Monday, January 19, 2009


HOPE. I feel it. In ways, I've never felt it before. Not at high school graduation. Not at college graduation. Not when I got my master's degree. Not when I decided to quit my job and move to California nor even when I was driving I-90 West with nothing but my future ahead of me on endless stretch of asphalt. Those were all important events in my little life, but events turns that merely changed a few lives in small ways.

In less than 14 hours Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States of America, the country is going to change in a big way. And so will the world. Sure, he's been the President-Elect for months but the officialness of tomorrow's ceremony and festivities will be more than symbolic. It'll be the turned page, the new course and so many other clichés.

[ chided the Washington Post today for going overboard in describing Sunday's scene at the Lincoln Memorial. The WP slathers on the groan-inducing imagery in its Page One story: "At times, the multitudes seemed to dance as one, Americans from every corner of the country, of every generation." I am going to defend the Post. On a basic journalism 101 level, this was a description of the scene. Sure it's a little clichéd, but why must any reflection of hope be criticized as "groan-inducing"?]

I wish I had been there Sunday and I wish I could be there tomorrow. At least five friends (with some significant others thrown in) will be there, and ultimately more I suspect (as I've got other friends in the greater D.C. area who may not have mentioned their attendance). Should I not have squirreled away some money to be there for history? I've justified so many expenses in my life as once-in-lifetime purchases of occassions, and now there's the most significant one of my life and I'll be at my office not working, just watching our small television.

OK enough unfocused rambling.


More reasons why newspapers are great:

This amazing story in the NYT about Barack Obama's love of books and ideas and how language and reading has influenced him. If anyone who reads this is a parent, then save this article for how to answer your kid when s/he asks "Why do I have to read?"

A strong story in the LAT about the prospects for our economy and the world economy in the next few years contained this terrifying nugget: Although U.S. consumers constitute only about 4.5% of the global population, they bought more than $10 trillion worth of goods and services last year. By contrast, said Roach of Morgan Stanley Asia, Chinese and Indian consumers, who together account for 40% of global population, bought only $3 trillion worth.

Who else is doing this for the democracy? When I read these stories and hear about continued layoffs in the industry, I feel badly about having cancelled my LAT subscription (actually I dropped down to just Sunday). At the same time, do I want to reward a company that continues to do its job worse and worse?

No comments: