Posts Tagged ‘inaugurations’
Hooray for Friday, hooray for everything.
* The Daily Show nicely nailed the hypocrisy inherent to the Republican position on the stimulus debate last night.
* Scandal at 1600: it turns out the practice of disrespecting the Oval Office by not wearing a jacket inside it—heroically revealed by former chief of staff Andrew Card just this week—goes back decades.
* They’ve remixed the audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope. The real scandal is that it took this long for someone to think to do it.
* And will Vermont towns finally get their chance to arrest Cheney? Oh, please yes.
* Michael Bérubé just took the GRE Literature in English subject test again. And lived to tell about it.
* Rethinking plagiarism? Sorry, but this isn’t that hard. Students know exactly what they’re doing when they plagiarize. Turn them over to Judicial Affairs and don’t think twice.
* Joe the Plumber is now advising the GOP. WTFRepublicans?
* The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertberg was not impressed with Obama’s first inaugural. More shocking still is the unabashed anti-Hindu prejudice expressed in a demand that they be listed last in the litany of religious belief, even after hated atheists. Via Edge of the American West.
Link dump #3, mother of all link dumps.
* Austen gets a much-needed updating: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
* The Massachusetts lottery: if you’ve got $10,000+ to burn, it turns out it could actually be a good bet.
* A zoomable map of the Moon from a 1969 National Geographic. Simply irresistible.
* Rethinking your opposition to nuclear power? Rethink again. I’ve been working on a piece for the Indy on nuclear power in North Carolina that covers some of these themes. Via Steve Benen.
More links because if there’s one thing I hate it’s getting done the things I planned to get done.
* Huge gigapixel panorama of the inauguration, with very close zoom.
* The Obameter tracks 500 of Obama’s campaign promises.
(both of those via Cynical-C)
* Obama reminds Republicans that he actually won the election and that in fact they have no credibility at all. Also, that Rush Limbaugh is a tool.
* And Time considers the future of the publishing biz.
So if the economic and technological changes of the 18th century gave rise to the modern novel, what’s the 21st century giving us? Well, we’ve gone from industrialized printing to electronic replication so cheap, fast and easy, it greases the skids of literary production to the point of frictionlessness. From a modern capitalist marketplace, we’ve moved to a postmodern, postcapitalist bazaar where money is increasingly optional. And in place of a newly minted literate middle class, we now have a global audience of billions, with a literacy rate of 82% and rising.
Put these pieces together, and the picture begins to resolve itself: more books, written and read by more people, often for little or no money, circulating in a wild diversity of forms, both physical and electronic, far outside the charmed circle of New York City’s entrenched publishing culture. Old Publishing is stately, quality-controlled and relatively expensive. New Publishing is cheap, promiscuous and unconstrained by paper, money or institutional taste. If Old Publishing is, say, a tidy, well-maintained orchard, New Publishing is a riotous jungle: vast and trackless and chaotic, full of exquisite orchids and undiscovered treasures and a hell of a lot of noxious weeds.
The Big Picture comes through with its inevitable, much-needed dose of inauguration porn.
I’ll have a short piece in the Indy tomorrow about my experience in the crowd at the Mall, so for now I’ll limit myself to a few comments and some photos. We left Arlington a little later than we’d hoped—around 8:30—and so there was really not much chance to get into the Huge Crowd by the reflecting pool. (You can see in one of the photos just about as close as we got—past the Washington Monument there was just no going.) We settled in instead on 17th St NW right at the edge of the road, which turned out to be the perfect spot: not only was it right in front of a screen, but the cops were trying to keep 17th St clear and so no one was able to crowd in front of us.
There was a lot of waiting involved, but it was an amazing experience, if only to see Aretha Franklin belt out the best version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” ever (land where my father died—she, too, sings America); to hear the loose live mic going out over the Mall for nearly the entire event; to see hilarious closed-captioning typos like “[CHEESE AND APPLAUSE]” and “♫ Threat ring”; trying to get an “underrated!” chant started after Jimmy Carter’s first appearance; and to hear Rev. Lowry’s show-stopping benediction:
‘Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around… when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen’…
And, you know, Obama. And Obamaniacs. I say this in the article, but it felt like liberation.
Now, of course, the real work begins.
Some of my best photos are of some nearby protesters, which I’ll have a separate post about. But for now, here’s a picture of our basic view:
A few of the people we shared the moment with:
Canadians! Who let them in?
I have to file my story for the Indy, and I’m also very hungry, so photos and videos will have to wait. But that was awesome.
They call me Jerry Two-Times because I say everything twice.
Jerry Canavan, a Duke graduate student who was waiting for the train with his wife, Jaimee Hills, also volunteered for Obama, canvassing in North and South Carolina.
“It just feels like starting over,” Canavan said of Obama’s election. “It’s just been an unending series of disasters since we started paying attention to politics, so this just feels like starting over.”
Canavan and Hills, who works at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, will be staying in Arlington, Va., with a friend.
“We’re just going to walk over the bridge from Arlington and see how far we can get,” Hills said.
Generations ago, James Garfield did his imperfect best. The inaugural he delivered, on March 4, 1881, didn’t match Lincoln’s eloquence. But this year it bears rereading:
My countrymen, we do not now differ in our judgment concerning the controversies of past generations, and fifty years hence our children will not be divided in their opinions concerning our controversies. They will surely bless their fathers and their fathers’ God that the Union was preserved, that slavery was overthrown, and that both races were made equal before the law. We may hasten or we may retard, but we can not prevent, the final reconciliation.
More great moments in presidential inaugurations at the New Yorker.