Well, for those of you who follow TheRevAl (Al Sharpton) tweets, he’s currently spending the evening at the White House enjoying a state dinner with the Obamas and French president Francois Hollande. As an ardent Sharpton follower (it’s the hair), I investigated further just to make sure it wasn’t a joke, because we all know what a kidder Al is, and sure enough, according to Darlene Superville of the Associated Press, TheRevAl had been invited!! And to think I knew him when he was just a street agitator and here he is, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous!
Superville reported that at the reception, people were trying out French phrases in honor of Hollande. Even TheRevAl tried a few words. Superville stated: ”Oui, oui, oui,” declared the Rev. Al Sharpton, sounding like he was reciting the nursery rhyme about the little piggies.” Really people? Really? Do you just have to hand these things to me?
I know you think I’m making this up ‘cause you think I’m a hater, but here’s the link. http://entertainment.verizon.com/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/ap-stag_state_dinner_for_hollande_has_frenc-ap
So, I know I promised all of you a review of the Sunday inaugural ceremony of our beloved leader. And I thought, why not juxtapose the Obama’s state dinner with Chubby Cheeks’ swearing in ceremony? See which one comes up on top? After all, both men were at the epicenter of two ground breaking moments in American politics; the first African American elected as President of the United States and the first African American elected as District Attorney, County of Kings. So, let’s start…
As far as sheer power of office and scope of political reach, Barack wins that one hands down over Chubs. POTUS over DACK.
As far as the length of the two events, well, DACK wins over POTUS. After three and half hours with no end in sight, Sunday’s invitees were bailing out faster than the Vichy government could surrender. The thing finally ended at roughly 4 hours and 35 minutes, which was exactly four hours and thirty minutes too long.
DACK’s over-the-top-can’t-stop-going-on-too-long-when-is-this-gonna-end-poke-my-eyes-out swearing in ceremony wins out over POTUS when it comes to music. Brooklyn was in the house. The steel pan band was good, the guy who sang the national anthem was superb, the cantor was jaw dropping Luciano Pavarotti excellent, and the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Choir is so good it hurts, but for simple understated class, POTUS wins over DACK.
It really comes down to the quality of invitees, I’m afraid. And for that, in my humble opinion, the Obamas win. Cecily Tyson, NAACP’s Ben Jealous, Stephen Colbert, San Fran Mayor Kevin Johnson, Bradley Cooper, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Irwin Jacobs the Qualcomm Inc. founder, and Jane Stetson, the Democratic National Committee’s finance chair were only a few of the heavy, heavy hitters in attendance tonight. So maybe Francois and the French ambassador had to listen to TheRevAl recite the “Three Little Pigs all the way home,” but still, we’re talking people of substance. I suppose, when you’re pulling world-wide for your invite lists, versus just Brooklyn, you can get a wider range of better quality folks.
POTUS wins again in the “location” category. Obviously, the White House would win over the Steiner Studios sound stage. That was a no brainer.
I’m not sure how to score the size of the event category. If you weigh 350 White House state dinner guests versus a cast of over a thousand ‘close friends,’ who wins? I’ll have to give it POTUS. It’s quality, not quantity that truly matters.
And with regard to the required speeches and toasts tonight? Well, again, the Obamas are slam dunking their way to the game point. Lu-Shawn, you tried. But the Sunday speaker list left a bit to be desired. Putting on a big event is not just lining people up to speak. You have to comb through the list of “possible” and pick out the ones that can actually talk and be understood. You got to learn to say “no,” to someone, because this thing was just too long.
Some of the politicians you chose to speak were illegible. I thought maybe my hearing was bad; ”Am I having a stroke?” I thought. But other people said the same thing to me. Their pitiful performances underscored the travesty of their election to public office because if this is the best their respective districts have to offer, their constituents apparently are sitting around drooling. I shouldn’t embarrass the speakers by naming them, but they’re public figures, so I’ll be content to say they were the first four elected officials speaking on the program. As for the others, in my opinion Chuck Schumer is so unctuous that I felt like a razorback after the Rockaway oil spill – in need of a degreasing bath in Dawn. I can see why DeBlasio got elected Mayor, he was genial and affable and well, just so damn likable (but can he lead?). And even Scott Stringer was a pleasure, given what came before him. Frankly Lu-Shawn, you could have skipped all those people, kept the music, let Rev. A.R. Bernard and your man speak and we’d all have been happier and a whole lot less bored.
“Why,” some may ask, “are you so concerned about someone being ‘well spoken’ if their message is true and heartfelt? Social justice is important to the community.” Look, if you’re going to speak to more than just your close friends and family, you need to be well spoken and articulate. You need to enunciate, or have an interpreter. If you choose the form of communication, you’d better be good at it. The four speakers referenced above left me wondering, “What in the H. E. double hockey sticks are they trying to say?” And by the by, what’s wrong with simply seeking, ”Justice?” Why do we need to bifurcate and trifurcate and atom-split the concept? Justice is justice. Why do people have to talk about it as if it could be achieved in little bitty parts….ooh we need social justice, or economic justice, or political justice, or criminal justice. Child, we need Justice in all its iterations because if we don’t have all its iterations, we ain’t got it. Period.
The good news to those of us who stayed past the garbled words of HJ and NV, et al., was that the speaker list was shortened by one name. TheRevAL, was on the agenda, but was MIA. Apparently, the TheRevAl preferred Fashion Week to the Never-ending Inauguration Story, as he tweeted to his faithful followers on Sunday:
Reverend Al Sharpton@TheRevAlFeb 9
Back in NY, running down to Fashion Week as a guest of Andre Leon Tally.
Look, you don’t get to be a fashion plate activist by trying to find your way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in a snow storm. My man Al has his priorities straight. Besides, the swag bags at Fashion Week are to die for!! The only swag I got at DACK’s event was inflamed haemorrhoids from sitting so long.
So, in brief, who wins out in this not so scientific and a bit catty review?
It seems that the Supreme Leader’s wife Lu-Shawn, took on the event planning and I have to give her kudos for that. And we need to remember that Michelle has the White House staff to help, who are professionals in this sort of stuff. But frankly, if you wanna play with the big boys you gotta step up your game. The winner (and still champion) is POTUS. DACK fails to even place.
Let’s face it folks! Michelle has class, intelligence, looks, savoir-faire, and consistently throws a mean event; Lu-Shawn has, well, she has a hyphenated first name, two cute kids, and four years to hit her stride as an event planner. Let’s hope she learns from this disaster and brings her “A” game to the next event.