Yep, tonight is the night the president sums up the past year and delivers an inspiring plan for 2011. Jesse Cornett's (remember him?) new bar Guild Public House (1101 E Burnside) will be showing the speech at 6 PM and I'm sure it will be fun because there will be beer and political kids there.
You know what won't be fun? The speech itself. My bold prediction for 2011's SOTU is that it won't be worth watching. Unless you're the kind of person who likes to watch speeches so you can turn them into wordles (which a lot of people are! And that is fine).
It's going to be boring because Obama's going to be on defense, hewing to a centrist, offend-nobody line. And watching Obama play softie defense is as uninteresting as stagey politics gets. It's as boring as watching, oh I don't know, your ex-boyfriend make a speech about raw foodism.
He'll talk about bringing troops home from Iraq, he'll talk about passing financial reform, he'll talk about "moving forward together." All stuff we've already talked to death. There will be some big, important policy points: He'll be calling for a five-year spending freeze on all discretionary funds not relating to national security. You know how I know that? Because it's up online already. Along with all other possible interesting pieces of his speech (including the actually interesting detail that a small business owner from Portland was invited to attend the speech with Michelle Obama after he spoke out against the Republican-controlled National Federation of Independent Businesses).
You know what will be a lot more exciting than watching the speech? Reading live updates from the protests in Cairo. How am I expected to give a shit about the State of the Union seating plan when Cairo's parliament is surrounded by anti-authoritarian protesters?! Look at this!
- Cairo! Protests! Not Boring!
In conclusion, here's my dramatization of the speech even before it happens: "Hello Americans! Nice, powerful words meaning nothing, buzzword buzzword, change, Giffords, buzzword, bunch of stuff that's already online, cliche, cliche, THE END!"