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January 20, 2005

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I watched the inauguration. Bush said all the right things. Politicians always do.
The entertainment was dismal--a lot of elevated sunday school caterwauling, jive talking
ministers, and men in uniform singing and playing their instruments with military precision.
In practice, the military is about as precise as a 500-lb bomb dropped from 5 miles up.  But
when it comes to the national anthem, the notes are all correct and the buttons polished.
The speech repeated "freedom"; audience members complained of long security checks.
Most of the time you couldn't see the bulletproof enclosure, but when the camera panned
out you could see GW was surrounded. Could Bush have found the podium on his own?
I doubt it. That walk had to be secure--carefully planned and executed. Yet another petty
but complicated detail too insignificant to clutter the mind of the president. When he walks,
he follows. Does this make him one of the less free people in the world? Is there always
an agent on the other side of the bathroom door? |||| In Seattle, hundreds gathered at
Westlake Center (which isn't very close to a lake, nor is it the center of anything but
itself) to voice support for a less murderous future. The consensus seems to be that
Bush, Cheney, and company are scurrilous profiteers. Their resumes support this
thesis, which is why Dan Rather stuck to talking about the luncheon menu and
weather. |||| Pro-Freedom demonstrations in Seattle are evolving. There are fewer
silver ponytails and lots more youthful energy. The young wake up sooner than
others because they're often the first to get the shaft. NION set up a stage and
booked a lot of speakers and singers. My favorite was the rappers because next
to the stage a sign language interpreter was miming the rhymes with his hands.
As the march got under way I projected eminem's MOSH inside a giant plywood
TV, which had the ironic effect of causing some people to stop and watch his
call to action. Things just kept getting better. Bill Horist bought me a couple of
beers and then I hooked up with John Berry at Gallery 1412 where I videotaped
the Portland Bike Ensemble, an Oregon trio which plays free improv music on
amplified bicycles. Upturned bicycles in a room command attention. There's
something superworldly about their presence, the way they occupy space. With a
variety of microphones and pickups, Kelvin, Craig, and John plucked spokes, turned
cranks, rubbed tires, and explored other methods for releasing the music of everyday objects.

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