Thoughts on Inauguration Day

Most of us caught at least some of the Presidential Inauguration on Tuesday.   The closest I got to Washington D.C. was in front of my own RCA  27″ television set.  (I’ve never quite figured out why they call it a set if there’s only one TV).  Anyway, I heard one of the newscasters rattle off the definition of the word inauguration and I thought she said something about it being a commencement of something in light.  I could have sworn that she used the term “in light”.  However, when I looked up the definition a little later, I didn’t see anything in reference to that.   

Websters actually defines the term inauguration as the formal beginning of a new movement, a new system, or a new condition.  If we’re in store for a new condition, we’ll that’s probably music to many ears.  Like any hard-working American, I’ll take the good with the bad (and we actually witnessed plenty of both in 2008).  But when “worse” comes knocking at my door … well that’ s just one visitor who’s really not welcome in my house.

The inauguration was a day to remember for many reasons.  It meant many different things to many different people.  The part that I’ll best remember was the President and the First Lady’s first dance.  It was to the tune “At Last” by Etta James.   It’s an old song that most people have probably heard many times before in their lives and it stood out to me for some reason or another, but it took me a little while to pinpoint why.

After some thought, I remembered that it was used in the movie Pleasantville with Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon that came out about 10 years ago.  It was played during a scene that starts out completely in black and white and then slowly turns to color as Tobey’s character “Bud” drives his car out to the lake.  If you have never seen the movie, Runde Auto Chat highly recommends it.  As for the scene, I couldn’t help but notice a parallel between Hollywood’s cinemagic and the real world of today.  The scene begins in a dull black and white like I mentioned.  Bud gets in his American made convertible with his best girl at his side and travels down this winding road.  As he progresses toward the lake things become more radiant and colorful and by the time he reaches his destination, it’s a perfect picturesque scene with a multitude of the gorgeous Detroit cars and that At Last song is still wailing in the background.   Compared to how it began, the scenes ends in an entirely different … or new condition. 

I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but Bud is the one who initially instigates the changes that occur throughout the course of the movie  in the town of Pleasantville.  Some of the characters are not fans of the change and resist at first, but they ultimately realize that change is inevitible.   And for anyone who hasn’t yet caught onto the symbolic nature of the name “Bud”, then we’ll have to cover it in another blog posting sometime in the near future.

It may be a stretch, but there are some parallels apparent.  I think Mike Tomlin, coach of the Pittsburg Steelers, may have summed it up perfectly when he said that Barack Obama is selling hope and we’re the ones buying it.  Right now Obama might be that bud of hope that many are searching for.   Whether we choose to buy into his plan or not is entirely up to us.  But hope is cheap and we can all afford that right now … hope of a better tomorrow and a new condition.


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