18 November 2009

Sarah, Please Go Away Already!

(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

Everyone knows by now that Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue" is out. There are reviews all over the place, major arguments are happening all over the web, and I fully expect a couple of women to come to blows on the el sometime soon. No doubt it will be picked up by the Chicago Tribune and highlighted on the daily police blotter. If that happens, I promise to post links to both the articles and the mug shots.

I've resisted saying anything about it. There are some pretty good reasons for this, not the least of which is that I can't vote in this country - I have a Green Card, but I'm not a citizen. Another reason is that I have no intention of buying or reading the book. Even just based on the reviews so far I can tell that I have better uses for that money (like buying lotto tickets) and it seems like a cubic waste of time.

Still, the reviews and commentary have been pretty interesting all by themselves. Christopher Beam wrote an unauthorized Going Rogue Index that is absolutely hilarious. The Huffington Post has a slide show outlining the biggest lies told in the book and is inviting readers to add to the list. Time Magazine lists reviews from a bunch of sources, both positive and negative. Probably one of the most balanced reviews out there comes from the venerable and respected New York Times . I read their reviews all the time and generally agree with the reviewer. The Times is a safe bet when it comes to reviews that are thorough and authoritative.

The most interesting one I've found so far is from Margo Howard , formerly of Slate Magazine. It's concise and well-written, as is all of her work, but that's not even the most interesting part of it. It's the comments and arguments happening on the discussion board UNDER the article that I'm finding interesting. The readership on WowOwow is mostly women, and women have a lot to say about Mrs. Palin, ranging from (apparently) blind adulation to outright loathing and disdain. It seems there's not a lot of middle ground there.

I know, eventually I'm going to have to weigh in here. After all, even though I can't vote, it was hard to miss all of the election goings-on last year, particularly since I live in Chicago and that's where the President lives. Personally, I like Obama. He's smart, educated and knows about hard work. The Boy met him several times before the election while he was commuting to work in Washington and found the former Senator to be a most engaging and interesting person. I think he was a good choice for President, especially considering the alternative. The last person we need running this country is yet another geriatric heart attack waiting to happen or a former drunk with a gun fetish.

That said...

I don't like Sarah Palin. I just can't. I find her to be an abrasive, badly educated, arrogant lightweight whose main interests are most emphatically NOT those of the rest of the country. The whole business of parading her pregnant daughter around the country while touting abstinence "education" is probably the most blatant hypocrisy we've seen in modern times. Hauling her baby around on the campaign trail along with the other kids is skirting the edge of child abuse. Her made up "feud" with a nineteen-year-old kid is absurd.

Why would anyone who can't answer a simple question about what newspapers she reads think that she's qualified to run an entire nation? Does she sincerely believe that the President, ANY President has every single move rehearsed and pre-written in every situation? I used to joke that we only saw Bush and spouse when they were facing the camera because they didn't want anyone to see the strings in their backs, pulled by Cheney and a couple of other cronies. Looks like Sarah would volunteer for the installation.

I watched the speeches and debates during the latest presidential campaign. I paid attention to what was said on all sides. The candidates made the usual number of gaffes and misstatements, which they either corrected or apologized for over the course of the months leading up to the election. It was business as usual. Sarah Palin added entertainment value. Her life is a train wreck, she can't form full sentences without a teleprompter, and she never, ever acknowledges that she might be mistaken about something. It's always someone else's fault. I was embarrassed for her a lot of the time. It was like watching someone pee themselves, you don't quite know what to do and you WANT to ignore it, but you can't look away.

She'll make an estimated ten million dollars on the book. Hopefully that's enough to make her go away after the book tour. Her supporters have pre-ordered tens of thousands of copies, which guarantees it a spot on best seller lists even if those books molder in warehouses unread.

So what do you think? Am I full of crap? Is Sarah? If you see any reviews that look interesting, post them. I'd like to see them...


  1. Sarah Palin is a stupid, insubstantial slut who sets the cause of feminism back decades by her unmerited success. She is the reason I voted for Barack Obama even though I voted solidly Republican for Congress and all my state and local races. The very thought of John McCain (whom I respect and admire and wish didn't have such idiots as the GOP running his campaign) dying in office making Palin the president was enough to make me roll the dice on a liberal (mind you, I probably would've just stayed home if I didn't have a few dogs in the fight down-ticket.)

