Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Honey, where's my super suit?

I stayed at home today in the warmth. It was a lot easier to write with fingers that were warm enough to actually move.

Just before 5 I turned on the TV for Obama's inauguration. It took all my will power not to switch it off again when faced with the sermon that preceded it. The mistake in the oath-taking added a frisson of excitement of course. Nice to hear non-believers acknowledged, though Hindus must have been a little cheesed off that they don't seem to count at all. Once you start with lists, it's like a best man's speech - you've got to put everyone in.

The speech was a good one, I thought (written by the 27 year-old Jon Favreau). The man can talk, you have to give him that. But actors speak other people's words beautifully. It is seductive, but it actually means very little if you don't follow through. Only time will tell whether there's more to him than being a Frozone lookalike - 'Honey - Where's my super suit?!'

Of course, not being Bush will take him a long way with most people. And you still have to pinch yourself when you see that a black man is now president of the United States of America. Whatever happens, that felt sweet.

My son came back from school, having just missed the speech and instead wandered into the godawful poem that followed it. I'm sorry Elizabeth Alexander - but it was! And poets should not be allowed to read their own stuff. But I'm not sure anybody could have breathed life into it though. I certainly wasn't about to persuade my son that it was desperately important that he listened.

We watched the speech again on the six 0'clock news and it was fascinating, as always, to see what they chose to show and not show in the highlights. History is now made by TV news editors.

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