Some went through the stages of grief when word emerged that Beyoncé lip-synched "The Star Spangled Banner" at Monday's Presidential Inauguration. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and Saying Weird Things in Public from Time to Time (remember the Kathie Lee beef of 2012?), however, was tickled by the news and may emulate Beyoncé going forward. Or something. Franklin told ABCNews.com that she thought King Bey "did a beautiful job," adding (and here's the weird part):
Not to be forgotten, Al Roker—TV news correspondent, Today Show weatherman, and White House sharter—made everyone uncomfortable again today when he shouted insanely at the President and Vice President until they acknowledged his existence. "I love Joe Biden," said Al Roker, as he rocked back and forth like a small child waiting in line for the bathroom. Biden, ever-suave, ducked out of the parade to shake Mr. Roker's hand and that was that.
Recently, Yahoo! News commissioned a couple Pulitzer Prize winners and also James Franco to write poems on the subject of Barack Obama's second inauguration. The full text of James Franco's poem is available here. You also have the option of watching him read the poem into a webcam while lying down in bed wearing a t-shirt, which we highly recommend doing, if only for the funny way he says "little burrito place." Here, I've responded to James Franco's poem with a poem.
The initial moments of Beyoncé's inauguration performance were fraught with confusion, after she opened her mouth to sing the national anthem and everyone realized that God had replaced the artist formerly known as Beyoncé with an actual living angel whose voice was more heavenly than a thousand Hallelujah choruses.
Famed German poet Novalis once said of poetry, "Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason." Today, with a deeply personal yet universally-minded work read at President Obama's second inauguration, Cuban-born gay poet Richard Blanco attempted to apply salve to some of our nation's sorest wounds with language. Just his presence was historic and somewhat healing in and of itself: Blanco is the first Latino and first openly gay inaugural poet in America's centuries-long history. (Read the full text here.) The nation's collective response? "LOL, what is this dumb-ass shit? Bring on Beyonce!"