Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pres. Obama Needs better Staff

On NPR yesterday I heard the Culture Minister of France extolling President Obama's intelligence, patronage of the arts and culture, and general liberal artiness. At the time of the election I heard other comments of how Obama will be good for the arts and culture of the United States. That would be a good thing. We pray in one of our collects for the fomenting of the cultural arts.

So why does the President give such insipid gifts? Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave our President a pen holder made from timbers of the anti-slave ship HMS Gannet, and a first edition biography of W. Churchhill. Obama gave him some DVDs...which were not compatible with European DVD players. When the President met the Queen of England, he gave her an iPod.

In all fairness, I would have no idea what to get a Queen. It's hard enough buying something for my mother, or my father who buys himself whatever he wants. But I'm pretty sure if I were a cultured man, a patron of the arts, I wouldn't get Her Majesty a gift befitting a teenager.

As you read this blog, Mr. President, I urge you to get better protocol advisors. We expect such boorish gifts from clueless Republicans; not from a cultured, sensitive Democrat. Seriously.


  1. orrologion said...

    I think it all depends on what Pres. Obama put on the iPod he gave to Her Majesty. Your critique is correct if it was filled with Top 40, but who knows? Maybe it was recordings of the Metropolitan Opera, last season at the Kennedy Center, a little "Prairie Home Companion" and readings by the Poet Laureate of the US.

    I also can't quite tell whether you are for or against "general liberal artiness". As a generally arty person who ditto heads in red states would consider too liberal (though perhaps not actually 'liberal'), I might want to take offense. When our socialist overlords rise to power, I want to make sure to know who I should and should not give up as counter-revolutionary agents. Please advise.

  2. Christopher D. Hall said...

    Yes. I did do a good job of walking a line neither for or against "general liberal artiness" didn't I?

    But I would have to come down in favor of the same. Not the hypersexualized political (in)correct, self-important imitations that come from certain zip codes out West--but artiness in general, to be sure.

    Of course a true culture that comes from the cultus is preferable to everything else.

    And when being true to our vocation, we are all counter-revolutionary agents, are we not? The hilarity is that the establishment never realizes it until too late. See Flannery O'Connor.

  3. orrologion said...

    I agree, death to the world! (There's a great Orthodox zine by that name, BTW).

    I read something by Flannery O'Connor and found it good, but not great, a little thin when telling of large things. Still, anyone speaking of large things is ahead of the curve. I was just expecting more given the way so many people laud her.

    Yes, I traded in my culture cred for the cultus and do not regret it, or feel I am lacking or missing anything.

  4. orrologion said...

    It turns out the Queen does not like classical music, but is a fan of musicals.

    According to the AP:

    "President Barack Obama's gift of an iPod to Queen Elizabeth II came loaded with 40 songs from popular Broadway productions, including "The King and I," "West Side Story" and "Dreamgirls." The iPod was given to accompany a rare coffee table book of songs by composers Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, which Obama also gave the queen.

    Songs on the iPod are:


    "If I Loved You," Jan Clayton, "Carousel"

    "You'll Never Walk Alone," Jan Clayton, "Carousel"

    "There's No Business Like Show Business," Ethel Merman, "Annie Get Your Gun"

    "Once in Love with Amy (Where's Charley?)," Ray Bolger

    "Some Enchanted Evening," "South Pacific"

    "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," Carol Channing, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"

    "Getting to Know You," Gertrude Lawrence, "The King and I"

    "Shall We Dance?" Gertrude Lawrence, "The King and I"

    "I Could Have Danced All Night," Julie Andrews, "My Fair Lady"

    "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," Rex Harrison, "My Fair Lady"

    "The Party's Over (Bells Are Ringing)," Judy Holliday

    "Maria," "West Side Story"

    "Tonight," "West Side Story"

    "Seventy Six Trombones," "The Music Man"

    "Everything's Coming up Roses," Ethel Merman, "Gypsy"

    "The Sound of Music"

    "Try to Remember," Jerry Orbach, "The Fantasticks"

    "Camelot," Richard Burton

    "If Ever I Would Leave You," Robert Goulet, "Camelot"

    "Hello, Dolly!" Carol Channing

    "If I Were a Rich Man," Zero Mostel, "Fiddler on the Roof"

    "People," Barbra Streisand, "Funny Girl"

    "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)," John Cullum

    "The Impossible Dream," Richard Kiley, "Man of La Mancha"

    "Mame," Charles Braswell

    "Cabaret," Liza Minnelli

    "Aquarius, Ronald Dyson, "Hair'

    "Send in the Clowns," Judy Collins, "A Little Night Music"

    "All That Jazz," Chita Rivera, "Chicago"

    "One," "A Chorus Line"

    "Tomorrow," Andrea McArdle, "Annie"

    "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," Patti LuPone, "Evita"

    "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," Jennifer Holliday, "Dreamgirls"

    "Memory," Elaine Paige, "Cats"

    "The Best of Times," George Hearn, "La Cage Aux Folles"

    "I Dreamed a Dream," Aretha Franklin, "Les Miserables"

    "The Music of the Night," Michael Crawford, "The Phantom of the Opera"

    "As If We Never Said Goodbye," Elaine Paige, "Sunset Blvd."

    "Seasons of Love," "Rent""