The Drumming of Obama in Belltown

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Taking_oath.JPG Tamborrada%202009.JPG
Obama taking the oath of office, the tamborrada in Belltown

Nationwide, high ratings for Obama's inauguration. But the shame, oh the shame (from in Seattle:

Nielsen tells us that the combined overall household rating for the inauguration of President Barack Obama in the top 56 local television markets where Nielsen maintains TV meters was 29.2.

The Raleigh-Durham market had the largest TV audience with more than 51% of households tuned in to the day's events. Seattle-Tacoma had the lowest viewership, with only 18.8% of households watching the events.

Wait, WTF? Half of Raleigh-Durham households were watching, but only one in five here? Aside form the time lag (get out of bed, sleepy-head!), we think Seattle's Obamaniacs were more inclined to watch in public places, sharing the experience with friends. Then, while all those East Coasters were making with happy feet at the inaugural balls, we had different celebrations in Seattle.

With BHO's rousing assurance that America is "ready to lead once more" still fresh in the air, six drummers from Roosevelt High School's marching band, clad in cooks' whites, set out from Txori Bar on Second Avenue for a tour of Belltown. Not to scare off the crackheads, but because, by coincidence, January 20th is also the date of the Fiesta da Donostia. Half a world away, the town of San Sebastian, built on lowlands leading to the Bay of Biscay, celebrates its delivery from a French military siege with round-the-clock drumming, and chef Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez, a San Sebastian native, feels the tug of geography.

Imagine the scene: Napoleon's armies surrounding the city in the predawn darkness heard alarming noises: the clamor of thousands of drums. A tamborrada! Unnerved, the pusillanimous French retreat. Inside the walls, the true identity of the drummers is revealed: the city's cooks. banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons.

A felicitous confluence of celebrations. "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear...," the defining TV moment of our age, an event to be savored with joyful noise..

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on January 22, 2009 11:00 AM.

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