At Grossmont College to-day, it looked like several of the trees had only just gotten the autumn memo about how their leaves are supposed to be changing colour.
I was there to buy books for the classes I'm taking starting on the 24th--eleven units in the form of three classes, Japanese 2, Anthropology, and American History. I'm forced to take American history, which was really disappointing. America seems so boring, maybe just because I've lived here all my life. You'd think European history would be more important, especially as there's a lot more to it. Oh, well, I suppose I ought to be thankful I'm only studying a two century old country.
I rather liked the speech our current president gave yesterday;
Though I found a lot of the applause kind of off-putting. This could be due to my disconnect from modern audience oriented entertainment--like American Idol and The Oprah Winfrey Show, where I think applause has taken on a role as an all purpose indicator of approval, even in terms of solemn observations. And of course presidential speeches generally have a certain expected rhythm of applause. But a roomful of people applauding when Obama notes the surviving members of a victim's family just seems weird to me, however you look at it.
Anyway, it's a really good speech. One of the right wing trolls in Huffington Post's comments section predictably called the president's speech opportunistic. This is a pretty standard criticism levelled at Democratic leaders who are good speakers--I remember my right wing economics teacher in high school grumbling about President Clinton coughing slightly at just the right moment during a debate.
Under this lies the basic resentment that a politician may take pride in coming across well. As though everything about a politician should be expected to be pure and without the taint of ambition. It's funny how you don't hear this sort of criticism about other professions. If someone does a job well and hopes to advance in their career because of it, people don't usually see anything sinister in it.
Obama's speech was mostly very simple--hitting key points about how we should work together as a nation, how we should look out for each other and recognise that altruism as good when we see it. The most important thing about the speech is that it gave people what they needed--these things which their own logic certifies as true ratified for being spoken by someone who's an accepted leader. That is the job of a good leader in a free society and Obama deserves to be commended for it regardless of whether or not he desired to be commended for it.
Here're some ravens inspecting pine cones at the college to-day;
They flew away when they noticed my interest;