Where Will You Be?
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the mid-life ramblings of no one in particular! Fire ants have a more exciting life than me. But that's okay. Boring is better than catastrophic.
Occasionally I watch MSNBC at night. Yesterday evening I saw a commercial. It showed heroic portraits of Barack Obama, with heroic music, and asked the question, "Where will you be when history is made?"
This having to do of course with the inauguration. And of course the implication is, WATCH MSNBC.
Thanks for the invitation, Keith and Rachel, but I'll be at work.
When I was a kid, my parents wouldn't have dreamed of keeping me home from school to witness a historic event on television. I consider myself fortunate to have been a preschooler in the John Glenn era, because I saw all those rocket liftoffs and splashdowns. Also, I believe that the moon landing was in the summertime when I didn't have school.
Otherwise, for good or ill, I work through everything that isn't posing an immediate threat to my life and limb. On 9/11 I watched the event unfold for about 90 gut-wrenching minutes, and then I said to myself, "Damn. I'm going to work." And I did. In those years I worked at home, was my own boss, and could set my own hours. Skyscraper 100 miles away attacked and destroyed? I'm not there. Back to work. I'll grieve later.
I am 100 percent certain that Barack Obama is going to be a far, far better president than the pile of barely sentient protoplasm he's replacing. But is all this hoopla beneficial to our national psyche? I've heard parents say they're keeping their kids home from school that day. My daughter The Spare has declared she's staying home that day. (Nope, sorry, you're not.)
Did anyone propose that we stay home and watch Jimmy Carter be sworn in? Presidential inaugurations are fabulous events, full of optimism, but how genuinely historic are they? The quotable moments get played over and over ("Ask not what your country can do for you..."). The rest is a parade and some prayers.
You may really disagree with me on this because of Mr. Obama's race and his spectacular success story. Okay, convince me to stay home next Tuesday. Hit me with your best shot, fire away.
Coming soon: Treatise on the Rick Warren inaugural prayer.