You’ll have to bear with me here. I’m not a journalist or a political pundit. I’m not even all that smart. I’m an older woman who’s fought her way through some rough times, and my survival has made me feel, well, a little wiser than most people.
I never wanted to face what my father did to me and my siblings. I figured what was past, was past. We’d survived. So be it. But I was chronically depressed, had tried a range of psychotropic drugs, and consulted eight different therapists from Freudian to Feminist, to no avail. Why was I suicidal? Did I find it easier to hate than love? Want to murder my children? Why did making love make me cry?
Out of desperation, I went to see a reclusive shaman, on my sister’s recommendation. He told me that I never would be free of my father’s tyranny unless I relived my childhood from beginning to end and experienced the full range of emotions that had been forbidden me.
This way is not fast or easy. Through hypnosis, I suffered and felt every humiliating and violent act you can imagine, and some you cannot. Let’s just say that my childhood was not unlike a German concentration camp except that my father was a John Birch Society pedophile. At the end of two year’s work, I confronted complicit family members, who accused me of “breaking” the family and soiling my father’s memory. I even discovered more women my father had hurt.
Yet I began to feel different. Better. Gradually, my past passed. Change came, and the richness of new life astonished me.
My shaman would say that our country is sick for the same reason I was. He also would say that, as a woman, I am called upon to relate my own experience (the micro) to larger experiences in my community and country (the macro).
So, what does this have to do with Sarah Palin? Plenty. If she crawls away and disappears, as many Americans hope, then how do we tally the damage? If Palin gets off, then so does John McCain and the others who forced her on us. If Palin gets away, a somnalent populace can forget how they jumped on the you-betcha bandwagon or chose to keep quiet.
Because truly moving on requires the kind of emotional line-item accounting most Americans aren’t too keen on.
I believe that racism is a festering sore at the core of our national consciousness because the U.S. never made apology or reparation to African Americans. It’s possible that because the North raped the defeated South, today we have the Tea Party whites. (Consider how Germany was treated after WWII and compare the difference in recovery and attitude.) Did our quiet acceptance of Bush’s eight years mean that Obama can’t move us forward? What price are we paying because Joe McCarthy never was censured officially? And don’t get me started on Vietnam.
This time I’m not budging until the secrets are out. Every sad, disgusting little thing. I believe that the only way to move forward, free of the Bachmanns and Perrys, Boehners and Roves, is to tar and feather Sarah Palin--the way I had to be willing to take down my own beloved but very dangerous father.
No mercy. No quarter given. No gentle good night on Xanax.
Hear that, Sarah?
Mercy, I used to have a waistline like this...
Keep on with the current thread if you wish. Or introduce a new topic. Let's try it here and see if the formatting problems from the previous post can get worked out and cleaned up.
In the meantime, may mercy rain down on the East Coast of our country. My thoughts are with everyone back there. Irene, it's time to return to sea where you're wanted.
A good friend took one for the team and went to three stores before he could plunk down $6 plus tax for the September issue of Playboy magazine. (thank you, dear friend.)
My expectation was that there would be the Mercede Johnston interview and photos, in addition to a separate and lengthier profile of the Palins.
Not the case. The Palin profile was wrapped around the Sadie interview, many of her better quotes already posted online.
But unless I missed something earlier, nothing prepared me for the small photo on the opening page of the article. The photo of Sarah wearing the sweatshirt, bending over Sadie who is holding - according to this caption - Tripp. It is the baby most of us have called “Ruffles” and who has been identified as Trig, about two weeks old, in the Palin’s kitchen during Levi’s birthday celebration.
Now, I’ve written for the NYTs and seen people wrongly identified on photo captions on my stories. That misinformation comes from the photographer on my shoot. It is their responsibility to get and cross check the ID’s on people in photos. When a mistake is made, a correction is later appended online.
In this case, since the photo was already in existence, my guess is that it is the reporter’s duty to get the names straight. Then it’s the responsibility of either an editor or a fact checker to make sure the writer got his facts straight.
So, either standards aren’t what they used to be, or Sadie told them that ruffled ear baby is Tripp.
The rest of the interview and article contains some new information, but little that will inform anyone’s opinion of Mrs. Todd Palin. Here is my takeaway:
- Sadie’s mom has scurvy and has had 30 operations.
- Bristol was dating Gino at the time this was reported (winter)
- According to Sadie, Bristol is “psycho, a sociopath.” “Her mental insecurities are bad.”
- A text from Bristol to Sherry Johnston included Bristol allegedly calling Levi’s mother a “fucking bitch” and “you stupid bitch.”
- The writer asks a guy if he finds Sarah sexy: “No, I’d rather pork my old lady.”
