Okay, so I'm back home in D.C. for awhile, which is about as far as my life-related news goes. I got back just in time for the inauguration, which was certainly interesting.
I went out to the festivities in an effort to try to stir up a little bit of this Obama-related sentiment in my heart. I mean, I'm fairly happy and excited that he's our president, but I'm still a bit mystified by the entire Obama phenonemon. And after those four days I can safely say that I am more confused than ever.
This mass of people had to be the most earnest, least ironic group that I have ever been a part of (and, after Synergy, that's saying alot).
I resorted to spending the entire weekend making St. Obama jokes to Will (who was in town, with his girlfriend Leah). But even that sometimes backfired.
For instance, as I was walking out of the Inauguration concert I said to Will, "Don't they know that we're not going to need music after we're touched by Obama's light? Because the music will be in our hearts."
The woman next to us turned and said, "That was beautiful."'
I will say that I am glad I went to the inauguration. I had my doubts during the endeavor, particularly when I had just spent four hours standing on the Mall in 20 degree temperature, lost feeling from my toes, and been berated by two yuppies for smoking...and Obama was still two hours away.
But I've listened to, and been deeply touched by, so many recordings of great speeches and I've often wondered what it would be like to be there when one was made. And while I'm not sure Obama's speech will go down in the annals of history, it was certainly more meaningful to me because of the six frozen hours I had to wait for it.
I also thought it was the right speech for the moment. Obama's talk about having to make hard decisions, and by implication, give up some things now in return for future prosperity, rang true for me. So many of our modern disasters have come about becuase we sought easy, soft solutions in the past. I'm not sure whether the speech will be remembered by the ages (as Obama's DNC speech certainly will be). I think that depends on whether his presidency is remembered as one that not only weathered the current crisis (as I think it will), but put in place stable and long-lasting institutions that make such crises less likely in the future.