Obama inauguration-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
AS EXPECTED, Barack Obama delivered another eloquent speech during his inauguration as a second-termer Commander-in-Chief of the United States. He opted to speak in the collective instead of singular, putting the future of the US as a communal effort of all Americans, not just among the politicians.
Obama has his hands full with domestic challenges. Still, he spoke of the US as “the world’s most powerful nation” whose people “still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.” While committed to self-preservation of his country, he remains optimistic of peaceful engagement:
“We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully-–not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.”
If it is some consolation, dictators and despots can no longer count on the US to protect their interests. Obama said, “We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”
But gaining as much discussion as the president’s speech was Beyonce’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She allegedly lip-synched her performance in front of the president, and before the people present in the event and those viewing the television. While some called it a “disgrace,” others said “she looked and sounded amazing.”
One writer looked at the sham using a bigger scope: “It’s not the fiction of Beyoncé’s performance that angers us, but the fear that underneath the pomp and idealism our political leaders are con men, telling us a story about ourselves that may not be true.” That comment is over-the-top and the president and his men should take it with a grain of salt.
Which reminds me of the live performance of “We Are Here” during the opening ceremony of the 1995 Palarong Pambansa in Cebu. I was joined by Eva Santos, Junjun Caro, Elmer Cabahug and Sakdap. We did not have a sound check as we sang before then president Fidel Ramos. We were told later that it didn’t come out well on television because of the uneven voices of the performers.
On the other hand, two young artists-–Angela Calina and Luke Mejares-–lip-synched the second anthem composed by Jimmy Borja. Both looked and sounded amazing. Beyonce wasn’t the first. She won’t be the last.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 26, 2013.