I am crazy about most things green, so you can imagine what I thought of Michelle Obama's green gloves. Which matched her green shoes. So happy about that.
While I didn't think Aretha Franklin sounded on the top of her game (I can imagine Jennifer Hudson having sung this better), there is absolutely no doubt that she was working that hat. To wear a hat like that rather than having the hat wear you is something only she could have pulled off. She looked fabulous.
I absolutely loved the adaptation of Copeland's "Simple Gifts" performed by Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill, and Gabriele Montero. My MIL appreciates Ma's playing but is consistently disturbed by his facial expressions and movement, feeling that it distracts from the music. To me he looks like a man who takes joy in the music and the connection with other musicians, and I love seeing it. Too bad they look like they're playing in front of a baseball backstop.
Hmmm. As a nonbeliever (did you hear the shout out to us in the address?), I'm uncomfortable with invocations, benedictions, references to god, participation of clergy (especially one of these), and bibles in public ceremonies. Separation of church and state anyone? But the history of the bible used today was undeniably interesting. Not only was this bible used for Lincoln's swearing in, but Lincoln's oath was administered by Robert Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the majority opinion in the Dred Scott decision, which extended slavery into the territories. And today a black hand rested on it to take the oath of president.
Sasha and I agree—a job well done. I think he hit the right notes in a message of both hope and caution. To me, this seemed like an address that reached out to and celebrated all Americans. I wonder though how it played to conservatives. If we can resist from a slugfest, I'd love to hear what people outside my liberal bubble thought. Are you hopeful? Do you feel we stand together or still apart?
I particularly liked what he said concerning one of our greatest challenges:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.My question is which comes first: the unclenched fist or the hand? A diplomatic game of rock, scissor, paper. Are we big enough to reach out a hand to a fist? Today I feel hopeful that we might be.