    The sooner Sarah Palin goes away, preferably by jumping off a bridge to nowhere, the better. Her dog-and-pony show is better suited to air after "Kate Plus 8" where we could just laugh at her and not have to worry about her wielding anything remotely resembling influence.

  2. I don't really have an opinion on her one way or the other. I come out pretty neutral about it.

    What I'm NOT neutral about is people being slanderous and using terms that have no bearing on the conversation or topic at hand. Vapid? Ok. Badly educated? Agreed. Slut? Too far and unneccessary.

    I can understand an extreme dislike of any political or high profile figure. I have my fair share of them. But to go so far as to put in writing that they should go jump off a bridge is a little harsh. Yes, yes, this is the forum of harshness, but I also thought this was the forum of rationality and logic. Oh, I go the wrong desription? Damn these computers for ruining my eyesight...

  3. It's hard NOT to be hard on Wailin' Palin, and I suspect that it's because we all knew someone like that in elementary or junior high school.

    She is the universal whiner, the kid who has an answer for everything, even if she's wrong all the time. If someone calls her on her garbage, she stamps her little feet, screams at the top of her lungs and tells the teacher that the person is "being mean" to her. Once she does this often enough, no one says anything to her, which only "proves" to her tiny little mind that she was right all along.

    She probably won a penmanship award and failed all her classes.

    She is the socially oblivious kid that crashes parties, not because she's being intentionally rude but because she just doesn't get that she wasn't invited because no one likes her. She blunders into situations that result in events that don't result in her getting smacked ONLY because normal people aren't in the habit of getting physical with idiots.

    Wailin' Palin is the person that we would have all dearly loved to strangle when we were little kids, but couldn't because the adults were still bigger than us.

    She inspires heights of invective that probably haven't been aimed at a public figure since the French Revolution, and she's earned everything that's been aimed at her.

    It's funny, but a lot of folks seem to think that disliking Palin is "woman-bashing". I don't know where that comes from. I'm a woman, too, and she doesn't have anything to do with me. Are we supposed to believe that all women are so fragile and dainty that we should never be criticized? How very Victorian! As far as I'm concerned, she could be a woman, man or German Shepherd dog - she's just another politician, thats all.

    Watching her speak/pontificate/ whine/ lie is painful. It makes me embarrassed for her, and it embarrasses me that she holds herself up as some sort of good example for other women. She is, in fact, so busy thrusting her breasts into every issue she talks about that she misses the topic entirely.

    The fact that she's female does not mean that she can't be a jerk. That word is gender-neutral, like "idiot", "twit", and "slimeball".

  4. I am ... a minority in my family.
    When McCain announced Palin as his running mate, I was...cautious. I had heard nothing to indicate she was remotely in the running up to that point, and I wasn't about to start singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" because the Repub's had added a woman to the ticket.

    Most of my family caught a couple of the top talking points about how she was such a great conservative, and started celebrating right out of the gate, and then got angry at how "unfairly" she was treated by the press. Meanwhile, I gathered as much information about her as I could from as many sources as I could, and remained cautious. There was enough out there on the day she was announced as running mate, to lead me to believe she wasn't as fiscally conservative as she was painted to be.

    I couldn't care less where she got her education, and I thought that perhaps the journalism degree would have trained her to be thorough in gathering information and viewing it impartially, something I think is a useful skill set for a politician, since they are rarely elected to merely form the government in their own image, but in the way their constituency would like to see.

    Then it came out that her daughter was pregnant. I sighed, but thought, well, maybe this will end up being a good thing. Maybe this situation will lead to us getting a better insight into who she really is quickly, since we have very little information about her.

    Then the election was over and a few months later she resigns as governor. I have to tell you, with that one move she guaranteed that if she runs for something again, I'll be sure to remind my whole family of her inability to make good decisions as an elected official in the past.

    I have heard apologists say "But it was for the good of her family!! You can't honestly expect me to believe that you would stay in a job for the next two years if you knew it was hurting your family the whole time!!" To which I say, BullSHIT!

