|Image: Art es Anna|
Day job work is starting to pile up around me. My colleague is on holiday in New Zealand for the best part of three weeks, leaving me to shoulder the responsibility for almost everything day-to-day as well as staying on top of my own project work and keeping tabs on the contractor in our team who only works Tuesday to Thursday anyway. It’s stressing stuff.
That said, I managed to make it home in time to watch most of Obama’s inauguration ceremony. I’m constantly amazed at the passion American’s have for their country, and for the fervour in which they celebrate their President. To them, it’s something more than just an elevated political position; it’s a role that links today’s Americans with their history; a line of ancestry leading back to their founding forefathers. It’s quite remarkable.
I remember being in Florida in 2004 and visiting the Epcot Centre, and being briefed by a tour guide while inside a model of the Capitol building (I think). During the talk we learned where the words to the American national anthem originated, when suddenly every man, women, and child – black and white – stood tall with their hands over their hearts and began singing the Star-Spangled Banner.
I felt like I was an uninvited guest standing in the middle of someone’s living room during a private family occasion, such was the intensity of their shared pride and emotion. My lasting memory was of thinking: “I wish us Brits felt that sort of pride towards our country.”
I was reading in the paper today about all the American stars that turned out to perform in front of the new president at a big concert party the other night. Afterwards, Obama thanked all the performers for “reminding us, through songs and through words, just what it is that we love about America”.
Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Jay-Z U2 and even Tiger Woods, all came out to sing the praises of their new US President.
Wait … did I say U2? Oh yeah, because Bono’s American, isn’t he?
Hopefully Obama is the type of guy to see through the pathetic ploys of these two-faced hypocrites. I think he’ll he be good for America full stop; good for the world, in fact; a true leader, and a man of sound judgement and integrity.
It must be good to be an American today.