Duck! and Gather

Archive for January 20th, 2009

Surfed over to the New York Times to read their take on today. In 24 point bold font, here is the New York Times’ interpretation of today:

President Obama Vows Era of Responsibility

It’s kind of interesting that the NYT took that message out of Obama’s 2,399-word inauguration speech. Because many pundits today were simply rehashing the same old “Holy Shit! A Black Guy in the White House!?” story line. That was the NYT’s lead story when Obama won the election back on November 4. So when I surfed over there today, I expected more of the same drivel.

But to my pleasant surprise, the NYT “got it” this time. As I said in my first post today, Obama’s 20-minute speech boils down to: “Duck!, and then Gather”.

The core of my own “Duck!” counsel over these past five years has revolved around the theoretical belief of mine that America is about to plunge into a civil war described as “People vs. Corporations”. I say this is a “theoretical” belief because I can still can’t envision how such a battle would play out. Who would be the combatants? Where would the battle lines be drawn? What weapons would be used?

I’m baffled by these questions. Theory leads me here. But I can’t see how theory touches the ground.

But putting aside that doubt, for now, let’s just assume that the theory is correct. Let’s assume that the next great American crisis will pit People against Corporations. With what will the People fight the Corporations?

Over the 5-year course of this blog I have proposed one answer to this question. That answer is: Responsibility.

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Count my wife and I among the vast bulk of human-kind swept away and moved by the proceedings today in Washington, D.C. My wife, amidst her joy, noted that Michelle Obama’s wardrobe could have used some funky-ness.

I responded that Michelle, and Obama himself, had achieved the effect they were looking for. They were looking to create the impression that the transition from George and Laura to Barack and Michelle is a smooth, natural one. Nothing to alarm the villagers. Because if everyone really knew just how radical the transition is, chaos might ensue.

But today, in his 2,399 word inauguration speech, Obama finally spoke without fetters. He is not running for anything anymore. And he has no one to whom to answer anymore. From this day forward, he is speaking only to history. So his words today were truly meaningful.

In my last post, I said that these words equated to: “Duck! and Gather”. This post will dig deeper into those words to cull meaning. Here goes:


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Read the transcript of Obama’s inaugural address.  Wonderful speech.  Powerful. 2,399 words.

Allow me to boil this speech down for you to just three words:

Duck! and Gather

for the money has gone too far

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January 2009
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