January 20, 2009
Obama's Inaugural Address: 1313 S Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92802
Part I: Tuesday our prince will come
I'm afraid I overslept and missed the president's inaugural address. Sorry. But I did bite the medicine and read the whole thing.
I admit I was reading with an eye towards fisking it; but I realized I was too late, for President Barack H. Obama beat me to it. But as I read through his pot of message (toothpicks holding my eyes open, like a cartoon character desperately trying to keep awake), I noticed a recurring theme, a leitmotif in some fantasia that continued bringing me related imagery. Let's run through a few excerpts and see if our gentle readers have the same reaction.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
This invocation is so stirring, so specific and direct, that it surely moves us to action, reminding one inexorably of those great moments with Mr. Lincoln that we all imbibed as little children in our little government schools. I can almost hear the second movement of Rossini's overture to William Tell -- the storm-tossed grain, the shutters of the farmhouse flapping in the gale -- followed by the grand, heroic theme of the fourth movement (the "Lone Ranger" part). The heart leaps!
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
We mustn't live like Peter Pan and his lost boys in a Never-Never Land of political argument; rather we must finally grow up, just as Wendy, John, and Michael Darling finally did, to the post-racial, post-partisan, post-ideological, post-national, post-modern world of Barack Obama.
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
Let John Smith and Pocahontas marry and gain their full measure of happiness; it will bring all peoples of the world together, uniting us; for indeed, though the mountains divide, and the oceans are wide, it's a small small world.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less [like Mittens the cat in last year's "Bolt"]. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted [like Ichabod Crane"] -- for those who prefer leisure over work [like those blubberballs in space that we saw in WALL-E], or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame [à la Captain Jack Sparrow]. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated ["what a boon, what a do-er, what a dream comer-truer was he, Daniel Boone!"] but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom [all those "little people" who dig for gems of greatness amid the lightless mines of obscurity].
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life [Obama speaks of the Pilgrims, including John Smith, op.cit.].
For us, they toiled in sweatshops [like those cute ants in "a Bug's Life"] and settled the West [as did Joe Crane and Andy Burnett]; endured the lash of the whip [just like Quasimodo!] and plowed the hard earth [as Mulan's father did, before he was drafted].
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn [Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier, lays down his life at the Alamo].
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction [or species... "It's the Circle of Life, and it moves us all."]
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.
"Through despair and hope, through faith and love..."
Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed.
"Till we find our place, on the path unwinding..."
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
"In the Circle, the Circle of Life!"
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. [We could really use an extra big pinch of pixie dust right about now.] We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. [All right, maybe a handful of the stuff.] We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. [Double handful; maybe a bucket.] We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. [Tinkerbell scowls, scrounging through pocket after pocket for the last few grains.] And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do. [Tink! Come on everybody, quick -- clap your hands! Better yet, find a pixie-sized defibrillator; I think poor Tink has suffered a myocardial infarction from an overdose of magical demands.]
That's it for now, Obamateers; tune in tomorrow for the conclusion.
Bee-Ay-Are... Are you ready for change you can believe in?
Ay-See-Kay... ¿Qué? ¡Si, se puede!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 20, 2009, at the time of 7:03 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/3436
The following hissed in response by: Geoman
Great Googly Moogly! - It's the Disney presidency! If you just wish hard enough, all your dreams will come true! Belief will make you fly! Click your heels to get home!
"Oh, I don't think there's anything in that black bag for me." Dorothy, Wizard of Oz
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