The upcoming inauguration of Willem-Alexander as King of the Netherlands has united his people in their hatred of the Koningslied, especially the lyrics written by committee.
There was no way to anticipate that the reliably malfunction-free Beyoncé arriving in New Orleans for her turn at immortality would be a vulnerable one. At the presidential inauguration ceremony last month, she sang the national anthem over a prerecorded vocal track, leading to a minor scandal, putting her on the defensive. Beyoncé, bionic, isn’t used to having her reputation impugned. Vulnerability is not her bag. She is, though, up to the challenge — in this case, the conundrum of how to make her Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which she had been planning for months, not only a spectacle in its own right, but also a conclusion to the messy affair. [more inside]
Richard Blanco, a poet, teacher, and engineer, was chosen to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet. He is the author of the collections of poetry "City of a Hundred Fires," "Directions to the Beach of the Dead," "Place of Mind," and "Looking for the Gulf Motel." He is the first immigrant, first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest to be the U.S. inaugural poet. The poem he read was "One Today" (full text/analysis)
When Barack Obama is sworn in to office for a second term today, he will use two bibles: One owned by Abraham Lincoln, and second bible, used by Martin Luther King Jr.
Cornel West explains why Obama taking the oath with Martin Luther King Jr's Bible bothers him.
Cornel West explains why Obama taking the oath with Martin Luther King Jr's Bible bothers him.
The first female White House chef, a naturalized Philippina named Cristeta Comerford, was appointed by George W. Bush - who told Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, "I am reminded of the great talent of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House." Despite the urging of American food icon Alice Waters, President Obama has left Comerford in charge of the White House kitchens - though he's keeping quiet about it. But on the basis of the wines served at Obama's Inauguration Day lunch, oenophiles are still hoping for change. (more First Food posts here and here )
The undeniable 'bling' of the First Lady Michelle Obama's sparkly yellow dress underlines that she is full of surprises. Shades of yellow have symbolized renewal and hope since Elizabethan times, and besides, the shade really popped on Michelle Obama. Oh, it's also a "sartorial flag waved around the world", so it had to be a good 'un. Jackie O. references abound, what with the sheath dress styling. Keep your eye on Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo. If you're into that sort of thing.
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion." ~ George Washington / "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature." ~ Thomas Jefferson / "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion." ~ Abraham Lincoln / "A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison / "I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy / "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." ~ Barack Obama
A recipe for Inaugural Orange Punch, a drink that helped in part to cause the most memorable presidential inauguration in the history of the U.S. via.
President Barack Obama The text of the Inaugural speech will be posted after it's completed. Change.gov is closing up shop; Change has come to Whitehouse.gov.
Looking forward to Tuesday, here's a blast from the past. Videos of previous Presidential Inaugurations. The first recorded on video was McKinley's Second (March 4, 1901). [more inside]
Presidential inaugurations often invoke higher powers. President Obama will swear in on the Lincoln Bible, though the appropriate verse is unknown. When Harry Truman took the oath of office he kissed the Bible. Theodore Roosevelt was the only President not sworn in on a Bible. More Presidential Inauguration Trivia.
"The Mass Observation movement was founded by a group of 1930s' British intellectuals who believed the most revealing way to document an event was to document the peripheral activities surrounding it. The Mass Observers carried out their greatest project on May 12th, 1937, when they dispatched more than 200 observers throughout London to monitor the coronation of King George VI." This coming Tuesday, the folks at Januarythe20th.com are attempting to create a day of Mass Observation in the United States.
When Obama takes the oath of office, he won't be standing alone. This week's cover of The Nation features a portrait of an Obama inauguration presided over by Thurgood Marshall and attended by more than 60 civil rights icons. [more inside]
To celebrate the Inauguration, Ben and Jerry's has issued a new ice cream flavor, Yes, PeCan, with profits donated to the Common Cause Education Fund. There's a Reddit thread for suggestions for flavors commemorating Bush/Cheney. [more inside]
When did this ball go so wrong? As thousands of people get out their best clothes, spring for pricey tickets and head to DC for a fairy tale night of dancing at one of the 10 official Inaugural Balls, the Washington Post takes an amusing look at the decline of the once-glamorous event, which has now become a hideous, tacky ordeal complete with coat check riots, box wine (at the cash bar!) and phoned-in cameos by the exhausted First Couple. If you must go, here's some sage fashion advice. If you ignore wise counsel not to buy a fancy dress, make sure to register it to avoid the dreaded dress dupe.
Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project The Library of Congress invites you to submit digital audio or video recordings of speeches made between January 16 and january 25, 2009 on the occasion of Barack Obama's inauguration. The speeches will be archived in a collection for future scholarship, much like the Day of Infamyand other collections capturing signifcant American moments.
For large events, the National Park Service recommends one porta-potty per every 300 people. But if a low estimate of two million people attend the January 20th swearing-in of Barack Obama and the inaugural parade that follows, the just announced 5,000 toilets planned for the event will provide only one seven-foot plastic sanctuary for every 400 people. And even though Don's Johns use a satellite GPS system to "track the delivery, location, and status of every unit," many are skeptical the levies will hold.
"New" photos emerge of Lincoln's second inauguration The Library of Congress has discovered new photographs taken in 1865 at Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration. For years they were filed under President Grant's archive, mislabeled into obscurity. Incidentally, this week will be the grand opening of Lincoln's summer "cottage" in northwest DC.
Audio link to the Inaugural Address delivered January 20, 1961.
"Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution!" • In the same comic deadpan spirit as his other video, Evan Maloney from Brain-Terminal.com consoles protesters on Inauguration Day with softball questions and Hero Builders toys.
A candid exchange on Fox New about yesterday's inauguration's pomp and splendor between Judy Bachrach from Vanity Fair and Brigitte Quinn from Fox. (apologies for the link, it was the only one I could find)
Inaugural protest pics (series begins at that photo): Kevin Smith attended the inaugural protests and took some (IMHO) really good photographs that you weren't likely to see on any of the mainstream media outlets. Outside of the subject matter itself, I enjoy his photos and wanted to share these given this sets timeliness. In particular, I like this one and love this one. Non protest pics can be find by using the first link and then navigating back through his archives.
Protest Warriors Clash • Gil Kobrin of the Protest Warriors went down "under a hail of black boots" belonging to anti-Bush peace activists. "It wasn't much of a contest. ProtestWarrior's contingent numbered 13, the other side in the hundreds. If they won any hearts and minds, no one said so." Meanwhile, DC activist group Anarchist Resistance issued their call to action: "There's nothing left to salvage in this empire that is the U.S. government. It's time to bring it down." AR is listed as a resouce by the Internet Liberation Front who Kos reported "hacked and defaced six Republican websites" yesterday. Some commentary on civil disobedience by Thoreau & ActUp.
"I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord," said George W. Bush yesterday. (Really? I do.) While giant crosses are banned from next Thursday's inauguration, Jesus likely won't be, despite Michael Newdow's protestations. By the way, the benediction is scheduled to be delivered by The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who also got the honor in 2001. Back then, he said to millions of bowed heads gathered to mark the beginning of the Bush presidency: "We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names, Jesus, the Christ. Let all who agree say, 'Amen.'" After gay rights, is discrimination against atheists the next great civil rights battle of our time? Or should we just shut up and move to France?
Kid Rock To Play Bush Inauguration ... The Bush Twins have invited Kid Rock to play their inauguration bash after their father is sworn in to a second term. Rock also played the Republican National Convention. This is a guy who stuck his head through an American flag at the Superbowl and has lyrics that say all women are whores and extol drug and alcohol abuse. (The link has actual lyrics from Rock, so if you are offended by cursing don't follow it.)
Priate Radio Calling for inauguration protests CNN is reporting that a guerilla radio station is calling for massive protests of the inauguration of President George W. Bush. After some googling, I found a press release from WSQT on indymedia concerning the transmissions. It seems that they are somehow related to DAWNdc a local leftist activist organization. Here is how they are reacting to the sudden attention.
Inaugural Protesters Abused "'Agents provocateurs' . . . allegedly punched a protester and more than one allegedly fired pepper spray at close range in the faces of peaceful demonstrators." Why do I get the feeling this is going to be a long and painful 4 years? The economy, bankruptcy laws, limits on abortion rights, failure to regulate carbon dioxide; we're only a few months into this administration and already things look bad. [and yes, I've included links to Salon stories; uh oh!]
Live audio description of Bush inauguration If you get PBS and if your PBS station broadcasts in stereo, you will likely be able to hear only the second-ever attempt at audio description of a live event - the inauguration of Bush. (The other live-described event was Clinton's inauguration.) This of course is audio description, ostensibly for blind viewers. Set your TV or VCR to SAP and compare the approaches of the standard announcers, who call the event assuming the viewer can see, and the describers, who don't. (No sexy Web page for this event.)