Shakespeare, Heavenly Shows & the Presidential Inauguration

devil2“When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do tempt at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now.”

(Othello act 2, sc. 3)

The topic “heavenly show” referred to in this entry is the President’s Inauguration Phantasmagoria shortly to be broadcast on your corporate television screens.
What is new this year is that corporate sponsors are paying for Obama’s second inauguration. Which, some may say, saves taxpayers’ money, were it not that the payment for the festivities and the previous payments for the elections did not come for free to the taxpayer. As it has been documented in countless reports, articles and books, the “investment” in contributions by the 1% is peanuts compared to what they get back from the taxpayers. In the words of Noam Chomsky it is socialism for the rich.
Among the firms donating to the inaugural ball fund are Financial Innovations, a promotional products corporation that received nearly $2 million in business from the Obama re-election campaign, and Centene Corporation, a Medicaid management firm that is a major beneficiary of the administration’s health care overhaul.
Other donors to date include Genentech (biotechnology), Microsoft and AT&T. The Presidential Inaugural Committee is not required by law to release the donation amounts.
Another amusing and yet lugubrious innovation is the idea of attaching the names of past-presidents to the amount levels of money that corporate beneficiaries pay back for the presidential extravaganza,  “Washington” ($1 million), “Adams” ($500,000),“Jefferson” $250,000 and “Madison” ($100,000).
The inauguration events will have a strong ‘religious’ tone.  The man who approves the lists of murders-by-drone will probably begin the day by attending a “Morning Worship Service” and, no doubt will swear to “preserve” and “defend” the US Constitution  with his hand on the Bible.  Even though, according to a consensus among scholars and laymen, the president and his entourage take a very cavalier position on the document.
This year there is more religious fervor and hypocrisy than ever. The theme is “Faith in America’s Future”. On its front page the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website includes a list of Bibles used at past presidential swearing-ins.
The inaugural presidential ball will pay homage to the military. Countless other balls are scheduled.
The day’s events are a pageantry of “heavenly shows” of wealth and power – the American answer to a British coronation. Corporations and wealthy individuals spend inordinate amounts of money to underwrite an extravagant celebration of US military might, religious backwardness and the continuation of the Obama administration’s anti-democratic and anti-working class policies. As the elite gathers in Washington to rub elbows and trade horses, they will raise their glasses to another four years of war and austerity. And maybe (or probably) as the extravaganza unfolds, US drones will be murdering more “terrorists” along with women and children, in the name of the Bible, of course and also because “all men are created equal.”

Tips for Use. The quote refers to Jago but it could have been written for the establishment as a whole that, in the instance, promotes and bankrolls the forthcoming described events.

In the play. Iago begins to carry out his diabolic plot against Othello and first pretends to be his true friend. He will suggest that Desdemona is secretly in love with Cassio.

Image site: http://www.mondimedievali.net/Medioevoereticale/rappresentazionemale.htm

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