Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

The Plastic Podcast

An audio program about movies. Listen with your iPod or computer.

Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

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Daily Plastic is a Chicago-based movie blog, a collaboration between Robert Davis and J. Robert Parks, the same pair who brought you the wearable movie tote, the razor-thin pencil pocket, and that joke about aardvarks. If you know the whereabouts of the blue Pontiac Tempest that was towed from the Plastic Parking Lot on the evening of August 7th, 2008, or more importantly if you've recovered the red shoebox that was in its trunk, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Davis was the chief film critic for the late, great Paste Magazine (which lives on now as a website) from 2005 through 2009, and he counts this interview with Claire Denis among his favorite moments. Every once in a while he pops up on Twitter. He's presently sipping puerh in Chicago, even at this hour. Meanwhile, Parks, whose work has appeared in TimeOut Chicago, The Hyde Park Herald, and Paste, is molding unsuspecting, college-aged minds in the aforementioned windy city. Media types are warned to stay clear of his semester-sized field of influence because of the distorting effects that are likely to develop.

The © copyright of all content on Daily Plastic belongs to the respective authors.

I had a smile on my face the entire day yesterday. The entire day. I marveled at the sea of people on the Mall. Looking at the Lincoln Memorial, I pondered how far my country has come and how far it still has to go. I was filled with a strange joy watching Malia and Sasha and thinking how happy I’ll be to watch them grow up and smile over the next eight years. I chuckled at how the sight of Cheney in the wheelchair reminded me of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. That led me to think of the ways in which President Obama is strangely like George Bailey (stopping the run on the Savings & Loan, indeed). I smiled.

I was of course moved by Obama’s speech. Even if it wasn’t his finest, it was still a beautifully constructed, powerful statement of America’s democratic values and aspirations. I shouted “Amen” to the lines “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals” and “Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.” If nothing else, I felt inspired that my president is a man who can thoughtfully craft his own Inauguration speech and deliver it with such power. I kept smiling, and cried a bit, too.

Walking around Hyde Park, I tapped into the electricity that continues to buzz through my neighborhood even after our First Neighbors have departed for somewhat warmer climes. I sat down with two retired black women and talked about what this day meant to them. I thrilled at the sight of Barack and Michelle walking down Pennsylvania Avenue. I still can’t get over how much I love the sight of them together. I teared up as I listened to Jesse Jackson talk about the significance of this day. I even sat around and watched Obama and Joe Biden watch the parade. What does it say about me that I was watching someone else watch? It means I didn’t want the day to end. I was still smiling.

Of course, the day eventually passed. But I woke up this morning to look at photos, to relive the awesome and historically transformative occasion. I read newspaper accounts from around the world and reveled in how America’s status has been reborn. I pinched myself and called to mind that the long nightmare of the last eight years is finally over. That thought alone will have me smiling for weeks.

A friend from Egypt has been in town the last few days, and I was trying to explain how the economic events of the last several months have not only created a horribly difficult situation; they’ve caused a crisis of confidence, a fear that borders on despair. But yesterday, whether it’s rational or not, that mood of fear seemed to be swept away. I’m enough of a realist to know that one man can’t make that much of a difference, no matter how much power he has. And the difficulties confronting President Obama are so immense I’m not entirely confident he’ll succeed. But I can think of few people I would rather have sitting in the Oval Office. The fact that he’s there today has put another smile on my face.

For a different take on Cheney in the wheelchair, go here.

One Response to “A Great Day”

  1. Robert DAVIS says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, J. Robert. And here's Jon Stewart on the wheelchair (and the inauguration in general).

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