Obama was inaugurated. I watched it on Fox News, so I can hear Obama's speech without hearing it translated to Hebrew in the middle and get distracted, and I was very glad I did so.
I expected them to talk about LGBT rights (the GoGay.co.il writers referred to Obama as 'most likely the most gay friendly American president ever), but it seemed I misinterprereted the magnitude of the race barrier being broken, an issue referred many times during the ceremony (and that old black reverend gave a very nice rhymed speech about it, 'Black won't be taken aback, brown can stick around...').
It was a bit awkward, though, when that singer whose name I forgot sang My Country, 'Tis For Thee. I thought her singing style and the way she dressed were very strange, but I realised it was a demonstration of the African-American's unique culture, which I can't really relate to.
The poet who read that poem (Something Alexander) was embarrassing. It sounded like something a child might write, and it pretty much proves that Americans have absolutely no taste when it comes to poetry (otherwise Walt Whitman could never have been their national poet). I was surprised they let her in.
The air Yo-Yo Ma, Yitskhak Perlmann, and the other two played was... interesting. I wasn't listening that well, so I can't really judge. I should listen to it again some time and make an opinion.
The inauguration itself was a negative surprise. Obama got confused in the middle, and I was quite scared. What was that supposed to mean? Ah well. Let's hope it means nothing. There were a few little blunders here and there, but meh.
The speech was pretty interesting. Obama didn't speak with vague words, but actually addressed the issues he was concerned with and said it will be a long process which will require the people's patience and co-operation. I listened attentively till the end, and wasn't disappointed (well, just a little, because he didn't say a thing about LGBT rights. I interpreted it as cowardice). However, the reporters said they were surprised at the speech, saying Obama has shown his good literary taste in the past, but this speech was somewhat corny. I didn't have anything to compare it to, so it seemed alright for me. A classmate later told me he did it because he wanted to show people he is only human, and will only be able to take care of the crises as a human and make people understand he's not the sole solution for their problems.
I was disappointed to see there was no big ceremony with all the promised artists (and a gay choir was said to perform there! I wanted to see how that turned out... I've read something like that was never done before, and it was considered controversial), and read only later these performances took place two days beforehand. Hopefully I'll find out about that on YouTube.
The Erets Nehederet episode afterwards featured an embarrassing impression of Obama by Eli Finish. However, it was rather funny when the Bibi (done by Mariano Edelmann) said, 'We have a great president on our side, U.S. backs us up, so we can do whatever the fuck we want!', and Obama said, '...No you can't.' (So Bibi said he's a broken president and asked if they could go back to the previous one...) It was also funny when Kitsis tried asking Obama if his views of the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have changed, and Obama's media adviser translated it as, 'You're a darkie, we've never had to deal with a darkie before, what are we supposed to do?...'
I have great hopes of you, Mr. President. Please don't fail me.
I translated a poem written by Altermann. I think it is very relevant for our days. It's an untitled poem, from Altermann's Notebooks, volume III, page 60:
– – – Quoth the Devil, How can one protected well
He has his courage and he has the virile skill,
His arms are with innovation by him seated.
Thus spake he: I shan't seize his force
Or put bridles for to restrain him,
And no weakness I shall endorse
And his strong hands I shan't as then weaken:
I shall make both his mind and spirit coarse,
And his knowing he's right be forsaken.
– – –
Thus spake he, and the heavens froze
And turned pale in horrid fear
As they saw how he spake and rose
This nefarious plot to bear.
An Cat Dubh, 21.1.09
Not as good as the original, but meh. I think I should revise it and re-post a fixed version of it (I think this poem was written with a different stress system, and that's what made me think the metre is inconsistent...). But you understand the point.