Saturday, 24 January 2009

Those mad inauguration speeches

On the way down to London I read Jonathan Raban's analysis of Obama's inauguration speech in the Guardian Review.

More on that tomorrow, but first one small thing that amuses me - not Raban's doing (not entirely) but the sub-editor's - is the Pearls of Wisdom style highlighting of this sentence:

The words of most inaugurals would sound insane if spoken quietly, indoors; and they sometimes sound that way when carried on the wind via loudspeakers and vast JumboTron TV screens.

It is, of course, quite possible that if Obama had addressed the millions from his podium the way he talks at his dining room table he might have sounded equally insane. A little matter of context, perhaps.

1 comment:

Poet in Residence said...

Raban is wrong in claiming no memorable quotes in the speech. Obama's "unclench the fist" phrase will be often remembered and recalled. It's part of his carrot/stick philosophy.