Inauguration 2009

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I can't remember people ever paying this much attention to an inauguration. Or all the star power in Washington. Really amazing. We're going to a party tonight to celebrate.

This is an open thread to discuss any inauguration-related commentary or gossip. Check out these reader pictures of events.

20 thoughts on “Inauguration 2009

  1. On one level, the interest in the inauguration is great. On the other, doesn’t it feel to other people like the whole thing is overly commodified? Or maybe the word I’m thinking of is “reified.” It’s like everything is existing in this plane where possibility and potential and change is this thing we can pass around and touch, like the Stanley Cup or World Series trophy. We can all own it, but we put it up on a shelf or wear a button and make it part of our identity without actually having to do anything except show up and party.
    On the other hand, having been part of the pro-choice marches/rallies in DC in the early 90s, I can really see the value of feeling a sense of belonging/community via activism/action.
    But part of me worries that it will all fade away as soon as the next fad hits us.

  2. I seem to remember that ’93 had a lot of people excited, at least in DC. Our eldest was 14, then, and was able to heavily overcharge for babysitting given the demand from local ball-goers.

  3. Speaking of collectible plates, did anyone see Stueben Glass’s Obama plate that was advertised in the NYT magazine. $7,500. Makes me wonder if I shouldn’t have invested in the Bradford Exchange instead of the NYSE.

  4. Whenever a Democrat is inaugurated, there is always vast excitement. (Someone above mentions 1993; I am old enough to remember when “J.C. can save America” was all the rage.) As P.J. O’Rourke said, Republicans have jobs, so public demonstrativeness isn’t their thing.

  5. I’m not old enough to remember Carter-mania, but I do remember how mad the farmers were by the end of Carter’s term. My neighbor had a bumper sticker that said “Import Peanut, Export Beef”.

  6. RAF,
    Would you like to buy my limited edition (only 200 firing days) “Kingsley Shacklebolt watches Obama being sworn-in” plate? Shacklebolt is disillusioned (in the way that only non-muggles can be disillusioned) and hovering over the scene on his broom.

  7. Shacklebolt is disillusioned (in the way that only non-muggles can be disillusioned) and hovering over the scene on his broom.
    This reminds me of some comic book-inspired geek fantasy/sci-fi story from the 80s–Aces Wild, maybe? I need Tim Burke or Jacob Levy to help me–that featured a scene like this; an old black superhero from WWII, who had been driven into exile, returning during the March on Selma, flying mournfully over the crowd, angered by what he sees, but unwilling to intervene.
    Aside from that, I can’t make any meaning from your comment (why would Shacklebolt be disillusioned? he’s got to like Obama better than that idiot PM he had to deal with in the sixth book), but it sounds like one cool plate. Squeeze Ron and Hermione into curious the crowd, and I’m sold.

  8. I have an aversion to hype, too, and a belief in the politicalness of politicians, but as I read in another blog, I’ve lost my snark about this one. I watched Pete Seeger singing “This Land” (which I’ve always loved) on my computer with a group, and we all admitted to shivers. I still can’t quite believe that it’s really going to happen.
    And, I’m a sucker for the memorabilia, ’cause my eldest child was born on inauguration day. I simply can’t get enough of things that say 01.20.09 on them (including the rulers with all 44 presidents on the back): http://pic2009.inauguralcollectibles.com/optimizer/product/J0303.html.

  9. I took the train up from Atlanta to DC for Clinton’s first, and it was most excellent. Rolling through the night, picking up people at every stop. A train of pilgrims, after a fashion.

  10. RAF, I meant “Disillusioned” as in the spell used to make him invisible. I think a guy hovering on a broom would be a bit much to expect the secret service to ignore if they could see him.

  11. My fantasy plate has Obama taking the oath, watched by the spectral shapes of MLK, Malcolm X, and whoever else fits. (I’m thinking something along the lines of that scene from Star Wars VI where Luke gets approving smiles from the dead Jedis.)

  12. I meant “Disillusioned” as in the spell used to make him invisible.
    Cripes. Of course–and I call myself a HP fan.
    My fantasy plate has Obama taking the oath, watched by the spectral shapes of MLK, Malcolm X, and whoever else fits.
    Just so long as George Lucas doesn’t replace one of their faces with Usher or someone else similarly young.

  13. Speaking of commodification, Pepsi is inviting Americans to make videos of themselves telling Obama how to refresh the nation. The video reuses the form and some of the personnel from the famous will.i.am video.

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