Inauguration Day

Is watching/listening to the inaguration events making anyone else uncomfortable?

I have little personal stake in this president’s election…and I believed it was a toss-up as to who would make a real “change”. Consider me a short-term future agnostic. All that aside, I cannot shake the bone chilling as I tune in at work.

I have taken too many history classes to feel better, even for the “moment.” No, I do not think Mr. Obama is the next fill-in-the-blank-Dictator or socialist or whatever. [The socialist boat left a long time ago…so hang it up already!] The Nationalist display of fervor is what disturbs me the most, I guess. Don’t they know….don’t they know that what they are doing is no different, in essentials, than any other nation state? We are doing exactly as those people we have pitied or maligned.

You might argue that the millions who have descended on D.C. did so out of their free-will. They were not ordered to go to the inauguration. Which is better…do you think…that masses of people are compelled to laud a nation-state leader or they are deluded into putting their hopes in all the drivel he says? The worst part of being deceived is not knowing you  are deceived.

So I harken to the last stanza of the “Mad Farmers Liberation Front” poem by Wendell Berry:

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Learn to take care of your own people, your own 5 mile radius. That is what you are ultimately responsible for.


7 Responses to “Inauguration Day”

  1. 1 alana January 20, 2009 at 11:43 am

    It’s all part of the same machine.

    I particularly enjoyed the adorable pink-cheeked children in their little red hats….

  2. 2 Evonne January 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I know I’ve certainly been uncomfortable at work with all the derogatory (and outright hateful) comments directed toward our last president and vice president — evidently because I’m a member of a minority group they just assume I’ll agree.

  3. 3 Paula January 20, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Do the words “lineral coronation” cover it?
    Arthur Sido has written some excellent posts on this.

  4. 4 Amber January 21, 2009 at 7:48 am

    I found it not just uncomfortable, but creepy in some respects. The level of devotion that some people are displaying toward Obama, that they have displayed since the campaign even is just…wrong.

    And the rudeness and disrespect for President Bush? I don’t like the man as president. I never really have. But he was president. He deserves the respect of that office, if nothing else.

  5. 5 goldilocks January 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Yes, it is creepy. I didn’t like Bush, (or McCain… didn’t vote for Bush either time, and abstained from voting entirely this time,) but the Obama adulation sends shivers down my spine. It IS sinful, I believe, to worship a human being in this way.

    I know political people on the right deride the whole spectacle as “messianic” and I think that’s a particularly apt way to put it.

    But yes. Wonderful, wonderful poem!!

    Act locally, THINK locally. How can any of us “think globally,” as if we should control what the other six billion people on it think???

    I plan to attend to my husband, then my children, then our extended family and the people living in our local area.

  6. 6 Dawn January 22, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I agree with goldilocks and amber. Obama worship has been rampant. I didn’t watch the inauguration, partly because I didn’t care and also I was cleaning.
    On the news though in the evening I was watching people here in the DFW area being interviewed and of course they are all bawling and weeping with joy and this one lady (she was African American) was like ‘we are free, finally free, it’s been so long’. Hubby and I looked at each other confused like ‘umm…what?’. Free from what? She lives here in America with the same amount of freedom you and I have, what in the world is she talking about?
    Then they interviewed this man (he was white) and with tears in his eyes he was like ‘we are finally going to have peace…that’s all I have wanted’.
    I couldn’t watch anymore Obama worship so I went back to answering e-mails.
    If these people want peace, all they have to to do is look to the Prince of Peace..Jesus himself. He even told us in His Word to live peaceably with all men.
    But our world doesn’t want God, Jesus, the Bible and Christians for that fact, they put their hope, money, dreams in a man who will fail them.

    Okay, off my soap box.

    God Bless You Anna!

  7. 7 Dana March 3, 2009 at 10:49 am

    In response to the previous comment and to this post generally…

    1. I was not only disturbed by the messianic undercurrent surrounding Obama, I was also targeted by it because I favored another candidate. Never mind who, I just did, and I wound up voting Green Party rather than vote for a guy whose supporters behave like goons if anyone dare question Herr Leader. I don’t blame Obama, I just think that as a geek he tended to attract supporters with few to no social skills. *shrug*

    2. However, I don’t blame African-Americans in the slightest for feeling like his election makes them more free. White people do not understand this, and I’m white. I can only intellectually analyze it. I don’t come from a background of centuries of slavery followed by decades of Jim Crow followed by whatever subtle things we’re doing to them now by other channels. I recently moved out of a majority-black inner-city neighborhood that I’d lived in for four years, into a majority-white middle-class area and it is night and day the way the local residents are treated. If black people say they don’t feel free, I believe them. We thought just changing their legal status would be enough. We failed to take into account that white people haven’t just been free, we’ve also had centuries to build up support networks to enable one another’s success. They had that too, until we bought them and shipped them out of Africa. Then after we freed them they had to start over from scratch, AND fight an uphill battle against whites who resented the fact they were free, and other whites who believed the media propaganda about them being less than human.

    The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina should have been enough to show us how racist this country still is.

    And as human beings are concrete thinkers for the most part, more likely to believe what we see with our eyes than what we imagine with our minds unseen (one reason it’s so hard to find true believers among the Abrahamic religions, for instance–their concept of God is entirely abstract), Obama being in the highest elected office in the land is going to be far more inspiring to the average African-American than all the years of white pontificating about hard work and sacrifice that came before it, as though no black person ever worked a day in their life. You know?

    3. I thought the inauguration was really neat, but I can see where it would creep someone out. I think people were just relieved that what they perceived as an eight-year nightmare was finally over.

    4. Speaking of which, I respect the office of the President too, but I don’t equate the man with the office. I will not stand idly by and pretend I’m OK with him or that I respect him if I don’t think he’s earned it. And I feel the same way about Obama, if he starts acting in repressive and un-American ways, just as Bush did for eight years.

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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