    Here's why. I have found nowhere that it is mandatory to accept a vice presidential slot on a political ticket just because you are asked. This means that she had a CHOICE when she was asked to be McCain's running mate. If she was truly that concerned for her family's welfare, she would have taken a good hard look at her life: pregnant daughter, ethics investigation, etc; and said I appreciate the honor, but I have to decline at this time. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, a political scientist, or even a degree in journalism to look at her life at the time when she agreed to run and know that running on the Republican ticket would open that ALL up for attacks of a personal and professional nature, and that the attacks wouldn't center solely on her.

    On the other side of the apologists you have "But she was doing the best thing for her state, look at how things have gotten out of control and she's spending so much time/state resources fighting off the madness that followed her home after the election." To which I say "Bullshit." She had the option to choose "No Thanks" about running in the first place here. She signed a contract (in essence) with the voters of her state to BE there as chief executive for a four year term when she ran for office. Granted, most states/voters are not too upset about that breach when their mid-term official gets voted into a Federal position instead, but that doesn't lessen the impact that running has on your home state, and part of your job as governor should have been to weigh those potential impacts against your state before agreeing to run for a Federal position.

    In short, I now view her as a unreliable unethical quitter. Unethical, because it wasn't very ethical of her to make these choices as though she were in a vacuum and her actions didn't impact others.

  5. "She is the universal whiner, the kid who has an answer for everything, even if she's wrong all the time."

    So what you're basically saying is that she's Cliff Clavin in drag?

  6. Insofar as she represents the biggest mistake the GOP has made in a while, and given her history before, during, and after her veep candidacy, this is a painful thing to behold, because it's got enough power to stick like glue.

    She's no longer a person.

    Michael Jackson was one of these. So is Octomom. Donald Trump. David Hasselhoff.

    These are examples of creatures - non-literal persons who have taken their fifteen minutes or so and transcended it into a place where the platitudes and the vitriol combine to create a critical mass of fame that is sometimes deserved, sometimes not.

    I have little doubt of her provenance or pedigree, it's an unspoken matter of hysterical folklore that she could not have served effectively as Vice President, much less President.

    Following Fox's comparison, she is indeed Cliff Clavin in drag - completely unaware the funny jokes she keeps hearing about her imbecilic statements and endless whining are actually supposed to be insulting to her.

    She's a little dangerous that way, but mostly her fans - middle aged Midwestern housewives with little or no education (where did I read that?) - are rapt to her shining smile, and so long as they are looking at a shiny thing it keeps them quiet and emotionally stoned enough to protect the rest of us.

    It has been posited that the GOP loves her, because when the press looks at the profoundly stupid things she does, they are looking away from the GOP, which could use the time to regroup and pray to Jesus that so many people stop hating them.

    But not too much, I think. Elvis still makes a zillion dollars a year, just on his memory, and he was found dead on his toilet what, thirty years ago? He was, after all, the creature to end all creatures.

    Little Sarah will hopefully sputter and spall do an indistinguishable splat of whining spittle a lot faster than that. But I fear, Messy, that we are stuck with this freak of nature for a while.

  7. Having said all that, it's funny (ironically so) what Google Adsense does: there are little "Sarah Palin: Read her new Book!" ads all over this blog page. Sigh.

  8. Not only can you get the book here, you can get it for FREE! I think it's hilarious, myself.

  9. Off topic: that's a really nice picture of you it the top of this bit. That is you, reflected in the window on the right, with a couple shopping bags and a little Canon G10 pressed up to your face, yes?

    Your photography is really very good, Messy. I am impressed: street photos are something I could never sell, and I made money photographing things. Nice work!

  10. Here's what bothers me most about Palin: she represents, perfectly, this country's prevailing attitude about intelligence/education and the ability to convey ideas and how necessary/unnecessary those characteristics are in order to run our country in the real world. Bush (and really the entire god-driven conservative movement before him) have made "education" and "intellect" into bad words. They've painted those ideas as synonymous with "elitist". When a woman who can't think her way out of a paper bag imagines she can be President (and when otherwise intelligent people can even begin to endorse that idea), we're lost.

    Listen, forget conservative or liberal. When did intelligence, the ability to analyze, and/or intellect become bad words? Given a choice between a catch phrase-spouting, chanting woman (or man) as a President, and someone who can actually think and reason and string together logical sentences in order to represent our country and its position to the rest of the world, I'll take the latter every time.

