January 21st, 2009
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.
– Barack Hussein Obama, 44th U.S. President
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
– Edgar Allan Poe
“Jesus”, I mutter under my breath, shaking my head while watching the public’s eruptive reception for their new leader rolling down President Lane centered in the epitome of motorcade style; not even Hollywood can trump this well-rehearsed and synchronized, symbolic performance of imperial power transfer. From the other America far to the south, my Internet broadcast gets me close enough to taste the action emanating from up north.
If nothing else, the 43rd Presidential Inauguration is a stark contrast to the rotten-tomato-chucking hissing and booing of the 42nd’s Second Act just a short four years ago…ah, how we’re living better days already. Don’t you just have the feeling now that everything is gonna be all right? And look, The Obamas and Bidens are actually walking joyously and interacting with their supporters instead of speeding through the hazards of an angry mob – it’s all so Poetic.
Even the announcer’s voice echoing throughout the streets of D.C. has a subliminal effect as it prophetically rings, “Enjoy the event!” For just a moment, if you would, go beyond the surface of how it sounds and interpret the real message, “Enjoy it while you can, suckers!”, as the crowd sops it up like gravy. Well, at least that’s what my gut is telling me as I observe this pacific display of Amerikan tradition and nationalism
In a very juxtaposed sense I’m taken back to September 11th all over again, as I, like so many, watched the drama unfold, but with immediate questions like, “What happened to the F-16s? How did the towers possibly drop at what appeared to be free-fall speed and crumble to dust? Why did Building 7 collapse in such perfect, demolition fashion? How long until the Empire’s freedom machine goes to the Middle East? Who are the men behind the curtain?” Now, as I witness this historic and ceremonial event on January 20, 2009, I’m vexed as to how President Barack Obama intends to redirect the United States of America toward a more hopeful future for his fellow countrymen and women.
Reducing this charade to the essence of what it really is shouldn’t be like a layman attempting to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs – it’s all so superficially spun as a bright spot on the dark, blood-stained canvass of the past eight years…and far beyond if we really feel like coughing it up. What the world is viewing is simply la crème de la crème de ilusión at the hands of the media gurus and their Establishment cohorts.
I am in utter disbelief for two reasons: how can so many people be buying all this, and how could the new president, even for the graceful sake of formality, actually thank the outgoing President Bush for his service to the nation? I’ll tell you, honestly, I’d be losing my lunch if it weren’t already digested.
The Guest of Honor goes on to boast about the “skill and vision of those in high office”. He couldn’t be referring to the criminals who got the nation into its present mess; the Wall Street crooks and capitalist pigs who created what might turn out to be Great Depression II, or the 530 thugs in Congress who continue to support Israel as it commits genocide in Gaza. Or, could he?
“Prepare the nation for a new age” is what President Obama encourages to fellow citizens; some 30 million men and women who go without health care, men and women who are losing their jobs, men and women who are experiencing foreclosure on their homes, men and women who have renewed faith in the system that screws them. The world is still in the age of the never-ending war against terror, so what new age might he be referring to? I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see if that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow really exists for anyone who isn’t elite.
President Obama declared that “greatness must be earned”, inadvertently condescending or not, it’s something that the solemn-faced, has-been George Bush failed miserably to achieve. The President’s words were also extended to international leaders by insisting that their people will “judge you by what you build, not what you destroy. (sic)” Time will tell on what grounds the 44th President will someday be judged, and the degree of greatness which he may earn.
The Emperor may be new – image, articulation and character – but the clothes are sewn from the same silky, rhetorical themes of nobility, prosperity and patriotism which have been so deceptively and manipulatively spewed forth at previous inaugurations. National security, jobs, production, economy, education, leadership – Amerika’s greatness and its God-proclaimed responsibility to lead the world is just as farcically magnanimous as it has been for so many generations.
For now, the permeating and “nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable” may be temporarily paused for Obama supporters – the people who “have chosen hope over fear.” However, the days of jabbering at the jaw about change is over, the day has arrived for Obama to put his money where his mouth is and deliver on his campaign slogan.
I wonder: will Guantanamo be shut down by week’s end?
Perhaps we all just need to give the guy a break, grab our ankles, hope for the best and see what becomes of his presidency. Provided of course, you completely disregard the nation’s history and fail to see US political reality for what it is – illusion at its finest.
As Jesus Christ so wisely warned, “Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Ramsefall is a high school English teacher who lives in Colombia. He is also a lifetime student who contributes socially as a free-lance writer, volunteer, and activist.