My Beautiful Wickedness

The big news in school today…
January 20, 2009, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There’s a new tree that fell over that the kids are allowed to climb on for their “pretending to be cats” game and apparently, there’s space under it where they can make a lean-to out of branches and it’s ever so much better than the big new playground structure that Snottay Academy for the Preternaturally Precocious put up in September.

Oh, and one of the kids brought in a Beatles CD and became the envy of all his classmates. Kid got some cachet herself for knowing all the words.

Oh, and third in order of what’s really important to a 10-year-old, they watched the inauguration, which she knew had to do with augury and she asked me if I had seen the release of the birds and if I knew that there was an ancient reason for that (bless the pagan lady who is in charge of her government club for that bit of religious diversity).

Her reaction ran something like this. She was cringingly embarrassed by “the white guy who prayed and prayed” because she felt both excluded and like she was watching others even farther outside the Christian mainstream be even more excluded. “Doesn’t he know that not everyone believes in what he believes? Why did they even ask him?” She thought Obama gave a good speech — “very fluent. I liked all the history stuff he used, like we come from somewhere and that we can use what we have to do new things” but said that he brought down the house at her school when he thanked Bush for his efforts (the radical Naderite classmate said “goodbye and good riddance but everyone else just laughed at what a bad job Bush had done”). She liked the black guy who prayed because he used the lyrics to Lift Every Voice and Sing (which they sing in her school) and because he was funny. The poem wasn’t much of a poem.

She had an interesting thought on Rick Warren. She said that the ceremony was sort of flipped around — like Warren had been pulling the curtain down on the old order (which is why it sounded so dissonant and out of touch) while Lowery was making the transition to the new order — a benediction for a piss-poor presidency that ignored the people and aggrandized itself to open and an invocation for a new populist beginning at the end. I thought that made a lot of sense.


5 Comments so far
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Oh my god! I have the exact same reaction as your daughter to Obama’s speech! I don’t know if that’s awesome or slightly embarrassing. But I loved hearing him invoke the depth and breadth of our shared history. Loved it.

Comment by Aunt B.

Well, you know that you’re both pretty smart and you both know that history is the stories we tell ourselves that make us who we are…

She startled me today by saying “If people of nations come to know each other by building a common culture, why do Republicans cut arts programs in schools and then complain that kids don’t know what it means to be an American?”

Hum. Yeah. Good question.

Comment by bridgett

Damn good question. I will definitely be stealing it.

Comment by Nick Dupree

Sometimes she seems a lot older than ten and then she goes back to playing with her American Girl doll and I wonder if I misheard her. I don’t think people give children near enough credit for their intelligence nor nearly enough opportunities to cultivate their insights.

Comment by bridgett


Rick Warren is trying to “re-brand” his fat, racist, homophobic ass–it’s not working.

Obama’s speech sounded, and seemed, genuine–mostly.

The Reverend Lowery hit it out of the park.

The poem was mundane, but I thought that was the right thing for it to be. Maya Angelou or someone else might be more of a wordsmith, but I would not have listened to her with anywhere near as much attentiveness.

Comment by democommie

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