Barack Obama | Inauguration | Towleroad Guide to the Tube

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Towleroad Guide To The Tube #416

Aretha Franklin and her hat sing My Country, 'Tis Of Thee prior to Barack Obama's swearing in.

Barack Obama takes the slightly flubbed oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

President Obama's inauguration speech, Parts 1 and 2

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  1. OK, I wasn't going to approach the whole Aretha Franklin hat issue, but since Towleroad brought it up-WTF!!!! That was the most God-ugly and hideous example of haberdashery that has EVER been seen on television.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jan 20, 2009 4:13:32 PM


  2. Loved the hat, love the lady, but she sounded like shit. Either she had a cold, or it was too early in the day, or the years of singing and smoking have finally caught up to her, but it would have been better to hear Whitney or Jennifer Hudson.

    Posted by: shesthemimi | Jan 20, 2009 4:24:54 PM


  3. oh, i wasn't so concerned w/ re's choice of headwear-i have fond memories of san francisco sunday morning and all the church ladies out in their impressive chapeaux.

    what concernec me about aretha's performance was her phrasing of the word "country" in the first line of the song.

    "count-try" which if you say it out loud brings up images of some pretty unusual vegetation.

    Posted by: alguien | Jan 20, 2009 4:25:57 PM


  4. The Hat was obviously a place to hide her afternoon snack...she really should have spit out the turkey leg before she started to sing.....awful...

    Posted by: rockcandy | Jan 20, 2009 4:29:01 PM


  5. "That was the most God-ugly and hideous example of haberdashery that has EVER been seen on television"

    It was cold, chile. The Queen of Soul doesn't like cold. Maybe it's a Detroit fashion thing.

    I think Justice Roberts was stunned. With his political/social background such occurences as the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama...well, just shouldn't occur. But that's all right--pretty soon Justice Stevens and Justice Ginsburg will feel comfortable enough that they can retire. Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and the scummy Scalia will have new company on the supreme bench. I don't think they may like their new company.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 20, 2009 4:33:08 PM


  6. OK you're right, but God bless her. It doesnt really matter. My beef is with the overall game show approach to this "spectacle" — the "come on down" voice-over that is now being announced during the presidential parade to the White House—"Ladies and Gentleman… Barack Obama !!!" Come on down !!!. He has much more dignity than that and I'm sure they are both slightly squirming in their newly upholstered seats (in that god-ugly Cadillac-Humvee hybrid). They have more class than this whole "show". Thank God he has the most lovely smile (Michelle too)…

    Posted by: larryfromparis | Jan 20, 2009 4:34:51 PM


  7. i like the hat. it's what's known as a "church hat". it's meant to be glorious and noticeable.

    the "flub" was not Obama's fault. Chief Justice Roberts transposed some lines that totally baffled Obama, who i would bet had it memorized. [and this guy is the head of SCOTUS?] another reason we can see the mess that Tsar George has left us in...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jan 20, 2009 4:35:11 PM


  8. About that oath:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/i-do-solemnly-swear/?hp

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 20, 2009 4:40:47 PM


  9. I have that same hat in red.

    Posted by: crispy | Jan 20, 2009 4:44:06 PM


  10. Team Aretha's Hat.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jan 20, 2009 4:48:24 PM


  11. Could you all just retract the claws a bit? It is true she cannot sing like she used to, but sometimes a person is honored for their past achievements.

    As for the hat, this is what a black lady wears when she dresses up. Have you ever been to a black church? Personally, I loved it.

    Posted by: Voet | Jan 20, 2009 4:52:00 PM


  12. Bush gave Roberts $5.00 to mess up the oath

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 20, 2009 4:54:19 PM


  13. See, I should've watched THe Queen of Soul's Youtube spot before I opened my big mouth.

    I LOVE THAT HAT! All the women here at work loved it....and so does every self-respecting church woman, and self-respecting drag queen in this country.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Jan 20, 2009 4:57:21 PM


  14. Aretha is looking more like a fat drag queen every year.

    Posted by: B-rod | Jan 20, 2009 5:11:51 PM


  15. Was she singing about "My Country", or "My Cunt" "Tree"??? Bad phrasing, at its best!!!

    Posted by: John in PA | Jan 20, 2009 5:18:35 PM


  16. Derrick from philly

    "I think Justice Roberts was stunned. With his political/social background such occurences as the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama...well, just shouldn't occur. "

    I think it was more his incompetence. He was picked by the emperor of incompetence = bush. How could anyone expect him to not f anything up?

    :-)

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 20, 2009 5:54:06 PM


  17. Did I hear someone mention crack ho' Whitney? Children, children... Don't make me stop this blog.

    The hat is about glory, not some sorry assed chicken shit bullshit like taste. It's not fucking "haberdashery" - it's fucking fabulous.

    The voice is about a lifetime of faith, guts, and achievement. It's about still being present and strong long after "pretty" has come and gone, and still giving whatever you've got to give.

    And this sure as hell isn't about the pronunciation of "country" being criticized by some smart ass valley boy who can't spell or punctuate, and thinks wit consists of using three consecutive exclamation points.

    It's about the 67 year old Queen of Soul singing for the hours-old President of Hope, representing an entire race that has spent generations working, dreaming, and waiting for this moment.

    If you can watch that without tears, you're way, way too white for your own good.

    Posted by: Bryan | Jan 20, 2009 6:47:08 PM


  18. Lighten up Bryan.

    I am a huge Aretha fan, been to several of her concerts, thought her hat was cheeky fun, her voice was fine (you try singing that song and giving it some soul...)
    but when she sang "MY CUNT"... (pause) I thought "is it appropriate to sing about that here on inauguration day?" And then she sang "...tree tis of thee" and I was on the floor. Hilarious.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | Jan 20, 2009 7:14:49 PM


  19. a middle school teacher posted a comment about how she was streaming the inauguration for the class and and the stream stopped to refresh just after she sang "cunt." apparently the dozen or so middle school boys went very beevis & butthead over that.

    Posted by: alguien | Jan 20, 2009 7:29:17 PM


  20. BRYAN needs a time-out. Temper tantrums show your ignorance. It was quite simply an ugly hat. As for Aretha's performance, sorry folks, she remains the Queen of Soul forever and ever.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jan 20, 2009 7:53:08 PM


  21. LOL !! You all are a trip!

    Posted by: Ken Atkins | Jan 20, 2009 9:27:47 PM


  22. Aretha's "church lady" hat was a camp-lovers' delight and I can't WAIT for the drag performances that are sure to follow. Those criticizing it do not understand Black church culture (what a surprise) and this might help you if you want to get a better perspective:

    http://www.amazon.com/Crowns-Portraits-Black-Women-Church/dp/0385500866

    Her voice, however, is another matter altogether. She sounded wheezy and strained. She is a true legend, but i think the time has come for her to hang it up.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 20, 2009 10:23:37 PM


  23. Aretha is my girl (word Bryan!), but I do have to say that when she was singing I was thinking about Mahalia Jackson -- as in "I wish Mahalia were here to sing for the president."

    But Aretha on her WORST day completely buries 3/4 of the female pop singers out there, including Beyonce and Whitney Houston.

    Posted by: Foochy | Jan 20, 2009 11:40:07 PM


  24. I'd like to see all you catty bitches sing in below freazing weather. There's a reason why most vocalists require that the a/c be turned off during their performances. Cold air fucks with their instrument.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Jan 21, 2009 3:04:56 AM


  25. Aretha sang "My cunt tree tis of thee" with a breath after cunt can't she sing those 6 words without taking a breath? geez

    Posted by: Dave | Jan 21, 2009 6:41:51 AM


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