- A bar fly points to the place where he alleges to have seen lines of coke snorted by the non sexy one.
- Sadie and her friend allege that there are privately owned videos of Bristol “making out with guys” and Sadie says “I have some stuff.”
- Sadie claims that Bristol has had two boob jobs, 3 chin surgeries and “something else done after Tripp was born.” (not sure which Tripp she’s talking about.)
- Todd is “so whipped.”
- Sarah’s whole mama grizzly thing is “so retarded.”
- One of Sarah’s supporters in the bar says that her liberal detractors are “trying to take the country down. Trying to make us join the European Union.” (not making this up.)
- The pot in Wasilla is “great” and it’s the Chlamydia capital of Alaska.
- Wasilla is “where it’s at.” (does ANYONE speak correct English up there?)
- Another local expressed little faith in Sarah because she quit as governor. “She’s a total idiot. Dude, she’s over. She’s done with.”
All in all, it was a lot of “I” journalism, about how the locals reacted to the writer and his impressions of how cold it was.
I learned nothing new other than that you can get scurvy in modern day America (not sure about the European Union) and as far as I could see - and my friend warned me of this - there was nothing of import in this article. It was all about Sadie’s T & A …oh, and that photo caption about Tripp.
Our earthquake had a name. Loma Prieta. It rocked our world in October 1989. It literally brought us to our knees and left me homeless. I moved in with my almost fiancé, now husband, that very night. Here is a photo of a corner building similar to mine:
Earthquakes are terrifying ordeals. They offer no warning and don’t roll the way you think. They are very noisy beasts, something you don’t expect. Loud. Way too loud.
There are different kinds of quakes. Some roll, building up slowly. Others snap sharp and short. The Loma Prieta quake started and then refused to stop. It just kept going and going and the pipes and windows all around us just kept exploding and imploding. It was a terrifying and messy affair. Holding hands. we crawled out of the building together.
On the street aftershocks literally knocked us to the ground. Someone ran through the streets screaming that the Bay Bridge had fallen down. A few blocks away, two buildings had pancaked and were split wide open like doll houses. A thin stream of smoke curled up out of one of them. An open gas line would make this the bon fire of the century by evening. A young woman, my age, also engaged, died in the building.
I moved in with my husband that night. It wasn’t what nice girls from New England do, but I was homeless.
Since my building was “red tagged” as uninhabitable, I wasn’t able to go in and get possessions for a few weeks. At that point, we salvaged what we could and let the bulldozer get the rest. In the meantime, foreign tourists flocked to the Marina District like vultures. We were pushing grocery carts with remnants of belongings through police tape and they were snapping pictures like it was Disneyland.
The east coasters, especially those in the big cities, must have been so frightened by their Tuesday terror. We had experienced warm-ups to our big one: 3’s, 4’s and 5’s through the years to prep us. So when it hit the big time, we were still frightened out of our minds, but at least we knew to get in the door jam because it wasn’t just the Divisidero bus thundering by. They probably had little experience at this and I’m sure everyone’s thoughts went to one thing and one thing only.
In reality, running out of a building isn’t too smart. Remember: brace yourself in a door jam or crawl under a desk or table. Earthquakes love brick and glass because they fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
Seems fault lines run all through this great nation of ours. And I’m not talking Dems versus wing nuts.
Earthquakes. Wow, they are so not fun. I am thankful this one wasn't worse.
If there’s one thing I love, it is the book Alice in Wonderland
. If there’s one thing I hate it’s the Tea Party. No, not the scene in the book with the Mad Hatter, but rather the farce of a quasi political party with its mad members who have hijacked our discourse and spilled clotted cream on all that is sane and reasonable in our country.
So what better news could I read the other day than the fact that one of my favorite feisty spirits on Twitter (@Symbolman
) has taken the Tea Party to task, Alice-style.
Political satirist and illustrator Micheal Stinson and his wife Julie Sigwart have written mAlice In Wonderland – A Tea Party Fable.
And I’m so pleased to have Michael join me for a few Mondays to help those of us who have fallen down a dark rabbit hole climb out.
LN: You don’t have to Go Ask Alice to figure out that the right wing nightmare is alive, well and picking up steam. Your book is a true satirical romp and it couldn’t come at a better time.
MS: Love them or hate them, the Tea Party has created a political firestorm, and are now a force to be reckoned with, especially in the midst of the election season. Julie and I believe the best way to approach the political insanity around us is through satire. By rewriting the original Lewis Carroll victorian classic fable, “Alice In Wonderland” we can educate and entertain with this basic plot line: Alice stars as an “Independent Voter” who must somehow navigate this bizarro world populated by Tea Party crazies!
