A Great Gettin' Up Morning (my essay on...well...all this)
A Great Gettin' Up Morning By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Tuesday 20 January 2008
The cover of the newest Nation Magazine depicts a painting of Obama's inauguration rendered and submitted by a member of the online web forum DailyKos. The painting is in no way historically accurate, as Thurgood Marshall is depicted delivering the oath, but in every meaningful way, the artwork is spot-on truth. Susan B. Anthony is there, and here, as is Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Jordan, and Malcolm X, and Henry David Thoreau, and Gandhi, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and down at the front by the rail, there and here are four little girls from Birmingham who died in fire long ago. They are all on that podium today. We were all on that podium today.
One hundred forty-eight years of globalization with its benefits and its burdens make this a very different world from the one Lincoln lived and served in. Lincoln's failure would have left scarred the face of America, extending the cruel tragedy of slavery and perhaps fracturing the Union. His success helped keep the American dream alive. Obama's failure would heighten the threat of unprecedented global damage, but his success could help lead our great nation and this entire threatened world into a new period of enlightenment and progress. Obama's moment in history is a unique one. There has never been more to worry about, but neither has there ever been more to hope for. - Mario Cuomo, Newsday
It's strange. You wait for a day to come, you wish for it and pine for it and imagine what it will be like, you want so badly and wait so long for it to come that you despair it will ever be, and then one day, you're there, and you're not quite sure what to do with yourself. That was today.
As Obama fiddled with his inaugural address and spent Martin Luther King Day touting the virtues of community service, a ghost-town aura settled over the White House as President Bush endured his last full day in office in virtual seclusion. He met with aides, received routine briefings and commuted the sentences of two Border Patrol agents. In the afternoon, he was visited in the Oval Office by his father, who was spending the night in the White House, most likely for the last time. West Wing offices were piled with packing boxes, and color photographs of Bush had been pulled down from office walls. Many staffers worked their last day Friday, leaving a skeleton crew. The press room was as empty as on a summer weekend. Asked about the mood, a Bush staffer said: "Quiet. Subdued." - Thomas M. DeFrank, New York Daily News
There is a song I have been saving for this day. It is called "Medium Man/Floating Candles/Nighean Caileach Nan Cearc," and it's this wild, loud, exuberant bagpipe detonation performed by the Battlefield Band out of Edinburgh, Scotland. A long time ago, I chose this as my song of celebration, my anthem of triumph, and I have not played the damned thing even once in all these years. I have opened all the curtains, I have opened all the windows, I have cued up my song, and once the oath is done, the whole neighborhood is going to hear it.
It all happened quickly once the noon hour approached. Aretha sang, Biden swore, Yo Yo Ma played, and then ...
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. - President Barack Hussein Obama
I was alone in my room on December 13, 2000, when this all started, when the Supreme Court decided to unleash Bush, when the deal first started going down. I was alone in my room again more than eight years later when Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in, when the crowds in Washington cheered, when it all finally ended, and something different began in its place.
12. I've read all three volumes at least 18 times in my life.
Yes, I know the EXACT scene where those words are spoken.
Re "Look upon your land . . .Breathe the free air again"
Gandalf cured Theoden of paralyzing depression not by giving him false hope, because the situation really WAS pretty grim. But although there was very little hope, there was still a glimmer of hope...one ray of light. And Gandalf pointed out that ray of light and got Theoden to see it.
My Bush-hardened inner skeptic sees Diane Feinstein (war profiteer, corporatist, traitor Democrat) presiding over the Inauguration (headed for the Supreme Court, is my guess), and war criminals and master thieves Bush and Cheney given a dignified, immunized retreat--not so our dead soldiers and the children and other innocents of Iraq, blown to smithereens--and our government given over to the anti-democratic, war profiteer DLC, and the president that the American people thought they were electing turning out to be the president that was permitted to be elected, as some of us realize.
I see all these things. I have particular worry about a Bushwhack continuum with Obama on a war plan to grab undefended Venezuela's oil (in lieu of well-defended Iran's), and I am just plain appalled by Obama's agreement with the Financial 9/11 that the Bushwhacks pulled off, as their parting shot. But I do think we 'dodged a bullet' with Bush/Cheney actually leaving, this day, with their immunity in their back pockets, but...leaving. That is a relief. Whoever negotiated it. I think I understand the peril we were in, why that deal seem necessary to those who made it--and also the other deal--the one Obama had to make--to be permitted in the White House.
I have no illusions, in other words--not after eight years of this fascist junta, and forty-five years of bullshit, unjust wars and theft by the rich, ever since JFK was assassinated.
And I don't think you do either.
For me it was Aretha Franklin. America, the beautiful. Such beauty of soul, beauty of intention, beauty of ideals, honored, after centuries of oppression. The beauty of the idea of America. It is like the night sky that greeted me over my rural home, last night, blazing with stars that beckon us to be better than we are, to rise above, to think big. "We are the keepers of this legacy," Obama said. Democracy. That we are. That we are. And the two million people who attended the Inauguration, and the rest of us, wherever we are, are determined to pass it along, despite these many difficulties. This ceremony was not designed by us, and only partially represented us, yet we filled it with presence, bodily or in spirit. We, the People, were there today, determined to create a country that we can believe in, no matter how hard our corporate rulers and war profiteers try to make it otherwise.
The dark days of 2000 and 2004 are gone, but not forgotten--never forgotten--even as the fog rolls in, interposing itself between me and the stars. The fog makes the star-studded sky even more beautiful when it makes its rare appearance. Our ideals blazing away. Lessons learned. Keeping the dots connected. Appreciating the beauty of We, the People, deep in our hearts and minds.
All the mock outrage threads cracked me up this morning, but this afternoon, I'm left with the feeling that I really need to change my mindset and move away from the need to constantly ridicule the idiot in the White House. He's gone. I wish him the very worst of everything, and eventual prosecution and imprisonment. But beyond that, it's time to hunker down and follow Obama's lead. We need to become the change we want to see, and we need to start at the community level just like he did.
There's a bit of melancholy I just can't put my finger on... the losses I guess. The lives lost, the family security, the retirement funds, the jobs, the various industries, everything we lost because of that fucking rat bastard George W. Bush.
I feel really weird right now. Jesus, Will! WTF? LOL!!!
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.