Unlike Cara, I don’t watch Lost, so I’m dragging you all back to the inauguration festivities: specifically, the Neighborhood Ball, which was intended to be the “people’s ball” for locals, the Obamas’ new neighbors. It was the new First Couple’s first stop on their tour of ten (!) balls where they danced and spoke, and it was also the event where Beyoncé Knowles sang Etta James’ classic, “At Last.”
Aww Beyonce! She teared up during the song and smudged her eyeliner. And then she gave this interview:
“It’s probably the most important day of my life, and I’m so grateful… he makes me want to be smarter, he makes me want to be more involved.”
So here’s how I’ve been feeling about the inauguration. I usually treat idealistic, buoyant optimism like I’m handling a dirty rag that I’ve just used to mop up cat pee, but at this point I’m getting a little infected. Much has been said about Obamamania, whether people are getting too emotional or too starry-eyed; even the president himself keeps warning everyone how hard it’s going to be, starting today. I spent yesterday afternoon in a sort of nervous panic about how it’s all going to be so disappointing before long, and everyone’s going to start yelling at each other again, and, and, and.
But I’m reminded that there’s one thing that leaders should clearly do, no matter the situation: inspire the people they lead and make them want to be better. We haven’t had that for a long time. It chokes me up.
And yes, of course this is still Feministe*, so we should still mention that Beyonce still already did had previously written this song (ruefully mentioned in an earlier post by our resident Beyonce fanatic) about how you have to buy lady love with a sparkly rock. Look — I don’t know how she wants to get involved. But I’d be happy if it’s anything positive, and I’m happy that people are moved to a spirit of service.
I’m also happy that Obama has suspended prosecutions of Guantanamo detainees, possibly a precursor to shutting the place down. Today is supposed to be a big day for executive orders, so stay tuned.
* where the “E” at the end still stands for “Everything Else that is tangentially related to feminism at best”