Inauguration Thoughts

I did not live blog the inauguration.  Kind of wish I had.  This one is great.

Some thoughts:

The fanfare for Obama’s entrance was drab.  Didn’t go anywhere musically.  The could have done better in choosing this.

John Williams’ arrangement of “Simple Gifts” was very nice.  And this from a person who is not a big John Williams fan.  I know that Yo Yo Ma was playing a special composite cello because the temperatures were too cold for his regular cello.  I certainly hope Perlman was not playing his Stradivarius in that 27-degree weather.

Aretha had the best hat.  I couldn’t believe Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Laura Bush, and Lynne Cheney did not have on hats:  it was COLD!  They could catch their death of a cold.

Aretha’s voice has aged, but she’s still got it.  She didn’t try to belt the high notes, which was different:  I’d never heard her go into her head voice before.  All you American Idol wanna-bes, take note:  that is how you embellish while still keeping the melody recognizable!  It’s called a combination of soul and taste.

Rick Warren’s pronunciation of the Obama girls’ names was cloying, fawning, and ridiculous.  And Rick, Obama is a part of the Reformed tradition (United Church of Christ):  would it have killed you to say “debts” instead of “trespasses”?  (My dear Anglican readers, please know this is said with tongue firmly in cheek!)

Rev. Lowery’s was certainly more of a prayer contrasted with Warren’s sermon-in-disguise, but I took exception with this:

“We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”

So the Asians in our country are all uptight and the whites are all wrongdoers?  Rev. Lowery needs to remember that, were it not for those Asians and whites, Mr. Obama would not be the President of the United States today.  Do the math, Rev. Lowery.  17,535,458 Americans, slightly more than 48% of all those voting, cast their ballots for Obama.  49% of all male voters and 56% of all female voters, regardless of color, voted for Obama.  The blog The Color Line points out that “the scope of Obama’s victory shows that he has significant, broad-based support from Americans of all racial backgrounds.”  Furthermore, The Color Line notes that it was the Asian and Latino votes that actually put Obama over the top.  Those “uptight” Asians and “wrongdoing” whites supported Obama over McCain.

Rev. Lowery, this day was supposed to be about bringing all of us together.  Your words seemed to want to keep us divided.  Perhaps you should recall what your friend, Dr. King, said about judging a person by the content of his character rather than by the color of his skin.


About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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7 Responses to Inauguration Thoughts

  1. Cap'n Whook says:

    Had to miss it. Will get canned highlights tonite.

    Those composite or carbon fibre celli are supposed to sound quite good. That’s better than having to “lip-sync” with a student-grade instrument to a recording like the orchestra did for the Salt Lake City Olympics.

    So, hats were eschewed? They needed to take fashion lessons from Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley!

    How was the Poet Laureate’s opus?
    “No less to you now than the mastodon then.”

  2. Wasn’t impressed by Aretha. Even older people can sing one word without breathing in the middle of it..”My…(breath)…coun..(gasp)…try….’tis…(breath)….of Thee” I mean, if it’s that bad she needs an oxygen tank.

    Thought the John Williams piece was nice. Time to sit and reflect. Warren’s prayer did not impress me, not that prayer should “impress”…but I agree with the sermon-like sound. Noticed the names of children also. What was THAT all about? Lowry’s prayer was almost refreshing until he ruined it at the end.


  3. Cap'n Whook says:

    Luv the Aretha hat! Might the breathing have to do with the cold?

    I think that was Yo Yo’s recently comissioned “backup” cello (which is wood). Formerly, the Montagnana that he owns outright was “backup” to the Davidov Strad (which he plays, but doesn’t own). The Montagnana has shot up in value so much that he’s taken to playing it less in “dangerous” situations.

  4. cancerman says:

    I think the Daily Show summed it up well. Warren sounded creepy when he said the girls names. The difference between typical Bush speeches and Obama’s speech was Obama sounded better saying it.

  5. Eeyore says:

    I loved watching all of it yesterday. Hubby took the day off work and we watched together. It was great.

    I didn’t much care for Aretha’s rendition, but then, I’m just not a fan of hers or that style of music. Each to his own – I know people who liked it.

    I agree with you about Rick Warren. My husband likes him and thought it was good; I could have done with something else from someone else.

    As for Lowry, I wasn’t as bothered by the end, because of his age. I thought that it was more a reflection of someone who is from a different past, a different life memory than my own. And I say that as a 59 year old. So I do remember watching the changes in civil rights. But I grew up in a small southwest Kansas town where the schools were always integrated (too small not to be) and I’m white, so my experience was different than his. And my perception about the importance of race will always be different than someone my age or older who is not white. The ending, to me, was a reminder that we still have a lot of healing to do.

    It really is more important that President Obama gets it. And from everything he has said so far, I think he does.

    The news media sought out more blacks than whites for on the spot interviews, and I thought it was great that many of them, while saying how important it is to them to have an African American as the President, usually said that he is the President for all of us, not just blacks. Of course, the reporters seemed to miss the significance of it.


  6. Cap'n Whook says:

    I just read a review that Elizabeth Alexander’s inaugural poem was too “prosey.”

    I still remember how people winced, then smiled through (as if they understood) Maya Angelou’s 1993 poem for Clinton, which started (here we go again):

    A Rock, A River, A Tree
    Hosts to species long since departed,
    Marked the mastodon,
    The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
    Of their sojourn here
    On our planet floor,
    Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
    Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.


  7. RevJATB says:

    I hope the tokens are dried when I have to clean them up in the back yard.

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