All I can think to say, however, is that I think it's tremendously fitting that Barack Obama's inauguration is coming on the heels of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. You know, I'm sure I knew at some point that Dr. King was only 39 years old when he was killed, but it's only at this moment that I fully realize how young he was, how much he accomplished in such a short span of time, and how much more he could have accomplished had he lived. Perhaps he could have been president himself, although that seems unlikely because, even putting aside the whole race issue, he was an Idealist and according to David Keirsey, who wrote a book analyzing the temperaments of all the presidents, there has never been an Idealist president, and he briefly explains why he thinks there probably will never be one in this excerpt. He and his other temperament analysts conclude that Barack Obama is a Rational, and I'm sure that they're right because as far as I can tell he does seem to have the strategic intellect, but he also talks a lot about idealism and he seems to share some values with us Idealists, like altruism and authenticity. In fact, the more I think about it, the more perfect he seems for the presidency in the current times: visionary enough to see the potential for a better future and pragmatic enough to conceive and actually implement plans to achieve it.
Over the course of the last election I've had difficulty articulating why Barack Obama appeals to me so, because so much of it are things that I've picked up intuitively, which are very hard to put into words, especially if you're trying to make an argument to persuade those who are skeptical, if not outright hostile, to your viewpoint. But I think now I can at least express my intuitive knowledge, even though it will still necessarily be in very abstract terms. First of all, putting aside for the moment all question of politics and ideology and believe, I get a sense from Barack Obama that I haven't gotten from the last two presidents and indeed get from very few politicians in general, which is that Obama is motivated by a genuine desire to help people and improve the country, whereas with most politicians in general and particularly with counting-down-the-hours-still-President Bush and Bill Clinton, the sense that I got was that their first priority was to do whatever they thought was going to benefit them, and only after that concern themselves with whether or not it was the best thing to do for the country. I get that sense from both Bill and Hillary Clinton, by the way, and I believe that that's the main reason that their marriage survives; whether their attachment is purely pragmatic at this point or whether there's some emotional attachment I couldn't say, and it's really none of my business, but regardless of what they feel, they need each other in order to survive politically. Anyway, the point I was trying to make it that, even if I don't agree with Barack Obama on some things, I trust him to do whatever he sincerely believes is best for the country. Which brings me to my second and slightly less abstract point: even when I disagree with Barack Obama about certain issues or what have you, I can understand why he takes the position that he does. There's an internal logic to his value system; therefore I am able to respectfully disagree. Whereas with counting-down-the-hours-still-President Bush it's exactly the opposite: even when I agree with him, his reasoning makes no sense; even when it seems to make sense, it makes no sense within the larger context of his ideology.
Anyway, I would really love to watch the inauguration tomorrow, but unfortunately I have to work, so I'll only be able to watch a little bit of it over my lunch break (and that only if they have the TV tuned to the right channel, but most of the networks will be covering it so chances are pretty good that it will be on). I don't have digital anything for my TV yet, and were it not for the fact that they are legally obligated to stop broadcast analog signals next month that probably would not change. It's not that I don't like TV; on the contrary, I like it a lot, and when I had cable I could easily and happily spend a whole day watching it. But I find that I can take it or leave it; if it's there, I'll watch it and if not, I'll do something else. (I do sincerely, and with a passion, hate commercials, so I find that it suits me better either to watch TV on DVD, where there are no commercials, or online, where there are far fewer.) My point for all this is that if I want to record the inauguration to watch it later, I have no choice but to record it the old-fashioned way on my VCR. I suppose that's probably not necessary because it will probably be online too, but probably just in little pieces and low resolution at first, and for some reason this is something that I'd like to get off the TV.
Do they even make blank video tapes anymore? I don't know, but I have one in my possession that was unlabeled, so I decided to see what, if anything, was on it. Strangely enough, it was the women's figure skating competition for the 2006 Olympics in Torino. At first I had no recollection of why I taped it, but I left in all the commercials so I must have been doing something else at the time it was going on, and I vaguely remember now that for whatever reason I had to watch it after the fact, but beshrew me if I can remember what was going on that prevented me from watching it as it happened. Since I knew there must have been a reason why I taped it in the first place, I was hesitant to tape over it, but while that competition was exciting and historic in that it was the first time Japan ever won a gold medal in figure skating, the fact that I hadn't watched it since then and even forgot that I had it taped implies to me that it's not important enough to save. I probably should save it because it was the first Olympics in which they used their new figure skating scoring system, and they had to keep explaining it because (a) it was new and (b) it's ridiculously complicated. I think so, anyway. I know it was implement because they found during the 2002 games that it was far too easy to cheat under the old system, so I suppose they had to make the new one complicated enough so that it wouldn't be so easy to cheat, but it seems to me that they went too far. And they probably won't explain it in as much detail again as they did back then when it was new, especially since the die-hard skating fans have been following it in the various yearly competitions over the past three years and probably understand it by now. But that's the thing: I know that I'm never going to REALLY understand it, even if it's explained to me a gazillion times, so unfortunately I'm always going to be at the mercy of the commentators for any analysis more in-depth than "falling down hurts your score."