LN: And you leave no character unturned as far as I can see. Alice, as The Independent Voter, navigates the madness of a Tea Party “Wonderland ” which includes The Mad Hatter (Michele Bachmann), The Very White SuperPAC Rabbit (Karl Rove), The Queen of Hearts (Sarah Palin), The March Hare (Glenn Beck), King of Hearts (Ronald Reagan), and The Keithshire Cat (Keith Olbermann). And Julie provided 30 illustrations, also in the original style. I suspect you left no hot topic off the table, am I right?
MS: That’s right. Politicians, the media, big corporations, it’s all in here. Everything that you and I might value, it seems the Tea Party loves to hate. And their attitude toward gays is chief among the topics we tackle.
LN: There are multiple references to gays through out the story. And there are multiple reasons to believe the Tea Party is rife with homophobics. You can imagine where I am coming from on this. I live in the Bay Area. It's all good here. And yet there is so much hatred out there. Talk a bit more about how you address this.
MS: Specifically we talk about that in the section of the book where Alice banters with the Mad Hatter (Michele Bachmann). She and her husband's tactics of using their bizarre religious philosophy to "talk" gays out of being gay, (or "reparative therapy" - exposed by a Truth Wins Out video) at their "Clinic" are abominable, have been widely discredited, and cause incredible damage to a person's psyche. This is totally irresponsible, on top of receiving government grants for it, which should be cut off immediately. Bachman’s on the dole in a big way and it’s sickening. I felt I had to speak out, and this story represented the perfect satirical vehicle for it. I've got plenty of gay friends, and for these monsters to call them "barbarians" is beyond the pale. Mad Hatter it is, they're nuttier than squirrel crap.
Let’s close for this week with an excerpt from the book. Then next week we’ll come back and tackle one of the other Tea Party points of hate that I sure hope you grind to a fine powder! MS:
Here's an exchange between Mad Hatter (Michele Bachmann) and Alice at the Tea Party, regarding Michele's Husband and his clinics that "talk" gays out of being Gay: "'You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; 'it's very rude. Especially as you demand no one says a word about your husband, while you yourself have called the President's wife Un-American. If you run for King, aren't we to worry that he'll make policy, are you not required by your church to submit to him?'
'Oh, HIM. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He's obliged to try to talk it out of being a fly, suggesting that being a fly is not it's nature in the least.' the Mad Hatter squinted, but it was hard to tell as her eyes were stuck wide open all the time. "We're both good Christians, and that's his calling, while we make a fairly good business of it - so far he's talked a goose out of being a goose, and a fish out of being a fish, though the goose later hung himself in a barn, and the fish perished when she went for a bicycle ride to celebrate her newfound freedom.'
'I would rather suppose that was a form of torture for them, a very sad tale.' Alice said in wonderment.
The Hatter opened her eyes ever wider on hearing this; but all she SAID was, 'A riddle: "What is the difference between Loving and Hating Gays?"' Michael Stinson
, it is a sad tale indeed when people make it a policy to hate others. But to shine the light on their hypocrisy, that is a good thing. Thank you for joining us today. Let me leave our readers with this short bio of you and Julie because it’s mighty impressive…and so is your new book!
See you next week.Long time political activists Micheal Stinson and Julie Sigwart have appeared in countless interviews on radio and television. Micheal has appeared on The Bill O’Reilly Show (FOX Network), Joe Scarborough (MSNBC), and Lou Dobbs (CNN), among others. Media articles regarding their last book, “Going Rouge – The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book” include AP, New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Chicago Sun Times, as well as being featured in Entertainment Weekly, and as an interstitial on Entertainment Tonight. Julie Sigwart was a political cartoonist for the Arizona Business Gazette, as well as an illustrator for The Arizona Republic.
I just got a tip that this interesting compilation is sitting over at Scribd
I have no idea who MagicWishMonkey is. I can see he or she has no followers, is following no one and has only one upload. And it is this odd compilation about Sarah Heath including DMV records, SAT scores, high school grades, and IQ results. Allegedly.
We looked recently at the college record of Rick Perry posted on Scribd by Huffington Post. So, take a look at this document and tell us what you see.
Is it real? Have you seen it before? If not, why now? And why did Miss Heath get a D in Foreign Language?
With that 2.2 GPA I'm sure they all saw a future POTUS in their midst.
H/T faithful reader.
Strictly entre nous, but I have a confession to make.
First, let me explain that we do not have cable TV. What we do have are rabbit ears perched on top of the TV, and if we’re lucky three PBS stations come in loud and clear. And that’s actually okay with me because unless it has a British accent and a corset, I generally don’t watch it.
