Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Watching the Obama Inauguration now

Am I the only one who's bugged by the fact that everyone's talking about how he's the first guy in world history to go from the slave-class to the elected head of the country?

Because India was way ahead of 'em. Elected an untouchable as their tenth President way back in 1997.



From Wikipedia:

Narayanan is regarded as an independent and assertive President who set several precedents and enlarged the scope of the highest constitutional office. He described himself as a "working President" who worked "within the four corners of the Constitution"; something midway between an "executive President" who has direct power and a "rubber-stamp President" who endorses government decisions without question or deliberation.[2] He used his discretionary powers as a President and deviated from convention and precedent in many situations, including - but not limited to — the appointment of the Prime Minister in a hung Parliament, in dismissing a state government and imposing President's rule there at the suggestion of the Union Cabinet, and during the Kargil conflict. He presided over the golden jubilee celebrations of Indian independence and in the country's general election of 1998 became the first Indian President to vote when in office, setting another new precedent.

12:40 am: Barack H. Obama. Heh.

12:49: Wah lau. That homophobic Pastor Rick Warren just won't shut up. He's going through the entire Paternoster now. Oh good; now he's stopped.

KNN! "He effectively becomes the pastor of the nation"???? (I'm watching BBC btw.)

12:50: Aretha!!! What's with that hat???? And what language are you singing in???? Tongues?

1:02: Oops. Oath gaffe, Mr President-Elec- oh man, you're President now. Is Bush's tongue-slippage infectious? UPDATE: turns out the Chief Justice made the slip-up instead.

1:07: "The time has come to set aside childish things." I like it. Is this going to be the catchphrase of your inauguration?

1:10: "remaking America".... hee hee. This sounds like a Singapore policy.

You know, I'm getting a little scared of this man. I'm not sure if I want another American century; let Asia have its turn.

1:16: "Know that your people will judge you by what you build, not what you destroy." Very clever. Non-violent and constructive.

1:24: Inauguration poet Elizabeth Alexander!!!!

1:28: Okayeee... weird spoken word intonation combined with stark language and platitudes. I guess I like it, but I come awful close to not.

1:29: My god. The benediction guy is ancient.

1:33: "When yella can be okay fella? When the red man can get ahead, man???" (Oh, I see. He's a former civil rights leader.)

1:41: The post-speech dissection process reminds me of my old practical criticism papers. I think we're finished here. G'nite everybody!

1:47: HAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHA Dick Cheney's in a wheelchair. Let the bugger stay there and get bedsores.

14:31 the next day: Holy smokes. The USA had a part Native American president????


From Wikipedia, once again:

Chester Alan Arthur was the son of Irish born preacher William Arthur and Vermont born Malvina Stone Arthur. Malvina's grandfather, Uriah Stone, fought for the Continental Army during the American Revolution and named his son, Malvina's father, George Washington Stone. Malvina's mother was part Native American.[1]

...
During the 1880 U.S presidential election a New York attorney, Arthur P. Hinman, was hired to explore rumors of Arthur's foreign birth. Hinman alleged that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old. When that story failed to take root Hinman came forth with a new story that Arthur was born in Canada. This claim also fell on deaf ears.[5]

...
[o]n July 2, 1881, President Garfield was shot in the back by Charles J. Guiteau, who shouted: "I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts... Arthur is president now!"[9] Arthur's shock at the assassination was augmented by his mortification at Guiteau's claim of political kinship. (Madmen and Geniuses, Barzman, 1974) Garfield initially survived the shooting, but due to a combination of infections and the poor medical care of the time, he gradually deteriorated and died on September 19.
...

The Arthur Administration enacted the first general Federal immigration law. Arthur approved a measure in 1882 excluding paupers, criminals, and the mentally ill. Congress also suspended Chinese immigration for ten years with the Chinese Exclusion Act, later making the restriction permanent.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I got home just in time to have missed all of Rick Warren.

As these kind of OTT American speeches seem to be required to go, pretty good. A nod to non-believers- wahoo! Though my daughter said she wished he'd called them freethinkers "like in Singapore. It sounds so much better to be a freethinker." (recalling happy memories of conversation with cab drivers)

Didn't like the poem much either. Sounded very pre-approved. And that is my unfavourite poetry cadence and seems to be an American female poet thing. Though as a poet ,used to a 'crowd' of 20 listeners, that had to be scary. But those pauses are odd.
Did read a poem of hers I liked in the FT the other day, have to look it up.

Liked the minister's little poem better, at least sounded quirky and real, though I have to say I didn't think of 'yellow' as describing Asian,was thinking of the black communities description of the range of color w/in it.(though don't hink that's the right interpretation)


So glad not have to see W's smirk any more.

Felt very scared watching Barack and Michelle walk along the parade route, but glad they did. May he be a good president!