    George Bush being elected in 2000? A mistake magnified by circumstances initially out of his control. In 2004, though? Listen, politics aside, if you voted for him in that election after seeing what a dim bulb he was, and woefully misguided his policies were, it's too late to help you. But Palin? She makes Bush look like a MENSA super star, Rhode's scholar. And I'm not trying to be mean! Just look for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nokTjEdaUGg If you could have even thought for a *single second* about voting for McCain/Palin (and the popular election was actually far, far closer than it should have been), you should be FUCKING ASHAMED of yourself and turn in your voter's card right now. Holy fucking shit.

  11. As for the book that she didn't even write, but rather sat for a couple hours of interviews for in order to have someone else write? I couldn't possibly care less.

  12. Schuyler - Thanks for the compliment on the photo! It was actually pre-G10, what you're seeing is my little Canon 35mm at work. It's a little tricky to use because it just doesn't have the bells and whistles that new cameras do, but it does beautifully when it works.

    Street scenes are not so difficult. It's all practice. I just take a camera everywhere and snap away when I see something interesting. I'd say maybe one in ten shots comes out really well. The key for me is not to think about it too much. I've even gotten good pictures shooting blindly over construction hoardings.

    I picked out this image because only a drunken squirrel could take Palin seriously...or should.

  13. Smagboy - I have a copy of "Denialism" by Michael Specter, and I'll be commenting on it here. The subtitle is "How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives."

    He's talking about exactly the anti-intellectual trend that you've noted. The prime example that we've all witness is the whole nonsense of vaccine paranoia and the harm it's causing. How stupid is it that otherwise healthy children are dying from diseases that they never needed to get? I've weighed in on that before as you know. Not vaccinating children is abuse.

    It should be an interesting read. Maybe I'll finish it this weekend. (It's not like we can go anywhere or do anything. Flu-Boy has us basically quarantined for a week.)

  14. I'm with Madd Libby. She didn't HAVE to run for VP, but instead let the "Golly Gee!" of it take over her life. I'll be diplomatic and say that she was in over her head, but then, most of our leaders seem to be these days. She could very well have done just fine still governing Alaska. Just ditch the wolf-shooting from choppers, okay, hon? If that was my cousin I spied on YouTube, me 'n' the pack need to have words with you.

    I was ready to flip a coin between McCain and Obama, because neither one impressed me enough to think "Yeah! This is The Guy!", but then Palin arrived and started, you know, saying things, and I just couldn't do it. Tina Fey was a better Palin than Palin. I couldn't even see a spoof or parody.

    Sorry, my diplomacy slipped a little there. Well, there ya have it.

    I'm curious if anyone has written, or will write, a comparison between Ann Coulter and Palin? I can't do so because I've never read either one's work(s), and never will. From what I've been able to gather, Coulter just writes "Liberals suck!" in different ways.

  15. Coulter pisses people off because she does know how to use language to piss them off. It's not intelligence, exactly, more a sort of well-rehearsed set of buzz words and phrases that have been proven to get a reaction in the past. I'm sure she has them in a little notebook and rehearses them in front of the mirror a lot.

    Wailin' Palin is stupid - literally, I think she has a low IQ and narcissistic personality disorder. How else can anyone explain her seeming vendetta against a 19-year-old kid who is no longer dating her daughter and is not a part of her family? If she had a brain in her head, she would have said flattering things about his bare ass and shrugged it off. Instead she's screaming about porn and wailing about how his bare bum is somehow related to HER. Weird.

    Now, did you read my latest post about Oprah? Because she's a whole 'nother kind of strange.

  16. Palin and the extreme right she represents are downright frightening. These people are everything Messy says they are, but at the same time they might be more powerful than we think. Palin's support base isn't Midwestern housewives (are there any left?) but hard core right wingers which have unfortunately become the power brokers of the new Republican party. If the economy gets worse (it's about jobs!) we will be prey for the rise of some sort of right wing populist dictator.. perhaps even Palin --gasp!

  17. AM, where's the Oprah post? You have, like, 20 blogs, lady!

  18. If there's any justice in the world, every last cent of that money will go to the lawyers she will need to get her out of the ethics (corruption) charges in Alaska, the slander and libel charges from her former friends and relatives and Levi Johnston.