Wednesday, January 14, 2009

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.


sageweb said...

I don't need to convince you. I think with the way tv is will be able to watch it multiple times after work. really only need to see the highlights..and that will be seeing Bush leave the White house.

Ali said...

I don't consider anything that happens automatically every one to four years (inaugurations, olympic games, play-offs, elections, Christmas, etc.) to be historic, really. There's a reason that, as a Druid, I honor cycles instead of linear history. ;)

Obama being elected as the first black male is simply a part of the current cultural cycle. While racism against blacks and other minorities continues to decline (thankfully!), the election campaign itself revealed that other forms of prejudice (for instance, against Muslims and left-of-center-left liberals) are on the rise. So it goes. Around and around. Certainly we can celebrate (any excuse for a party), but in the end, daily work will probably be much more valuable than staying home to watch the TV.

THE Michael said...

We will see the instant replay over and over again all week, so consider that historic events are now time-shifted to suit our equally historic needs to earn a living. If the Federal government pays my vacation, then sure, I'll take the day off, but otherwise I have patients needing taking care of.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

I wouldn't dream of convincing you!
We're covering it live on radio, but I doubt I'll listen very much.
Have you read Credo Mutwa's prophecy/rant on Obama?

I think my compatriot blogger Abraxas
has copied it to his blog.

Terri in Joburg

yellowdog granny said...

I wouldn't dare try to convince you of anything..I know I would keep mine home for it, as it would be one of those memory moments that will be lodged in your brain for the rest of your life..where were you when obama was sworn in..'my mom and i watched in on tv together.'
when they walked on the moon i went out and bought a color tv so the boys could see it in color(it was all black and white anyhow)..and we sat in the middle of the floor and watched them walk on the of my favorite memories with me and the boys..

veraciousdragonfly said...

Does sound rather boring. :) I'd take Uni out of that choice without a second thought (since I'm not at school anymore; but it's a similar principle.)
I agree with your mindset. =)

Anonymous said...

Go to work. This ain’t the promised land by a long shot.

Anne Johnson said...

KD, you are so right ... I mean, left ... I mean, Green!