Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Day of days


Some impressions.

I love C-SPAN because they let me listen to the Marine Band in peace, without Brian Williams yammering all the time.  These guys must practice, they're really good.

The last four years were so horrible that they didn't even wait until noon.  The Chief Justice swore Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in at 11:54 am, which technically means there were two presidents today.  Imagine if there had been a national emergy.

But all looks peaceful at the Capitol.  The sun is shining, the dignitaries are dignified (Laura should have pulled the price tag off George's mask unless he's going for some Minnie Pearl tribute), and Lady Gaga just sang the hell out of the National Anthem.  Mostly in 4/4 time, which is strange, and with a little attempt at Aretha near the end, but very fine.  I'm sure most of the comment will be about her dress (big red skirt and a dove flying across her chest).  Woody Guthrie was in the house through Jennifer Lopez's "This Land Is Your Land," which should be the National Anthem. 

Is that Rosario Dawson with Cory Booker?

Evidently someone forgot to rescind the invitations of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, or they forgot to learn shame as children.

It's cold in Washington.  Some of the men are wearing hats, but few of the women, who are tougher.  Garth Brooks just took his off to sing "Amazing Grace."  I don't think I've ever seen him hatless.  Oh, he's making them sing along.

I remember when they used to dress in top hats and cutaways.  LBJ put a stop to that.

Who the hell invited Kristi Noem, crazypants governor of South Dakota?  Did she bring her flamethrower?

Amanda Gorman, poet laureate.  Is this a poem or a speech?  I'll have to see it in print.  She's 22!

Dan Quayle is here without Marilyn, and there's no sign of the Cheneys.  Otherwise a full house.  (Nobody expected the Carters, who are old and fragile, to leave their home in Georgia.)

Why do people close their eyes when someone is praying?  

Exit music at 12:31.  Short and sweet.

Did the Marine Band really play "Hit the Road, Jack" as Trump exited the White House?  Oh, please. 

The Orange Aberration aside, has there ever been a president who didn't call for, or at least hint at, unity?  Even Lincoln, with artillery already trained on Fort Sumter, insisted that "we must not be enemies."  Last night on one of the cable shows Timothy Snyder pointed out that history has not been kind to democracy, from the ancient Greeks to the states founded so hopefully after World War I.  He's not at all sanguine about our little experiment of 1789.  

The men who named this The United States were defying the gods.  At no time has this country been united politically or any other way.  It has always been rich against poor, white against non-white, native-born against immigrant and so on, those pieces shattering into smaller fragments regionally, ethnically, even in terms of gender and religion.  Democracy held us together because it assumes compromise and bearable tension.  Fascism allows neither.  Every fascist regime is about the will of one leader and the destruction of his opponents, which is what we glimpsed on January 6.  "Democracy has prevailed," Biden said.  Because we need to reaffirm that, apparently.

Well, let's celebrate democracy while it lasts.  The platform is still emptying but President Biden is already at work.  He has dismissed Jerome Adams, the useless Surgeon General ("Roses are red, violets are blue, risk is low for coronavirus But high for the flu" will be his epitaph); dissolved the "1776 Commission" designed to promote the all-is-beautiful view of American history;  and formalized his Cabinet nominations.  This painting by (African American) Robert S. Duncanson will hang in his office:

 I understand we will be re-joining the Paris Climate Accords any minute and SCIENCE will be represented at Cabinet level.  I am plotzing here.

So little time, so much evil to undo.  Maybe he can sign executive orders while reviewing troops.  (They say FDR could carry on a conversation while organizing his stamp collection.)  It's easier if you don't keep holding them up like a five-year-old with a finger-painting.  

Here's the military parade Trump didn't get.  Ha!  Say, wasn't that the EU flag carried by Colonial cosplayers?  I don't miss the state floats and random bagpipers.   

Keystone pipeline?  Dead.  World Health Organization, we're back; say hello to Dr. Anthony Fauci.  Transgender people, continue your military service.  No more gag rule on abortion for organizations receiving American aid.  Moratorium on student loan payments and evictions from properties with fed-backed mortgages.  DACA people won't be deported.  No more ban on travel from Muslim countries, but you may want to wait until we get this pandemic under control.  I'm dizzy.

Trump's last sinister words:  "We will be back in some form."  So check the soles of your shoes.   



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