Sunday, January 18, 2009

Musings from the inauguration hoopla

Sunday January 18th
I'm watching the inaugural weekend festivities on TV and getting the same patriotic feeling that I had in the 1980's under Reagan. The million or so people on the Washington Mall are, to me, an expression that we’ve been desperate for hope, for leadership and for a feeling of common purpose. The Sunday festivities (exclusive to HBO - doesn't that seem weird for what was billed as "the people's event") were spectacular. We all know Hollywood is partisan, liberal and supported Obama in the election. You may hate the politics of Hollywood, but having said all that, they do know how to put on a show.

As for the entertainment, wasn't James Taylor great, (he's like our generation's Bing Crosby... domestic abuse included). I love JT's backup singer Arnold McCuller! He blew away John Legend (I dislike Legend anyway because of his conceited stage name). Jennifer Nettles, Mary J. Blige, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban & Heather Headley, all terrific! (although I had never heard of Headley before). Also enjoyable were speeches from Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Queen Latifa.

But doesn't Joe Biden make you cringe? Unless you've watched the V.P.2B for years, you can't know how dead-on Justin Sudeikis' impersonation is. He rambled on about the merits and dignity of work. Good to see Dems/Liberals finally understanding that hard work trumps a government handout. Maybe the era of welfare for the undeserving is dead. Welfare is serious business, best handed out to worthy entities such as banks, car companies or clients of Bernie Madoff.

Back to the Sunday inaugural show. In 2008, we elect the first Black American and we get an entertainment line-up laden with 1970-1980's classic rock!  I had my finger on the remote fearing that Fleetwood Mac would come our and start singing "Don't Stop".  Thank the Lord for Usher & Stevie Wonder saving the event from becoming too "Farm-Aid"ish. No matter who else was on the bill, can you ever go wrong if you have Shakira and Beyonce sounding great and looking tres hot? But where was Akon? Where was Kanye West-(I wonder if he thinks the President-elect hates Black people). Man, I wish Eartha Kitt were still alive. That lady had street cred! Urban/Rap/Hip-hop entertainment is not spelled Even Garth Brooks doing karaoke has more street cred than or John Legend. Smart move by Garth working for Obama on Sunday. He won’t lose any popularity with his core audience then. The NASCAR dads & hockey moms were all watching football. Anyway, there's no risk to Garth.  You can’t even get HBO with rabbit ears.

Question: who were the racially monochromatic men’s choir behind Groban-Headley. I'm suspicious about how they found that many middle aged white guys willing to miss an NFL playoff game for a choral event?

Memo to organizers: Next time, don't simultaneously send out Kal Penn and George Lopez to pitch the aspirations of immigrants? They are both great, but the aspirations of immigrants is a story best told by 1st generation immigrants. Penn & Lopez were both born here, so when you send them out predominately because they look like new immigrants, you risk looking as racist as the members of Animal House fraternity Omega Theta Pi, who funneled Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman into a room designated for recruits they visually perceived to be not traditional looking.

Speaking of shallowness, its good to see so many good-looking black people out front during the inaugural celebration... Before you start hammerin’ me with the ‘isms, all I’m saying is that prior to Barack and Michelle Obama, we’ve had 20 years of black leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton & Condoleezza Rice who have faces made for Radio (to further understand Radio Face, Google the image of Rep. Henry Waxman or any Kennedy woman). It is great to see the black youth, glamour and achievement that has gravitated to the attractive First Family. From what I read, its similar to the “Best and Brightest” that were attracted to the Kennedys in 1960. I just hope Madison Avenue is taking notice. Memo to 7th on Sixth: You're going to look foolish if your runways have only the usual 3rd world token models like Naomi or Tyra. Diversity is not just progressive; it’s now a money-maker for business. Ralph Lauren gets it. Look and see what model he used in his full page ad in this Sunday’s NY Times Style Section.

Transitioning from my shallowness to the hypocrisy of others, Tiger Woods addressed the crowd and told a touching story concerning his father in the military. He must have gotten prior approval from Nike before speaking at this "political" event. For an high profile African-American who has avoided taking a stand on issues such as the Iraq War, Female Membership at Augusta and even this Presidential election, speaking about duty to your fellow man is hypocritical.  This great athlete has never taken a stand that might negatively affect his endorsements.

Just a thought… I can’t believe I am saying this, but it seems like outgoing President (Biff) Bush has not screwed up the transition? In policy as well, he's also doing some things right recently. As it relates to Iraq, his team has thankfully cleaned up a substantial amount of his own mess, so Obama will not be forced to spend every day/all day dealing with it. W. has also done a lot of heavy lifting related to the banking crisis. His willingness to cast aside his free market principles and allow Bernanke/Paulson to print money as fast as a North Korean counterfeiter may give Obama a chance to steward a economic recovery in time for the 2012 re-election season. I also doubt Bush’s staff will, in the waning days, engage in immature acts like the $15,000 worth of vandalism perpetrated by Clinton’s staff on their way out. I do believe that 43 is ending his reign on a high note!

BTW, on Saturday, virtually every news channel was showing video of Obama traveling the Lincolnesque train-trip from Phildelphia to D.C. Curious, I checked out the web video feed from Fox News to get there take on the event. Wouldn't you know it, they were filming U.S. Air Flight 1549 being exhumed from the Hudson River. I was shocked, I tell you…SHOCKED that, at that historic moment, Fox wasn’t video streaming the Democrat President-Elect’s journey.

Lastly, Bruuuuce, love ya, babe…but “This Land is Your Land” is not the greatest song written about our home. It is good.  So is "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America".  But the honor of best song goes to Charlie Daniels, “In America”. Most of us know the lyrics to “This Land is Your Land”. Here are the lyrics to “In America”. I’ll let you the reader be the judge:

Well the eagle's been flying slow, and the 
flag's been flying low, and a lot of people's
saying that America's fixing to fall. But speaking just for me and some people from 
Tennessee, we got a thing or two to tell
 you all. This lady may have stumbled but she 
ain't never fell. And if the Russians don't 
believe that they can all go straight to hell.
 We're gonna put her feet back on the path
 of the righteousness and then God bless America again.

And you never did think that it ever would
 happen again. In America, did you? You never 
did think that we'd ever get together again.
 Well we damn sure fooled you. We're walking 
real proud and we're talking real loud again in
 America. You never did think that it ever would
 happen again.

From the sound up in Long Island out to San 
Francisco Bay, and ev'ry thing that's in between 
them is our home. And we may have done a little
 bit of fighting amongst ourselves, but you outside 
people best leave us alone. Cause we'll all stick 
together and you can take that to the bank.
 That's the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels 
and the yanks. You just go and lay your head on a
 Pittsburgh Steeler fan and I think you're gonna
 finally understand.

And you never did think that it ever would 
happen again. In America, did you? You never
 did think that we'd ever get together again.
 Well we damn sure fooled you. We're walking 
real proud and we're talking real loud again in 
America. You never did think that it ever would
 happen again.

I thought so. Case closed.

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