Fred Taps into Obama’s Speech

January 21st, 2009 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

We’re half way down the cliff into the economic canyon of no return, folk out there want to blow us up, and more. So, new President Barack Obama’s carryall speech that did not shy from reality was grim listening.

Fred and Ginger in Swing Time

However, I did get one giggle…via the ghost of Fred Astaire.

Most of us, including Obama and I, weren’t around for the 1936 Swing Time with Fred and Ginger. Yet, he clearly has seen it.

Fortunately, he doesn’t have the disease so many younger folk do in covering ignorance with, “I wasn’t even born yet.” He’s learned and paid attention.

Instead, his speech alluded to a key Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields tune in the movie. Its recurring refrain is “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.” His slight variation was “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

My high-school chum Paula Delancey had an infectious love of musicals, particularly those with Fred. She taught many of us that cute can be enough and sincere counts for quite a bit.

In Swing Time,  Fred wanted the gal and was willing to humiliate his clumsy self taking dancing lessons from her. In our reality, Barack has the gal and merely wants to lead his nation and the larger world to stability.

The image may not have been as powerful as that at the end of Obama’s speech citing George Washington at Valley Forge, but I’ll take them both. We’ve fallen, but…

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