Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A toast

I'm a Democrat, so I'm excited by Obama's win in all sorts of ways. And, of course, the historical significance of the first black leader of any country outside of Africa and the Carribean, but especially of the U.S., is so wonderful and amazing that I'm a little speechless.

But I know not everyone is happy about this, and as a Democrat, I know what it's like to feel deflated and bummed out the day after an election. So, apropos to this academic blog by an English Professor, here's my shot at a non-partisan toast:

Here's to at least four years of beautiful oratory; to the effective use of anaphora, epiphora, and repetition with variation; to the steady rhythms of parataxis punctuated by the soaring crescendos of perfectly balanced periodic sentences. Here's to speeches delivered with a sense of poetry and music, and a sense of the English oratorical history to which they belong, a history which crosses party and national lines.

Edited to add: My toast kind of just stops instead of ending. It needs a final sentence. Wanna make this interactive and suggest one for me?
Also: I've switched the commenting format back to the old style pop-up window since people have reported that they've had trouble with the new style.


Dr. Virago said...

Dear all -- apparently the newfangled comment-window-in-the-post option was on the fritz, so I changed it back to the old pop-up window. Maybe it won't give people trouble any more.

Hannah Kilpatrick said...

I agree with the toast! And also the sentiment of the whole post, though, being Australian, probably with less emotional intensity. I rarely watch TV,so I hadn't seen Obama speak before last night, when I made a special occasion and turned it on for half an hour to watch the ABC's coverage of the election. And doesn't he speak beautifully? Perfectly timed pauses, perfect inflections, perfect shaping of phrases to swell towards just the right rhetorical moment. And, speaking as a singer - lovely voice!

At least we won't have to listen to Bush anymore.

Renaissance Girl said...

The best way to end your toast, of course:

Yes we can.

The Pastry Pirate said...

I agree with renaissance girl... and I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one unable to comment with the new-fangledey comment form.

But I sure will miss Bush's talk of a "shadowy network of folks..."

Only not.

btw, my word verification is "punkho." Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Shall we neglect rhetorical questions? Nay, let us bathe in the endless oceans of hyperbole--and judicious use of litotes shall be not unwelcome. Yes we can. Amen.

Ceirseach -- I in no way mean to be patronizing--I got mad respect for anyone who "rarely watch[es] TV,"-- but it's heartwarmingly adorable to see somebody react to this guy for the first time. Like somebody showing up late to the Sermon on the Mount. (Gosh, this dude's pretty good at this, isn't he?) All of us have had that particular Obama moment at one time or another in the past couple of years--and now the rest of the world gets to do it, too. Let me just say on behalf of America, sorry about all that, Rest of World. Our bad! We're not crazy anymore! This is our new president. He's pretty cool. Will you be our friends again?

My verification word is "Wuden." Is there some kind of algorithm that generates them, but makes them pronounceable?

Dr. Virago said...

Dedalus -- Litotes! Yes! That was all pretty funny, btw, but you know how I love litotes.

the rebel lettriste said...

Here's to somebody who makes intelligent allusions, whose favorite novel is Moby Dick, and who uses "perfect" as a verb.

That doesn't actually end your toast, I realize, but man, I keep thinking, "the age of idiocy is over! Smart people are in the White House again!"

Wouldn't it be excellent if intelligence and reading difficult books and actual critical thinking and powerful oratory might be ... cool?