“We Can Breathe Again”
The headline above was texted by a family member during the Inauguration, on our little round-robin message board that has tied eight adults together for the four past ugly years.
I personally was trying to find some way to comment here on the spiritual optimism of President Biden and the uplifting composure of the “dignitaries” and the stunning talent of the young poet and the truly American mix of the celebrants.
They all provided inspiration….and I was letting it sink in….when I opened the group email from my Jamaica High School friend, the great Letty Cottin Pogrebin.
As always, Letty has been ahead of the rest of us, writing:
I intended to post nothing but good news on this, the day that will see simple decency return to public life and discourse in the person of President Joe Biden, and history being made by Vice President Kamala Harris. (But today's euphoria can't erase the conflagration of Jan 6th and the shameless-who-shall-be-nameless #45 who lit the fuse.)
Letty included the Youtube bit from James Corden that, she says, “has gone viral.”
It ends with one thoroughly cathartic act by Corden.
I am taking leave for the day, to watch the reruns of the Inauguration that might, just might, start to fumigate the past four years.
* * *
Your thoughts? Comments welcome, indeed, beseeched.
* * *
On that note, introducing Amanda Gorman, not yet 23, the youngest poet ever to grace an inauguration:
Watching this brilliant young writer recite her poem in the bright sunlight, I thought back to the misfortunate weather-blinded Inaugural speech by Robert Frost in 1960, with new President Kennedy right behind him. What a contrast.
Later on Wednesday, I was sent a video of President Kennedy’s last speech, at a Frost event at Amherst College. Mentioned in the video is Our Man in El Salvador, Gene Palumbo, who was a senior that year, and is now a journalist in Latin America.
1/20/2021 03:44:56 pm
Hallelujah!!! So happy for all. Especially the youngsters! Decency & compassion return to the White House.
1/20/2021 03:59:00 pm
1/20/2021 04:46:23 pm
Harvey: can you imagine being that
1/20/2021 04:43:06 pm
Michael: thanks. At very least, the new people can verbalize those values.
1/21/2021 12:29:40 pm
Yes that Young poet laureate Amanda was just amazing so polished and extremely immaturity gives hope for the next generation.Now that we have A new government in place hopefully it will bring sanity and calm back to the political discourse A new day has dawned.#TheStruggleContinues
1/20/2021 05:31:56 pm
Several years ago, former Governor Howard Dean was the guest speaker at a local lecture series. It was very upbeat in that he had confidence in our country’s future because of our grandchild’s generation.
1/20/2021 05:53:27 pm
1/21/2021 12:48:53 pm
1/21/2021 01:01:30 pm
oops digit error. i meant to hit 1, not 2 for bush.
1/21/2021 01:11:06 pm
my gawd, i'm losing my mind....time to hang 'em up or fire my incompetent editor.
1/20/2021 06:12:46 pm
I find it amazing haw "great minds" think alike. Yesterday, it seems, I was singing "One Day More" all day? (Many strange looks, for sure. ) What a glorious day. Perhaps we can all breathe again, even through our masks! All the best to you and our country. May we all be blessed.
1/20/2021 06:55:29 pm
Alan: Dean spoke at a Hofstra graduation about 10 years ago -- was idealistic and inspiring, Schumer also spoke --about himself.
1/26/2021 06:46:39 pm
All Queens, all the time!
1/20/2021 07:19:08 pm
After four years of having to acknowledge that I grew up in Jamaica Estates, within a mile of the white pillars of the Trump Palace looking out upon Midland Parkway, and down upon the ordinary rest of us, I am now very comfortable with my former home borough of Queens taking a back seat to Brooklyn's Chuck Schumer, Douglas Emhoff and RBG, and this afternoon I was truly touched at seeing Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the South Bronx administer the vice presidential oath of office to Kamala Harris, a daughter of immigrants, whom every American should want to claim as our own neighbor and friend.
1/20/2021 07:31:08 pm
Chief: and Boinie with the mittens.
1/20/2021 07:40:19 pm
1/20/2021 09:06:27 pm
Dear Altenir: If not the entire world, at least the part that hasn't seen the American president kissing ther leader's boots.
1/21/2021 10:39:20 am
1/21/2021 11:27:21 am
Altenir: Is that a satisfactory response, to you? Was she trying to send a message to the Bolsonaro to straighten up?
1/20/2021 08:09:47 pm
A glorious day. I watched, listened and cried. Then I read a couple chapters of "It Can't Happen Here" and took a long nap.
1/20/2021 09:12:31 pm
Hi, Chris: The book is from our parents' house? I remember reading it when I was a kid., It was dystopian before the word became popular.
1/21/2021 01:58:57 pm
1/21/2021 10:17:58 am
The little boy that went sleigh riding on my shoulders down Henley Road, grew up to try to wreck our America. I shed tears of relief watching the inauguration. M
1/21/2021 11:36:33 am
Michael: A lot of decency in the air yesterday -- an emotional housecleaning of sorts, I think of that pampered rich kid blathering about his football team -- first times I met him, early 80s, with his wife Ivana having to correct him (zestfully, I thought) when he talked about the team. He was so stupid, unable to process ideas or emotions. Something wrong with him. At best, he was what Michelle Goldberg called him recently: "a callous schmuck." (In our Queens language.) Be well, GV
1/21/2021 01:06:16 pm
The whole day was like a breath of fresh air....especially considering what we watched on thos steps two weeks ago. And then, along came Amanda ...what an amazing way to conclude the ceremony.
1/21/2021 02:17:49 pm
Reply to Berman Patterson's comment above:
Comments are closed.
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.