Inauguration Day

Spielberg’s comment that he couldn’t “afford to do a shot like this.” False modesty. Of course he could.

Michelle in those olive green gloves: the fashion punctum of the whole event. Loved the brocade and Jackie O reference of her outfit (she likes necklines with “interest!” Fancy trim!). Maize is not her color, though, I think; I prefer her in strong jewel tones.

Cheney positively craven & Dickensian in his wheelchair. I watched from the packed auditorium in Pratt’s Memorial Hall. Everyone hissed with great drama.

Barack comes out with his “meditative” face. I think I want to be a fly on the wall of his brain.

All those alarums. Shouldn’t they update the music? Aren’t trumpets kind of pre-colonial? Like… feudal???

The Pratt auditorium fills with applause. “I love that man,” someone behind me says.

Feinstein’s lacquered 60s hair, her fine, robust voice. No one liked her in the 80s I remember. I like her now. That fine voice.

Rick Warren [why do we need an invocation? all these invocations & blessings. jeez]. He rhymed a lot: “History is your story.” I know he’s a hopeless homophobe but found myself moved. Sorry to be switching tenses.

How can they still talk about “the lord.” The lord?

BO looking golden – praying – cut to a woman in Memphis receiving divine grace

cut to a mixed couple in LA in designer shades

“hollow be thy name”

Aretha appears in gray felt cloche hat with giant bow, rhinestones and beads around the bow’s edge, her dove-gray eyeshadow coordinated with the hat. She sings, pauses after the first syllable of country, did anyone notice that? “Father” becomes singular, she’s interpreting. BO may be president but she’s the goddamn queen. NO one, no one does a grace note like Aretha.

Jill holds the bible, she’s the “helpmate,” Biden also speaks in a fine fine voice, sounds like he means it, but after the line “without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,” which he says with conviction, a moment of spacing out, which I would do too after saying such a line of an oath… His oath followed by kisses,
then that awful piece “Air and simple gifts.” Personally I would be happy never to hear that damn Shaker song again, but I suppose I like that it’s appropriated….

Aren’t YoYo Ma’s hands cold? BO torquing his body to look at the musicians. My favorite thing is watching the girls, Malia with her little camera, such a modern child! And so beautiful! Sasha’s the family darling and clown, I can tell, but Malia already has gravity and grace.

An amazing thing to see the auditorium audience rise here at Pratt and then onscreen in Memphis, too.

The oath: his sweet fallibility.

The dynamics of his speech: a plunging arrow that then moved back up….

“worn-out dogmas that have strangled our politics”

“the makers of things…men and women obscure in their labors” (poets, did you not think of yourselves here?)

Cut to Pasadena, where a woman sees herself on CNN and jumps, startled. A frightening moment: “Did something happen to him?””

“harness the sun and the winds and the soil” this is like Steinbeck language, lovely parallelism, repetition of articles

“imagination…joined to common purpose” I hope he’s right.

Again there’s Malia with her camera, taking pictures of poppa

“the lines of tribes shall soon dissolve”: postmodern utopia

His message to leaders: “we will extend a hand, if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

key moment: “a man whose father might not have been served at a local restaurant can stand before you to take this most sacred oath”

then the speech finishes and everyone starts to leave not wanting to hear the poet

she was not worth staying for, “all about us is noise,” so how to use that noise more interestingly in the poem?

“say it plain,” she says, with much annoying rustling of paper, and I think NOOOOOOO, don’t say it PLAIN. More TORQUE pleeeze.

And I look down the row of auditorium seats to where Julian Brolaski and E. Tracy Grinnell are sitting and we grimace…

OK, New Era… bring it on.

3 thoughts on “Inauguration Day

  1. Of course, my fave was the parade! BO and Michele holding hands crossbody to continue to wave: here-we-go, not lightbulb screwing or Biden’s windshield wipe, but a lot of pointing to people and waving like they recognize all 2M folks there. Also, the whole family giving the shaka to the BO’s Hawaiian high school and their immediate hipswinging groove to the cool beat.

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