yale in 2006(?) - Modern African American Lit 1970 to now. It was cool. There were only like 20 kids in the class and she knew a bunch of the people we read, so we'd read their work and then they'd come read for us in class. The coolest person she got to come in was this spoken word guy, Sekou Sundiatta. Apparently he taught a class that Ani Difranco took in college. She always told him when she had a label he'd be on it. So now he's signed to Righteous Babe and tours with them performing spoken word. Dude is awesome.

Alexander wasn't the best teacher I had, but she was nice enough. I had two lesbian TAs for that class (of course they lived together). Come to think of it, that was a pretty interesting class experience.

artois said...

What!? Not everyone loves the twins Quinn?
It's prob'ly coz as well as being peadophiles, they're also dirty Canadians. tsk, tsk

Also, living a million miles away from them girls in black dresses means I only get the L word on tv in June. That's a six month break 'tween your recaps and my watching. sigh, it's so hard being me.

Anonymous said...

In fiction workshops, for stories with a particularly high glurge factor, I routinely cast them as Lifetime movies. Meredith Baxter et al have garnered much work from people's shitty stories.

JD said...

The only thing I can come up with now is who I'd cast for musical acts. I'm caught between doing something that I would selfishly love, which would probs be Radiohead or Joni, or doing something that might actually fly.

Maybe Bob Dylan? I think there's something uniquely American/inspiring about his brand of protest music and, as overplayed as these particular songs are out of his hundreds- Blowin in the Wind (esp the whole "how many times must the cannonballs fly before they're forever banned?") and These Times They are a Changin' (esp the whole "senators and congressmen please heed the call")-they give me chills every time I hear them.

Or, I'd ask the whole original cast of Rent to perform Seasons of Love, even though it has that whole eulogy vibe, again, always gets me.

The Brooklyn Boy said...

and I'd take Major League Baseball All-Star team ballots home with me from games, copy them, and delight in selecting multiple dream teams, over and over again, again -- for "fun."

Were there a reason for me to question my love of all things auto-win, I'm pretty sure this would have won me back. I'm now putting this on the "major brownie points" checklist.

riese said...

katie: I know right, I'd love to have an inauguration that's 95% poets, 50% dead, 100% wise. your list is exemplary. i'm also always a fan of the recluses, like I'd like to get Salinger at my inauguration.

asher: ooo that's so cool! I loved having teachers who always knew the authors. Sometimes it ws over the top, like we'd be reading a book that had nothing to do with the class and then discover the teacher was bffs with the writer, but sometimes it made me feel like tuition was worth it.

I can't imagine teaching a young ani difranco. I bet she talked a lot in class and was always raising her hand to talk about the patriarchy and doodled a lot and tried to get by in class by passing off pure poetry as a thesis and it probs worked.

artois: you can watch the episodes online, actually ... i think they are on the showtime website, or on youtube for sure. people always upload that shit to youtube.

I don't know, probs canadian twins aren't considered iconic American musicians. The Canadian thing actually just ocurred to me.

burningsteady: Meredith Baxter went to Interlochen, the boarding school I went to where I had my first ever fiction workshops, and so there we are, I have brought it back around and should probs win best blog of the year somehow.

JD: I thought about Bob Dylan, he was actually my first thought. But then I thought, is that too cliche? I donno, but then also, I mean, there's nothing wrong with cliche. It'd be nice to get a good combo of like Radiohead and Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. I think if I got the cast of RENT, my inaguaration would become too gay and then Rick Warren would kill me.

Brooklyn Boy: awwwww. At this point I'd have no idea who to pick. I feel like Rickey Henderson is no longer an option, if that was ever actually his name?

Anonymous said...

Joni Mitchell... also Canadian!

The Brooklyn Boy said...

Now that he's in the Hall of Fame, no. Haha. Excellent choice though.

DJL said...

I liked this. You should select your cabinet from internet blogging types. I would like to nominate myself as Secretary of the Fab Five.

sherri said...

This is my first time commenting (except for my one sentence answer to "What is one thing you know you are good at?"). You crack me up, I can identify with you to a scary degree, I love your recaps, rock on, etc., etc.

