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“It’s time for America to lead again”

February 25, 2009

I didn’t watch the president’s address tonight.  The president says maybe one sentence, maybe two, then there’s 45 seconds of clapping, then another sentence or two…  Instead, I just read the transcript.  Been doing it that way for years.

Funny thing about reading transcripts: if it’s a speaker to whose voice you have become accustomed, you ‘hear’ that voice when reading.  Read a quote by any of the last nine presidents (if you are of a certain age) and see if your imagination does not supply the original voice for you.  Well, now it’s ten presidents, for me.  I have no idea what Eisenhower sounded like.

(Egad, has it been that long?  I used to do a passable comic imitation of Reagan.)

Not just presidents, either.  Read a letter from a loved one, or a quote by Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, Samuel L. Jackson, Walter Matthau and many others, and you hear them in high fidelity, somehow.

Anyway, I read the transcript in fifteen minutes, thoroughly enjoyed it, and recommend the practice. 

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  1. Ray
    February 25, 2009 at 07:08 | #1

    I watched, and I’m not even a citizen! It was pure joy to see and hear him speak, more especially after the past eight years of utter ignorance (I’m still dumbfounded that such an arse could have been your president TWICE).

    I grew up with Churchill as my Prime Minister, so I came to expect a certain level of eloquence from politicians. For the most part, I have been disappointed here in the US, although I liked Cuomo (governor of NY), but Obama has begun to restore my shattered hopes, both as a speaker and as somebody who actually gives a damn.

    So very refreshing.

    [How apt: the keyword for me to post this comment is “finally”]

  2. February 25, 2009 at 13:03 | #2

    I don’t even read transcripts; news summaries cover what’s important, and the rest (as they say) is just commentary. I phased out TV over the last year, and I’ve never even heard Obama’s voice.

  3. March 1, 2009 at 23:40 | #3

    news summaries cover what’s important

    I don’t trust nearly all news sources as they seem to state what they want you to hear. It’s too easy to be mislead. 10 years ago I thought Fox News could be trusted. I grew out of that to CNN which also presented biases that annoyed me. Nowadays I listen mostly to NPR and the rest I get as feeds from friends in Google Reader.

    I think that’s why I like the transcript idea, someone can’t mislead me about what Obama said since I can read it for myself and see what he actually said. I might try it next time Obama gives a big speech.

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