Random pre-Inaugural thoughts

The Better Half and I were briefly in the greater DC area and environs this past weekend, so our contact with the Inauguration was as peripheral as could be. Nevertheless, since this is probably as close to Witnessing History as I'm likely to get this time, here are some musings:

1) Apparently (per our hosts) DC residents are preparing by stocking up on essentials, just in case all transportation in and around the city is impossible for a few days. That they also do this when there is an inch of snow on the ground makes it difficult to use it as a gauge of actual potential craziness.

2) It makes one a bit glum to stand around an airline terminal and hear one's fellow travelers talking about how cool it will be to see the various circa-Inaugural events, and not be joining in. Poo.

3) Speaking of airline terminals, by far the lamest attempt at re-branding that I have seen in quite some time (with the possible exception of the current GOP) is Washington Dulles Airport's referring to the trucks that trundle one from terminal to terminal as "mobile lounges." Unless they're serving highballs, it's not a lounge. It's a glorified subway car. (On the other end of the spectrum, the new jetBlue terminal at JFK is the iPod of terminals, complete with touchscreen menus for ordering food at the various shops and restaurants. Almost made the waiting fun.)

4) Confidential to the genuinely nice ladies sitting behind me watching the pre-Inaugural shindig at the Lincoln Memorial on the little headrest TV sets: the performers can't hear you, but I'm sure they would have appreciated your applause if they could have. Your fellow passengers? Not so much.

5) Because I watched the same shindig on the plane, I was bummed to have missed the beginning and the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson's prayer. Turns out I needn't have bothered myself -- HBO didn't broadcast it, apparently at the request of the Obama camp (h/t Washington Monthly):

Contacted Sunday night by AfterElton.com concerning the exclusion of Robinson's prayer, HBO said via email, "The producer of the concert has said that the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show." Uncertain as to whether or not that meant that HBO was contractually prevented from airing the pre-show, we followed up, but none of the spokespeople available Sunday night could answer that question with absolute certainty. However, it does seem that the network's position is that they had nothing to do with the decision.
Maybe they thought it would bad TV? I dunno. But it doesn't make me happy.

6) On the other hand, this whole "history-making event" and Inaugural pomp and proximity to MLK Day and everything is making me unbearably sappy, at least by my standards. Every time someone so much as said "God Bless America" or smiled in the Obamas' general direction, I got a lump in my throat. I hope to return to pre-election levels of cynical, ironic detachment as soon as possible.

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