Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Inauguration

Wow. It happened!! Obama is now the P.O.T.U.S. or President of the United States. I should like to give a shout out to my parents who called from India to make sure I am watching it. [I wasn't when they called, as I was tied up with some work.

Since it was close to lunch time, I gave in and decided to watch history being made. I googled "live feed of inauguration" and went to the usual sites like cnn, foxnews, nyt, cspan, etc. But all of these sites were incredibly slow and choppy, and were lagging the live event by several seconds. I expected this as the popular sites are where all the people would go first.

Then, I went to the 2nd or 3rd page of search results and stumbled upon the good folks of Daily Press. Thanks to you guys for a high speed, trouble free coverage on windows media player.

My lab office colleagues also watched with me. Interesting fact is that when Obama mentioned about Christians & Muslims and Jews and Hindus and non-believers, I looked around and realized that the three of us were each from a different faith, one Christian, Jewish and Hindu. If only my friend Mohammed had been there, we would have encompassed all 4. lol. Add to the fact within a 200 ft radius there is probably Buddhists, one or two Sikhs, other religions and plenty of non-believers :).

Just finished watching the inauguration, best thing I liked was the 'Benediction: The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery", tha man totally rapped at the end and I loved that more than the poet just before!
You can listen to the benediction here on NPR.Or in the embedded video

[Edit] The South Asian blog Sepia Mutiny carries a special post on exactly this subject. Thanks to them (abhi) now the exact transcript is available.

Some things I caught from this ending note and am trying to remember, sounded like this:
If a man is black, he is not held back
If a man is brown, he can still get around...

Exact text from transcript
black will not be asked to get in back,
when brown can stick around
when yellow will be mellow
when the red man can get ahead, man;
and when white will embrace what is right.
he really rhymed well and everyone was laughing by the time he finished! I guess Mr. Joseph Lowery clearly overshadowed Rick Warren's invocation in the process.

A little note about Obama's fumbling with the oath, it seemed a little funny, both to see him start soon after Justice Roberts started saying his name, as well as his pause when he wanted Roberts to repeat the phrase about "that I will execute the office of the president of the united states faithfully". It seemed unrehearsed, but perhaps it was. You also have to cut him some slack for the enormity of the occasion and the thousands of things going through his mind (or so say my office mates.) I also realized when I played back the video, that Roberts also had some contribution to messing up the oath. But, hey no big deal, in the long run these minor things do not matter.

Highlights in Obama's Address:

Obama saying that
"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. "
drew lot of applause.

"With hope and virtue, let us endure the icy currents".. etc.
I liked it.

He also mentioned something about people listening to him, son of a man who 60 years ago might not have been served in a restaurant in the Mall area, and listen to him (Barack Obama) take the most sacred oath. I was't able to find that text in the transcript, but I heard it and then listened at ~ 20:00 on the C-Span video replay.
This also drew good applause.

That's it folks. Back to work now. Today has been decent till now on the work front!

Thanks and Credits to:
Daily Press
Dallas News (transcript)
C-Span (pdf transcript)
C-Span Video Playback

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