Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Notes From The Couch

Something weird and rare happened yesterday down south here: it snowed. Big time. Well, at least for these parts (7 in.). Big, beautiful flakes and great, soft, dry accumulation. When it was all said and done in the late afternoon, the place looked like something similar to Innsbruck or Lausanne. I trekked into work early to catch the brouhaha online, but was promptly sent back home by my panicked boss, via email. Apparently the roads were going to get worse. And so back I went. And indeed they did (the roads, the roads!).

I poured a few fat fingers of cognac and settled into the couch (damn, gotta get those pillows re-stuffed) to watch the party. I was disgusted to see W march out to "Hail to the Chief" one last time, looking as clueless and moronic as ever; that smug, I-only-answer-to-one-father smile pasted on his face. And amused to see Cheney being pushed slowly in a wheelchair by some Nurse Ratched (hopefully) type---he donning a cane and looking like a washed-up pensioner being impounded into an assisted living facility. I can dream, no? H.W. aka Papa Bush was looking fragile. He wallowed down like a penguin; a weird, purple ascot tied around his turkey neck. Will these bastards ever die? Highlanders, the lot of 'em!

I wasn't digging the Yo-Yo Obama-Mama/Itzhak Perlman quartet playing some shitty, American neo-classic garbage composed or arranged by John Williams. I'm sorry, but couldn't we have just stuck to a healthy dose of Beethoven? Is he not genius enough? Or Mahler? Give me a break with John Williams. Everything he's ever composed has sounded like a jingle for that "Beef, it's what's for dinner" campaign the National Cattlemen's Beef Association hit us with a few years ago (okaaay, I know that was Aaron Copeland's "Rodeo" which also sucks, but dammit, all these guys sound the same: COMFORTABLY MEDIOCRE).

Pastor Rick Warren is a fatcat douche. That's all I have on that.

I loves me some Aretha, but jaysus...that hat. I couldn't concentrate. For some perverse reason, all I could think of was Ms. Franklin standing there butt nekkid clad only in that Sunday sermon headgear. Shudder!

I liked the inaugural poem written by Elizabeth Alexander, who teaches at Yale University. But holy mother of all gods did she butcher it with her reading. People were seriously yawning during the recitation. Which sucks, because it is a nice, good, simple piece---a modern piece. The one thing I cannot fathom is why it took Ms. Alexander an entire month to craft the 161-word poem. I mean, I'm all for brevity, and I know a bit about it, but goddamn; that's an average of 5.3 words per day. When you have all day! And it's not like it was some sort of Shakespeare sonnet, come now. The one thing that modern poetry should reflect is urgency--like a punk song. Two minutes and out. I don't believe poems ought to be eternal, definitely not modern poems.

Biden came out and was sworn in on the most gigantic Bible I've ever seen. It looked like a Lilliputian prop out of "Gulliver's Travels." His wife somehow had the strength to hold it while he repeated the requisite pledge, but secretly I was hoping she'd chuck that baby at W. Of course, he's had practice and experience dodging flying objects so he'd probably have masterfully traversed that situation.

I don't believe Chief Justice John Roberts intentionally tried to trip up Wonderboy. But it made for a More Human (Than Human, you see what I did with that Rob Zombie reference here?) moment, and so I dug the hiccups from both men. Hey baby, they're on the spot before 200 + million. I'd be hemmana-hemmana-ing my way through that oath too. I can barely remember the Pledge of Allegiance as it is.

I didn't think Obama's speech was historical or on par with Lincoln's or FDR's or Kennedy's but who cares? I wasn't looking for that to begin with. And in a way it fit Obama's work ethic. No transcendent bullshit babies; there's work to be done. And so yes. No memorable lines. But no matter. By the by, the only thing we have to fear IS fear itself. And I ain't no longer asking what my country can do for me, 'cause I know it can't do shit. So...

That being said, I must admit to getting the shivers as Obama was sworn in. That has only happened to me one other time and for a different reason: I was listening to John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" album (remember albums?) and when "Resolution" kicked in, I got...well...verklempt. What can I say, I guess I'm a big softie after all. Yea, no.

I skipped the evening balling (stop snickering) and the usual nocturnal, awkward Prez and Veep dancefest with their wives, in favour of a home-made Mediterranean pizza and an installment of NOVA on PBS ("Green Economy and its Hurdles"), which thoroughly deflated and depressed me.

And so I was back to square-1 mentally speaking. But you wouldn't have it any other way. The first word I ever uttered as a baby was "curmudgeon." Seriously...


Deni said...

I can't believe I'm the only one who immediately thought "Mr. Potter" when I saw Cheney in the wheelchair.

(S)wine said...

You're not. I got a whole bunch of emails and facebook comments about that. Indeed he was.

Erin O'Brien said...

I wanted Cheney to keel over, fall out of the chair and die.

I make homemade pizza too! With olives and garlic and lots of tomato and fresh mozzarella. I want one now!

Hi Alex.

stu ; ) said...

My first words were, "Ming-Toy," our Siamese cat! ; )