Friday, January 23, 2009

Inaugural Thoughts

1. Concerning string-syncing. I understand that the cold made it very difficult to play outside and it may have even been detrimental to the instruments. In that case I see no problem with announcing that a recording of "Air and Simple Things" will be played in honor of this auspicious event and have the four musicians stand by the dias. If lip-syncing is considered deceptive, then so is string-syncing. I understand that they did not intend to deceive, but then they should have at least announced what they were doing. If they actually played their instruments for those that could hear on the dias, but recorded the audio-out feed I would be more conflicted, however that would also undermine the technical reasons for not playing (though if one of their strings had snapped in the middle of the performance when the audio feed was being broadcast I guess the feed would have masked it).

I do not buy the excuse that the, "occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups." That would entail that every time a musician were to play for a dignitary this excuse could be employed, which just seems ridiculous. Would you want Roberts to have recorded the oath of office before the ceremony?

2. I think it is silly that Obama needed to swear in again. Rather, I think it plays right into those strict constructionists on the court that Obama argues with. Obama should have just said no. In the language of the gemara, it is a konam or certainly a yad, and I believe that kulai alma would hold that the neder was good.

3. On transcripts. This NYT transcript of the inauguration speech delivered by Obama inserts an "applause" after the line at the beginning, "I thank President Bush for his service to our nation..." Firstly there were also some boos, which is ignored by the transcript, which for the sake of etiquette I am ok with. The problem with the transcript is that there was a lag between Obama's words and the reaction of the audience due to the scale of the event. We were applauding at the very beginning of the speech and were silent for the thanks to Pres. Bush. The transcript invents a event that never happened (though I can only really speak for those of us near the Washington Monument).

4. A cautionary note. While it is fun to sing "Got 99 problems and Bush ain't one" just remember that we elected Nixon after we elected Kennedy, which was in part backlash to the the crazy youth culture of the 60's. Celebrate, don't gloat, otherwise we'll get Cheney45.


Josh M. said...

It seems that you got your upstate Senator, after all.

Zev said...

It's not Brian Higgins, but I am happy nonetheless.