Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaugurals Rock!

Ok, most Inaugural Addresses are forgettable. But all the historians and speech writers I've heard today agreed on 3 that really stood out.

• One I know really well -- JFK's. "Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed," and "So my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

• One I am very familiar with -- Lincoln's second. "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

• One (FDR's first) I only heard snippets of until this evening, when C-Span ran the it in it's entirety. "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts," and "The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it."

Sleep well, President-Elect Obama. You'll need all your strength tomorrow, since all we expect from you is a combination of JFK's enthusiastic call to action, Lincoln's unifying sensitivity, and FDR's comforting optimism. I know it's too much to ask, and probably almost impossible to accomplish … but still, I hope you can pull it off. I am soooo enjoying the wave of hope we're all riding as we wait for you to take the oath of office.

Hey! What about Scooter?

With all the excitement and enthusiasm over the incoming President, it's easy to forget the current President. But as Bush 43's term grinds to an end, I'm wondering whatever happened to poor Scooter Libby. I figured that, since he fell on his sword for Darth Vader and Turd Blossom (Cheyney and Rove), he would be pardoned.

According to Newsweek, that's not going to happen.

I think that sucks.

I am not, never have been, a Bushie. Naturally I think Libby's actions were reprehensible. But he's served time and geez, where's the loyalty?

Random 10

10 songs that sum up your weekend...or were on your weekend playlist...and one picture that relates back.

I had my 1980s playlist on this weekend, including:

I Get Weak -- Belinda Carlisle
We Got the Beat -- Go Go's
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun -- Cyndi Lauper
Hungry Like the Wolf -- Duran Duran
The Power of Love -- Huey Lewis & the News
Jack and Diane -- John Mellencamp
Daddy's Back -- Kenny Loggins
Whenever I Call You "Friend" -- Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks
Someday, Someway -- Marshall Crenshaw
Everybody (Wants to Rule the World) -- Tears for Fears

To play along yourself, or to see how others responded, click here.

The perils of sleeping with the television on

Before I dozed off last night, I heard two things on cable news: (1) that the way Barack Obama brought the previously disenfranchised into the system is reminiscent of Bobby Kennedy and (2) the significance of Inauguration Day coming right after Dr. King's birthday.

I had a nightmare last night that I won't put into words. In addition to Barack Obama, it included my friend John and, of all people, Meredith Vieria.

It was so real that it took me a little time to reassure myself that it wasn't true.

I was an impressionable little girl in the 1960s and those assassinations are tattooed on my soul. I passionately want to believe that the country I live in today is no longer the country I grew up in. I believe that Obama's very election is proof of that. So my nightmare was simply the result of awakening the demons of my/our past.

Remind me to NEVER go to India

Not since Babel has a movie made life in a foreign land look soooo uninviting! Even though it left me feeling like a lottery winner because I was born into a middle-class family right here in the US of A, I still enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire. It delivered moments of genuine joy and glimpses of true love, and the narrative unfolds in a most original way, with compelling flashbacks that stem from an appearance on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Days later, I think of all that the very young Jamal went through to get the autograph of his favorite movie star, and I smile. The first time he kisses his dream girl ... it's so sweet. (Of course, it helps that Jamal looks like my adorable friend, who has been on my mind a lot these days.)