Thursday

Just another drop in a sea of Obama plaudits



Well, it finally happened. Barack Obama is President of the great U.S. of A and Dubya is back in Texas drinking whiskey and stroking a shotgun on a porch 'round back. Quality photographs of the inauguration have been circulating through cyberland including awe-inspiring pictures such as the one above. CNN have created a very cool 3D album using Microsoft's Photosynth technology.

There’s been so much hype surrounding Obama's inauguration that it’s hard to know where to begin. A story published on Tuesday on theage.com.au about the online frenzy caused by Obamania claimed the event was “shaping up to be the biggest new media event ever,” which I think overstepped the mark a little and was more than a shade hyperbolic...

But hey, my scepticism stops there.

I’m not going to dissect Obama’s inauguration with a critical scalpel because the truth is that I’m excited too – hopeful for America and hopeful for the world. This is a time of, well, hope. You can smell its powerful scent all the way from Australia; you can taste its spirit.

Under the (unrepentant) reign of Dubya and his cronies America gives the impression of having plummeted to a new nadir: the economic crisis, the mess in Iraq, a badly tarnished international reputation, their health and social policies that have been worn and torn to buggery...My hope, our hope, the world’s hope, is that Obama can somehow help lift America out of the quagmire and restore its reputation as a credible if not great nation, and thus impart a positive ripple effect on the rest of the world.

That's best case scenario, and of course it's a task well beyond the reach of one person. No doubt Obama is well aware of the dangers of directly or indirectly fostering a ‘Messiah complex’ but on the other hand the common consensus is that things couldn’t get much worse for the U.S.A. This probably doesn’t provide much solace for Obama, who must feel, as his head hits the pillow at night, that he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and you can hardly blame him. There have been lots of words covering the Obama phenomenon, many of them far better than any I could sling together (including this terrific piece by Guy Rundle), so I won’t yabber on about new president’s great capacity for positive change.

But I will mention his great capacity for zingers. It didn’t come across in the inauguration speech, which was unsurprisingly bereft of gags and one-liners (a shame considering Dubya and co. make such great target practice) but the youtube video below – of a speech Obama gave at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner last October – demonstrates the President in full flight zinger mode.

"Contrary to the rumours that you’ve heard I was not born in a manger," he says. "I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor El to save the planet Earth.”

Classic.

1 comment:

  1. In the words of us, at midnight on NYE "YEAH OBAMA!" "OBAMA!" "OBAMA LOVES YOU!" ...we are totally swept up in Obamarama, and dammit, it feels good!

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