To the tune of what sounded to me like King Crimson's "Moonchild" -- a bunch of acoustic instruments plunked haltingly by medieval court musicians and occasionally dropped -- the "penguins" marched Tuesday in a bit of pomp before greater austerity sets in.
It is the President's annual Independence Day reception -- several hundred people from all walks of life (but oddly enough, mostly politics) file past the First Couple, wishing them well or complimenting them or sometimes, outlining an extremely concise business proposition. Or vice versa.
In our circle of friends, people throw little informal parties and make comments on the proceedings -- it's supposed to be all about the women's dresses, some of which are fanciful, others atrocious, but in the hands of virtuoso commenters, it can just as easily take in any cultural reference you might think of. It's as close as it gets to Mystery Science Theatre. Since there is no audio of the little exchanges that take place, the possibilities for suggestion are endless.
I took no notice of what anyone was wearing. I was glad to see that the people I knew were, as usual, classy and tasteful. I felt sad for the people who came alone. I studied faces for signs of fatigue -- economy fatigue, even metal fatigue. I struggled to read lips -- what could Evelin Sepp possibly be vouchsafing to the President and his wife? Would anyone Twitter as they were still in the First Couple's thrall?
Some of the more unfamiliar names will for ever be associated with the wrong faces for me, because the announcer calls out the names as the TV camera lingers on the previous couple. It's much the same effect as the "next stop" announcement on Tallinn's buses and trolleys -- it comes before the bus has stopped for the current stop.
Good speech from the Prez (on paper, he goes deeper than Obama), which was in the spirit of collective self-sacrifice and persuasively argued that Estonia's politicians shouldn't be held accountable for the crisis.
Key word: "solidarity", mentioned 11 times -- there hasn't been such an outpouring since Gdansk ca 1981. Shocker line that I guess really isn't when ya think about it: "We have to acknowledge that the election promises of 2007 no longer count."