Friday, January 21, 2005

The anointing

I spent Coronation Day morning away from the television and radio and missed the President’s address. I had driven north on the snowy and windy interstate to the small town of Dexter, Maine to conduct another interview for When Towns Had Teams. While I'm busy with the actual writing, I'm still conducting additional interviews for later chapters, or to fill in gaps in information that I might still have.

Researching my book about local baseball in Maine has allowed me the privilege to sit down with the true greatness of America—its ordinary citizens—the real movers and shakers of liberty and freedom.

Of course, I did flick on NPR on my drive home. Even the commentators on public radio were somewhat taken aback by Bush's stern and serious tone—some called it a “scolding” tone—of his inaugural speech/sermon. I can’t remember which commentator it was, possibly Howard Fineman of Newsweek, who said that Bush was channeling the hellfire and brimstone of Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards.

If I do watch any mainstream news in the evening, it is usually Keith Olbermann’s Countdown. Olbermann (he even has a blog) won my respect when he was one of a small fringe in any mainstream context, willing to look at possible irregularities and even fraud in Ohio’s voting results.

The other channels kept showing the swearing in, or the other standard clips of Bush dancing with Laura (who looked a bit pudgy in that world-class dress she supposedly was wearing; personally, I thought it was hideous, but that’s just me showing my obvious lack of pedigree). Even the usually adroit C-Span spent about an hour devoted to a couple of “prunes” gushing about Laura’s dress (I’m sorry, but it was freakin’ ugly!).

It would have been nice if someone had shown that there was a bit of dissent afoot in W-town yesterday. NPR did break away and have a correspondent at Lafayette Park where apparently much of the counter-inaugural activities were happening. Olbermann showed the limo being pelted by eggs (an internet report has it that the limo sped past protesters—probably at Bush’s behest—and slowed down beyond the cordoned off malcontents), but by and large, it was the usual “all is well” coverage of the Bush junta.

One good thing about a second term for an aristocrat—it tends to improve the offerings coming from the rock world. Reagan’s second term spawned the heyday of punk and some of the best protest music since the late-60’s, so at least I have that to look forward to.

Lastly, if you couldn't get enough of the liberty and freedom talk yesterday, here are a few pictures to remind you exactly what the Fuhrer's code words mean to those we are extending our beneficence to.

The photos and accompanying story ran on the BBC. Newsday picked it up here, but why wasn't it all over the U.S. press? Gee, I wonder?

For those who hold to the throwback theology of Edwards (and fundamentalists in the United States), I have one thing left to say; judgement day's a comin'!

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