Thus Spake Zuska

Watching the Inauguration

I’m watching the inauguration on tv…all the bigwigs are walking in…and here comes Malia and Sasha. Could those girls possibly be any cuter?

Every time they show a shot of the sea of humanity on the Mall I am just overwhelmed.

I’ve never had a sense of living through anything so momentous before.*

Yay for us! The Bush years are over!

*except the election, of course. Well, and 9/11. But that was a very different sense of momentous.

UPDATE: Feinstein just gave her speech and tears are rolling down my cheeks. That line about the dream begun at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial finally reaching the walls of the White House…(I’m paraphrasing from memory, but it was very powerful.)

UPDATE: I really wish now I had gone to downtown Philly to watch the inauguration with the crowd on Constitution Mall or at the Kimmel Center. I really would like to be with a big ol’ mess of my fellow citizens.

The musical piece by John Williams was beautiful.

Is it just me, or did it seem like Chief Justice Roberts really didn’t enjoy his swearing in duty? I won’t go so far as to say he tried on purpose to make Obama trip up on the words…okay, probably he just messed up. It happens.

Forgot to mention that I absolutely loved Aretha’s rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (which is already up on YouTube, if you can believe it.) When she started singing it really hit me that this inauguration was not like any other before it. Her interpretation of that song was so poignant and ebullient at the same time. I don’t know quite how to describe this, but hearing her sing that made me hear, if you will, how much the voices of African Americans have been missing from the central public discourse all my life, and anticipate how wonderful it might be to have a much broader and more inclusive conversation going on over the next four years.

Over the past few days and today, listening to various people who were involved in the civil rights struggles talk about what this day means to them – it just feels like a privilege to have them share their thoughts and feelings with us all in this way. My heart is very full.

UPDATE: Soooooooo totally not sad to see GW fly away. Take off, already, helicopter!

UPDATE: The parsing of the inaugural speech has begun. Did you catch the Daily Show last night, with Aasif Mandvi reporting on expectations for the speech? It will make the Gettysburg address seem like a collection of simian grunts; it will make the “I have a dream” speech sound like the “I have a really bad speech” speech, etc. “Tomorrow’s speech, with it’s sweeping themes and majestic rhetoric, will make sweet, sweet love to the English language, and in so doing, will humiliate Homer, and expose Shakespeare as an untalented hack.” It was a hilarious segment, and right on target about the wildly overhyped expectations for what Obama could possibly do with his inaugural speech. By the way, Aasif Mandvi is totally hot. Just sayin’.

Comments

  1. #1 greg laden
    January 20, 2009

    It is totally mind blowing. Too bad about that little mess up with the oath of office. The right wing will be claiming that the inauguration is invalid.

  2. #2 Zuska
    January 20, 2009

    Ha! Yeah, they will.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    January 20, 2009

    Yes, totally hot. And it was good to meet you and get a chance to talk this weekend. :)

  4. #4 Barbara
    January 20, 2009

    I think that Roberts misspoke the oath deliberately. Very cool that our President knew what to say! I didn’t think the speech was earth shaking, but rather a good attempt to wake up the country to the reality of what is and what can be if we all hang in there together.

  5. #5 Roi des Foux
    January 20, 2009

    *Sigh*

    Yeah, he’s *dreamy*. If only I wasn’t a heterosexual male.

    *Sigh*

  6. #6 alexa harrington
    January 20, 2009

    The Aretha Franklin moment was the stunner for me–that’s when I felt it was actually coming to pass. I watched it in my daughter’s elementary school cafeteria/gym along with all the other students, parents and teachers. Incredibly, the kids sat still on the cold floor for over an hour while we all watched this amazing moment in history. It was a room full of damn happy people–happy he’s not GW, happy he’s HIM, happy he busted through whatever ceiling he had to bust through to get to that podium. It’s a good day.

  7. #7 Penny
    January 20, 2009

    My misty-eyes moment today (well, one of them): when I picked up my third-grader from school, I saw that she and some other kids were crowding around and pointing to a new poster on the wall of the classroom: It was a nice, slick, printed poster of the presidents, ALL 44 PRESIDENTS. Apparently Scholastic (I think?) sent them to teachers last week, with instructions to post them today and not sooner. That’s most likely the poster my daughter will always remember when she’s thinking of the presidents. I’m so glad she’s seeing this.

    And yes, Aasif Mandvi is hot.

  8. #8 Zuska
    January 20, 2009

    Tonight I was listening to Fresh Air with Terry Gross; she had Natasha Tretheway on the show, who read one of her own poems about being biracial, and then read this poem by Langston Hughes. I’d read it many years ago but it just blew me away to hear it again today.

  9. #9 Disgruntled Julie
    January 21, 2009

    Since I am fortunate enough to live in DC, I was able to walk to the Capitol. It was…. amazing. While I voted for Obama in the general election, he had not been my choice in the primaries. I was never quite caught up in the Obama-mania… after all, while the potential for hope is amazing, let’s not turn him into the Ultimate Savior until he actually does something worthwhile.

    But being there yesterday, with some million+ people standing behind me… and everyone just so HAPPY to be there… it was amazing.

  10. #10 josie
    January 25, 2009

    I think Roberts got rattled when Obama jumped the gun. He started his oath even before Roberts finished the first part. They’re both newbies at this. Maybe it’ll be better next time.