I didn’t watch the inaugural speech although I was very happy with this year’s election. The fact of the matter is that it slipped my mind; I didn’t realize how early Obama would be speaking and I was busy listening to Pandora, writing tweets, and otherwise being improvident and wasteful. I did catch the poem about how great we are and the frankly sexy national anthem. If I had thought of it I would probably have turned the TV on sooner, but then again, these slips of mind are sometimes telling; I am coming to suspect there is a great part of me which does not participate in the running commentary, but does have an opinion.

I don’t think I would have enjoyed the speech although I am very likely in favor of all that was said in it. When one gives an inaugural address one likely feels pressured to adopt a certain tone in it or risk displeasing a large portion of one’s audience. This is the portion who likely devoted resources to your campaign. Now that you have been re-elected they feel entitled to a certain reprieve of conscience. They have been waiting all this time for it and now it is theirs. This state of being is called self-satisfaction.

I have fewer morals as I get older. My aesthetic sense is stronger though and it has never favored self-satisfaction; it has, actually, a revulsion of it bordering on pathology. I have likely done myself and others grievous harm in the past when I sniffed self-satisfaction on someone’s breath, even my own. But it feels good, I guess, to ignore a weight on one’s shoulders for awhile.

Here is the thing to celebrate. We have narrowly avoided becoming an ugly boil on world history. We might even remain a democracy. All hail us and our flag.