Pages

Monday, January 19, 2009

Better Than Woodstock

January 19, 2009

I participate in lots of things these days by watching them on television. You have to guard against that as you get older.

But for the next couple of days, even though today most of my day will be spent in airports, I expect to be gluing my eyes to any television set I get near. Scenes like the above--the crowd at the "We Are One" concert for the incoming administration in Washington--have me and the rest of us on the outside looking in both euphoric and apprehensive. Is it as good as it looks?

It's hard to put words to the elation that seems to pervade the land at this particular changing of the guard. We don't want to expect too much, but just to have a strong hand at the helm and a sense that the country is at last united in wanting to do the right thing is so encouraging. The sad thing is that we had veered so far from that in the 20th Century that we had become cynical, and until we were told it was okay to hope and promise to do better (and mean it) that we could actually do better. The sense of optimism and change reminded me of Woodstock, which I also didn't attend, but saw in film clips on television.

Dan Rather, not usually my favorite pundit, said an oddly interesting thing on the Chris Matthews Show yesterday. He said that America was ready for the kind of leader who landed that plane in the Hudson the other day. I think he was right. That weird event became somehow symbolic of what the country is hoping will happen with Barack Obama as president. In the plane crash, tragedy was averted by a steady hand on the helm, a wise and prepared professional who did everything that could be done and prevailed, saving lives and giving the whole world confidence that competence and wisdom were still alive in the U.S.

Woodstock may have been fun. But it was nothing like this.

10 comments:

sinjap said...

long time, no blog-commenting...and i agree with what you said about the captain of that plane, but you know, i have to throw my cynical 2 cents in...though we will idolize the usair pilot for now, just give it a couple of weeks and the climax and hero worship will dwindle and then the lawsuits will come...someone suing the airline for not getting him to his meeting on time...someone suing the catering company for having a pack of peanuts fly out and hit them in the head...a mother suing someone who passed the baby to the front door and was touched inappropriately...you know it's true, we've become a nation that's lawsuit-crazy and just as quickly and happily as we build up a hero...we are just as eager to tear one down

sinjap said...

and as far as the inauguration is concerned...just wake me in four years, i'm sick of politics for now

Mary Lois said...

Thanks for throwing all that cold water on the fires of optimism in the land. I hate to think someone actually was able to pull something as negative as this out of the hero pilot story.

As for politics, well, to me it's one of the most exciting of all the entertainment outlets today. I can't see how anybody was not engaged in the recent fray and delighted with the outcome, at least for now.

Our old friend sinjap needs a little pickup. Anybody got a suggestion?

steve said...

www.depression-screening.org

....Offers confidential depression screening test online. Provides information on symptoms, treatments and how to find help.

Mary Lois said...

Maybe that--or a sip of your Scotch--will be a help to one of my readers.

John Sweden said...

As probably the holder ultimate cynical view of American this side of Afghanistan…I personally believe that hope presented to us by Obama’s presidency is real. Judging by his first actions the closing of gitmo and the end of America’s torture chambers was enough for me to begin to…but what really nails it is that he went beyond the obvious politically acceptable phases of just condemning the practice of torture…but included, coercion intimidation and threat which is line with international law…he then backed that up by stating that America will continue it’s honest work against terrorism but only with what he recognises as true American values justice through the rule of law that applies to all.

It the beginning of a presidency to watch…to hope for…and support…I believe we have winner. Cynically he’s a winner who compromised all his views during his campaign to and now the keys to the office will now break those promises and do he can to do what he, we and all civilised people knows…is right.

HOPEFULLY;)

John Sweden said...

sorry for the missed words and grammer...I need a shot of whiskey in my coffee...this morning

sinjap said...

what did i tell ya?! news story today of how several of the airline passengers from the hudson river crash are not satisfied with usair's offer of $5000 plus paying their hospital bills...they were so inconvenienced and traumatized by the crash, they want more...i think they deserve a bailout!

steve said...

SinJap...

I think that's exactly what they did..."bail out"

rdl said...

Nice analogy!
I wanted to go to both and missed both.