I got into bed on Saturday night early after a busy day parenting – a little depressed. I felt like I had missed the month’s coolest party. I didn’t get to the inauguration.
I had plans to go to the Union Buildings with my family and enjoy a day of music and celebration. But the day had its own plans: I had tidying up to do, meals to make, songs to sing, shopping to do. The only consolation was that the thousands I battled my way around at the Cresta Centre were not there either. Oh yes, it rained – would have been miserable picnicking in the rain with my babies.
But I missed this touching moment:
And then from the other side of the ocean, I missed this fabulous weekend entertainment: Obama’s address at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
From the Office of the US press secretary:
The President has asked Ambassador Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, to represent the United States at the inauguration of the President of South Africa on May 9. The President congratulates the people of on another successful election – the fourth in the post-apartheid period – and looks forward to a close working relationship with the incoming administration in South Africa. Ambassador Kirk will be accompanied by senior members of the President’s administration.
A few weeks back I was handed a Lenova Netbook hours before boarding a plane to Washington DC. I was off to report on one of the biggest events that will happen in my lifetime – Barack Obama’s inauguration. I was going to operate remotely. A friend and gadget guru stuffed the netbook and hundreds of cables into a backpack. “It’s intuitive, you’ll find wi-fi everywhere, have a good time,” he said, or something along these lines. I am fairly confident at my PC using a word processor, my browser, and my email knowing that there is IT help a-4 digit extension away.
I was terrified of the laptop. In spite of its bright ruby red sexy good looks, and its wonderfully handy dimensions (248x182x20mm), I felt intimidated by the idea of having to operate something new and hi-tech. But, hey, I had nothing to fear. Read More…
The free-for-all editing process on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has often embarrassed the founders of the site.
On Sunday for instance the entry for Bruce Springsteen ‘was defaced repeatedly during his performance at Sunday’s Superbowl’. Why? Is he too old? Did these defacers want Britney Spears to perform instead?
The Telegraph reports that:
Over a five-minute period, the entry on Springsteen was edited by several users, who removed biographical information about the singer and replaced it instead with insulting messages. One edit read: “Bruce Springsteen. This guy kinda sucks,” while another read: “Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949), nicknamed ‘The Boss’ is a FAG!”. The entry also appeared in Japanese before it was restored to its original version by a senior Wikipedia editor.
The editing process is being re visited. Perhaps a bit of editorial control will be introduced. A pity – Wikipedia is a great concept.
Here is a picture of the Boss performing at the Super Bowl. (I spotted him at Obama’s inauguration – he was not far from where I was sitting. He really is a good looking lad.)
Have a look at this beautiful series of drawings by Maira Kalman:
This week, the week of the inauguration of President Obama more people ‘filed for unemployment than at any time in the last twenty-six years’. It’s mind boggling to read how bad the economy is here. Shops in the street I’m staying in have closed down, ‘for rent’ signs are up, and shops are cutting prices on goods radically.
What are Americans going to do?
Below is Obama’s weekly address. In it he lays out an ambitious stimulus package and offers more detail than we’ve heard before. The plan involves huge investment (trillions of dollars!) in American infrastucture. And he asks again that “we act as citizens and not partisans and begin again the work of remaking America”. What does that mean? Do Americans not act as citizens? What must ordinary Americans do that they aren’t already doing?
Obama’s address: Read More…
Remember the $300 000 outfit Cindy McCain wore to the Republican convention last year? Remember how inappropriately expensive it seemed. Well here, in an interview with her daughter, Meghan McCain, Mrs McCain says she regrets wearing the Oscar de la Renta dress, which cost $3000 because…
…It somehow was ill-fitting, we had to actually cut the inside of the sleeves. The sleeves were too tight and literally I was sitting there and my arms went to sleep.
And about the inauguratin she feels…
…bittersweet. I was talking to your dad today; both of us are supportive of the administration because we believe in this country. We want President-elect Obama to succeed because it’s what is best for the country. But for me it is a very bittersweet moment and I believe your father would have made a good president. For me it will be a hard moment, but I am proud to be there.
This open letter to the Obama girls from the Bush twins tells its own sweet story about the White House:
Sasha and Malia, we were seven when our beloved grandfather was sworn in as the 41st President of the United States. We stood proudly on the platform, our tiny hands icicles, as we lived history. We listened intently to the words spoken on Inauguration Day service, duty, honor. But being seven, we didn’t quite understand the gravity of the position our Grandfather was committing to. We watched as the bands marched by — the red, white, and blue streamers welcoming us to a new role: the family members of a President. Read More…
…was beaten up at school:
From the quieter downtown business area, I went to Union Station where I hoped to buy some memorabilia to take home and to get an idea of what the post-inauguration mall felt like.
I got through the metro station but couldn’t access the main station. It had been closed off and evacuated. Apparently there was a grease fire in the McDonald’s restuarant. Fire engines were screaming about the streets. Nobody was injured.
Thousands of travellers from everywhere were outside in the wintry sunlight with their bags hoping to get onto trains soon.
A black man from New York and a woman from Chicago, stranded outside didn’t seem to mind too much. The New Yorker emotionally told me about his inauguration day. He said his mother and grandmother ‘if they were alive today, they would have been here too.’ I got the sense that he was here for them.
I milled about for a while, watched the dismantling of barricades and platforms, priced the exorbinantly expensive t-shirts, caps and buttons and left empty-handed.