1. I told you Gawker is sometimes great, and this is one of those times. A badly-spelled posting to MySpace apparently by Bristol Palin’s sister-in-law Mercede Johnston claims that Levi Johnston’s recently-arrested mother is not allowed to see her new grandson because the Palin family considers the Johnston family “white trash”.
For me, this also brings the special joy of reading sentences like “Levi is in a bit of a hayes” and “I hope Levi pulls his head out of his buttt”. I guess I have more in common than I thought with my soul brother up in Wasilla. People have been saying the same thing about me for years.
2. Okay, enough of all that bad karma left over from the 2008 electoral season. I love it that Barack Obama seems to believe a less divisive political climate is possible in the USA, that he dares to reach out to his natural partisan enemies. Some Obama supporters are suspicious of his conciliatory gestures towards conservatives like Rick Warren and John McCain. I think Obama knows exactly what he’s doing, and it’s the right way to begin.
I watched most of yesterday’s pre-inauguration concert. It was good to see Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar Mellencamp and James Taylor doing what they do, Mary J. Blige and Beyonce were pretty good, and the highlight was Pete Seeger’s joyful singalong energy on This Land is Your Land. The 89-year-old folksinger shouted out the lyrics to some of the later verses to make sure we understood Woody Guthrie’s words:
In the squares of the city, in the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me
As I was walkin’ I saw a sign there
And that sign said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side, it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me
Nice. I hope official inauguration poet Elizabeth Alexander will find words as resonant as these.
3. Japan is also currently staging a poetic national epiphany, though this ceremony is described as “solemn, pomp-filled”.
6. A Scrabble keyboard.
7. Chapter two of the memoir should be up tomorrow. Sorry I couldn’t post it last week, but I’ve been in a bit of a hayes.