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Watch the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama live from Washington DC right here on the TheCulturepin.com

Now that the stream is closed, we want to share some videos from the streets on inauguration day.

Inauguration at Times Square

Inauguration from the National Mall

Up to four million people are expected to attend the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington DC on January 20th, with 25,000 law enforcement officials on the scene. Cellular networks have been pleading with their customers to minimize the use of cell phones during the event, claiming they have already stretched their resources to their breaking limits in anticipation of the bandwidth surge.  The event is projected to easily outpace the numbers of the Superbowl in terms of viewership.




Here is the schedule for the event:

Runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. Program is as follows:

  • Call to order and welcoming remarks — Dianne Feinstein.
  • Invocation — Dr. Rick Warren.
  • Musical selection — Aretha Franklin.
  • Oath of office administered to vice-president-elect Joe Biden.
  • Musical selection — John Williams, featuring Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, Anthony McGill.
  • Oath of office administered to president-elect Barack Obama by Chief Justice John Roberts.
  • Inaugural address.
  • Poem — Elizabeth Alexander.
  • Benediction — Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.
  • National anthem.

Post your comments to join in the discussion. What do you think about the event?

In late 2008 I wrote an article about some of Hollywood’s most powerful and influential A-List actors opposing their own guild’s vote to strike in its ongoing negotiation with the AMPTA (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).

Now I present the other side of the argument by way of several videos featuring well-known actors including Elliot Gould, Rob Schneider and Martin Sheen strongly arguing for a YES from fellow guild members on the vote to strike.

Rob Schneider revealing how FOX TV plans to broadcast reruns exclusively online and not on TV airwaves (but without paying actors their current royalty/residuals rate, but instead only 3% of that for online play)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T26kxvjkPE8

Elliot Gould makes an emphatic appeal and argument in favor of SAG moving to strike as he explains the media wash employed by the AMPTA to control the perception of the actor’s fight for a fair deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ktHm39rdp0

And Diane Ladd:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weJUW8Rt5kc

And Martin Sheen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv2sT9KrLXg

And me, Keram, who has been a professional actor for almost 30 years and who has given seminars and been invited to speak at conferences about the arts and new media can strongly state that SAG has my full support in moving to strike if it should require it.  The AMPTA claims that it needs time to understand and assess its online broadcast strategies and will be willing to renegotiate in three years.

That’s what they said about DVDs and it never happened.

Presently, the broadcasters are already streaming their programs, even the newest episodes in high-resolution, full screen, online and forcing the viewer to watch 15 second ads at regular commercial breaks, and yet they do not feel that actors should receive the same royalties (or in some cases, any at all) for these presentations.

SAG represents some 150,000 actors nationwide of which roughly 2% earn the majority of the money.  When one considers that the top 1% is earning twenty million dollars per picture, then it clarifies that the remaining percentile are not necessarily slouches, but they are mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and people who contribute to society and work many other jobs.  The idea that actors live some sort of fantasy life or that they would want to strike out of greed is a gross misrepresentation of the reality.

The concern that many actors presently share about the downturn in the economy and California’s massive financial crisis making it a bad time to strike must remember that the renegotiation of this contract has been known for several years and the possibility of a strike has already slowed work for as long.  My feeling is – we are here, lets get it over with: thinking that delaying this for another three years will suddenly create confidence in the production landscape seems absurd – the only thing we will lose is the momentum and bargaining position.  As cinematographer Steve Gainer said on my podcast (and I am paraphrasing here) – do what we have to do, but let’s just get it sorted out so we can all move forward.  I agree – once a fair deal is struck we can just go back to making movies, television and online content and not suffer from the concern of mounting a production that could fall apart as the result of a looming strike.

So if you read this and are an actor or have dialogues with people who have the ability to vote on this, consider both positions but recognize that the time to get this deal done is now and the the guild needs the support of its members.