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Posts Tagged ‘inauguration’

Dr. Joseph E. Lowery’s Benediction Transcript @ President Obama’s Inauguration

Can there be any question of the power of words?

Can there be any mystery why the sophisticated symbolism of words binds people to…

  • Others
  • Ideals
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Dogma
  • Superstition
  • Loss
  • Hope?

This learned set of symbols… these words… in whatever language they form… are powerful. Words have a value that connects people reading and hearing them as well as separates those not understanding those words.

Based on past histories and current contexts words rouse unforgettable warmth or irreconcilable anger which, in term, become learned by those experiencing them and watching others experience them. It is a reciprocal relationship; words represent traditions and traditions represent words (as we witnessed with the second swearing in of President Obama). When repeated over and over words morph oh so slowly while becoming ingrained in the fabric of civilization. Traditions, including those of religion, bigotry, superstition, inaugurations and funerals are indelible links between people all represented by words.

Sam Harris in “The End of Faith,” has many logical points concerning traditions, superstition and cultures as do so many others including this author. However, at one time or another we all miss another point that gets lost in emotional [ratio strain] self-righteousness; being right is a relative target and is not what everyone values. One thing for sure is that we all value some words organized in some order representing some experiences.

The changes Sam Harris and others search for will come only through a process of selection by consequences. The things that will replace bigotry and fear and traditions of hate must be learned just as the superstitions and belief systems they were based on were learned. If that is the case, and it most assuredly is, Sam and some of the others will not be here to celebrate a new form of enlightenment where understanding the elemental basis of how behavior works is a primary requirement of primary school graduation.

While we work for all those words describing the elements of understanding behavior in our culture we can appreciate Dr. Lowery’s words for what they represent: a plea to figure out what the heck is going on out there.

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Outside of the oath and benediction speech, the Jason Wu designed dress was the most discussed, blogged, reported media factoid during this crazy inauguration.

Jason Wus Michelle Obama Dress

Jason Wu's Michelle Obama Dress

So what’s all that free press worth?

So far, almost no traffic reported on Jason Wu’s site up until Jan 20th.

By the fact that the site is even up means perhaps not much internet business comes from all this press.

Google Trends shows a nice spike, but the name Jason Wu doesn’t even come close to Superbowl or inauguration.

Jason Wu Michelle Obama Dress

Jason Wu Michelle Obama Dress

Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to wait and see what impact this worldwide acclaim has for a designer.  Perhaps fashion design is simply not measured accurately by online traffic.  I suspect with my somewhat educated knowledge of the fashion industry and media that his reputation is now very secure and that will be a very lucrative career.  He’s only 26!

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When the inauguration is over will the work really begin?

It is a strange thing to me that while we sink trillions of taxpayer dollars into bailouts and rail against AIG (and others) for spending frivolously, we then throw one of the biggest inaugurations ever.  Who pays for that?

What about the loss of productivity today?  at least 3 hours of corporate time for each person… what about the government work not getting done?

I’m obviously not the first to note this.  And, no, I did not agree with the expense when GWB spent a similar amount last go around.

Let’s celebrate modestly and get on with the real work.

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So now we’re going to have a month of debate about Rick Warren and what he stands for.

Warren has been described as the next Billy Graham, an evangelical leader with a moderate reputation and mass-market appeal — although instead of massive open-air rallies and an out-sized television presence, Warren focused on forging partnerships with unlikely allies working to protect the environment and fight AIDS.

As a pioneer of the mega-church movement, Warren looked to translate traditional evangelical messages for a wider audience. He penned “The Purpose-Driven Life,” a spiritually based self-help guide that brought mainstream best-seller status to a muted religious message.

Who cares?

This is the wrong debate.

Why is there even a religion invocation at the presidential inauguration?

Why did we have a debate at a mega church?

Why do we vote in churches?

America sure does argue a lot about mice nuts and not enough about the bigger concepts.

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