As for my inauguration, I know that for the invocation I'd pick Rev. Dr. Cornel West. He represents [the vestiges of] my Christian faith, but isn't a wacky fundamentalist like Rick Warren. He's also an incredibly passionate and inspiring speaker. Best of all, he doesn't compare our lifestyle to pedophilia. Huzzah!

As a side note, Mr. Warren spoke at my alma mater's graduation ceremony last year. I was not pleased.

Music selection is difficult because I too like a lot of European/Canadian/dead artists. Angelo Badalamenti for #3 certainly. Can we exhume and revive Jeff Buckley? I seriously keep thinking of people and then realizing "Shit, he/she's Canadian!" It's happened with Feist, all the Wainwrights, and Leonard Cohen.

Poet: Maybe Billy Collins? He's still alive, right? Again, I am a fan of a lot of dead people.

My party MUST have David Bowie, Tina Fey, Uh Huh Her, The Dresden Dolls, and David Lynch.

Clearly I will never be elected president.

autumn m said...

if you were elected president, i would definitely spend all my money so i could go out there and have a front row seat. are there even seats there? and i think it is ok to have Canadians at your inauguration, it makes you look cultured.
my favorite part of all of CNN's news coverage of the inauguration is when the show a shot of the port-a-potty section. Something like 5,000. really....that’s a lot of toilets in one place.

eric mathew said...

WAIT you will be in LA on Wed. shit yo. hit me up.

The Ron Clarkers are the best people ever. My friend actually said she wishes she could be an under privileged kid in Atlanta to go there.

They have a new song for the inauguration called "Dear Obama." I hope it's like Pink's "Dear Mr. President" with all that angst and harmonies. Please. Also, Ron Clark is hella cute... but not like in a weird Matthew Perry way like he was portrayed in the TBS original movie.

Anyway, lets talk about that awful song today on Oprah. I'm all for America but it was very awkward.... and came across more like one of those religious cd commericals (pan to oprah crying and swaying in the audience).


solid as barrack,
gossip gay

riese said...

anonymous: damn!

Brooklyn Boy: As long as he's still alive, I feel he's good to go.

DJL: OK you and Mitch Albom are gonna have to duke it out. No i'll give it to you, because we're friends so don't worry lolz.

sherri: 1. Thank youz!

2. If dead artists are fair play, I replace Phillip Glass with John Cage and replace my vacant canadian musician spot with um, Brahms or Beethoven? Oh wait, also not American. No but if dead artists are fair play, then I would have to go with Miles Davis forsure. Ella Fitzgerald can sing, he'll write a song, potato, potato, let's call the whole thing on.

Billy Collins is still alive, I think he won poet laurate or something a few years ago. David Bowie is a good call for the party. I feel like he's possibly also not american.

autumn m: "it's okay to have Canadians at your inauguration, it makes you look cultured." Excellent point. Although I'm now concerned that our entire American musical legacy in my mind might be totally Canadians. We should just become one country and have a big party with 10,000 port-a-potties.

The Brooklyn Boy said...

Rickey agrees with you. Because Rickey can still play. Rickey's a beast, and these young bucks can't keep up with Rickey. No sir.

eric mathew said...

riese did you snub me?

im sad.

riese said...

eric mathew: No, I think your comment came in at the exact same time I was writing mine using the unrefreshed page to reply back to.

It happens all the time actually but usually I catch it -- I'll comment back real soon promise!

riese said...

eric mathew: we will try to dream the undreamable dream and try to hit you up, illusive weirdo.

I know I saw the new song but I was worried that if I listened to it and it wasn't good, I would get really upset. I didn't know there was a movie. I'm skeptical of people who have original TBS movies but I feel confident about the education given by the ron clark academy.

obvs I didn't see Oprah, c'mon.

la la la,

Brooklyn Boy: holler

sherri said...

Yes David Bowie's British, but I'd have to make an exception in his case because I love him so. Ooh, also he has an album (and a song) called Young Americans. That has to count for something.