But I’ve discovered something - the dark, hard underbelly of American culture. It looks like this:
It was on another Jet Blue flight that I saw on television for the first time, a group of women who were overly made up, coiffed to the heavens and swearing like troopers in a restaurant. A fight broke out. A crazy lady turned over a table. People scattered. Children were wide-eyed. People were poised to punch others. Oh yes, I had discovered The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Fast forward a year. Those same painted faces kept appearing on magazine covers. Stories of bankruptcy, sex changes, cocaine busts made up the headlines. More housewives shows littered the airwaves but alas, they too were outside my rabbit ear perimeter.
But then I found hulu.
And on it, the antidote for sitting at my desk, hunched over, and turning out important prose on world class issues all day, every day. Now I could sit back, feet on desk, arms behind sore neck and enjoy an hour of world class TV after dinner.
I found that with a few key strokes, I can watch short snippets of the RHONJ (see? I’ve even got the lingo down). Two, three minutes tops. I can peek inside the fabulous kitchens. Glance at the obscene closets. Get a gander at the diamonds and Range Rovers. Not to mention feel Melissa's pain as she tries to be a part of the family, or Caroline as her boys (finally) grow up enough to leave home.
“Wow, did she put on weight since Season One,” I’ll say to my cat. "And her, so skinny. Not good."
“The clothes and jewels! How can they afford that?” Buggy might have said back if she was as nuts as me.”
Problem is, Theresa can’t afford the life style and I'm a little worried. She’s supposedly bankrupt, $11 million in the hole
, but that doesn’t stop her from being mean to Kathy, who I don’t think deserves it at all. After all, she tried to be nice at Melissa’s party, but then Caroline did nothing to help and Jacqueline just keeps defending her. But after the way her spoiled daughter talked back to her, I cannot judge.
And there I go, down the cultural rabbit hole that is America today. I didn’t realize it but Doc Martin isn’t “where it’s at.” Our culture, at least on the telly, is all about people calling each other filthy names, about discussing their private parts with crass terms, about spending thousands of dollars (that they don’t have) in minutes in stores. It’s about back stabbing and retribution and conspicuous consumption and hatred.
Yes, all fiction needs conflict the way fire needs oxygen. There needs to be a point of no return in Act II and the penultimate chapter where all hell breaks loose (like that christening party! OMG!!)
But this isn’t fiction. Or is it? These are real people who have never left 7th grade, all the while complaining to the camera, “She needs to get over herself. It’s just like she’s still in Junior High!”
No wonder we’re in trouble, people. The party is on 24 hours a day. It’s a never ending light and sound show of spending, swearing, swaggering, and conniving.
No wonder people love Sarah Palin! Either she is the “rill dill” or she’s as stupid, vindictive, and dysfunctional as the other real housewives scattered across our great nation.
I know I’m late to the party, so bear with me. I’m still trying to figure out how to watch an entire episode on hulu, but that might not be such a great idea after all. Besides, I’ve discovered one other freak show that I’ll write about another time.
Listen, I know there are these shows where people live on an island or something. And chefs scream at students and the guy with the orange comb-over fires people. But I’ve never watched one.
Now I’ve seen the light. And I think Theresa is a nut job who needs to get over her brother and stop making trouble with Melissa because she is adorable and I hope her singing career takes off and Kathy should really bake professionally because she’s nice and her desserts look great. And I’m sorry her daughter had a brain tumor. But Kim G. also had a brain tumor and they threw her out of the party. And that wasn’t very nice.
Okay, that’s my confession. Don’t make me look like a complete ass. What’s yours?
Call it what you wish.
I call it Anorexia
The two women I've known who "have it" live with an overwhelming sense of anxiety. One of them pretends too hard to care about food while making sure she doesn't put any in her mouth. Her ribs stick out of her back.
When the clavicle is showing to the degree that it is on Palin here, when you can find comments all over blogs saying she's emaciated, when Audrey's
wise words rise up to remind us that this has been going on for some time, then I feel comfortable calling it like I see it.
And what I see is mental illness and poor health. This woman needs an intervention. And we don't need anyone with this reaction to stress anywhere near the White House. Common sense solutions aside, of course.
Someone, somewhere get her off the stage. Stat.
A kind reader alerted me to this post on the FrumForum
. I’ve read it several times, scratching my head with each read.
It is obviously very hard for a true believer like Brad Schaeffer to stop believing in Mustang Sarah. As evidenced by this post, it has been a long journey for him from inspiration to disillusionment. That Schaeffer saw someone with more experience than Barack Obama mystifies me. That he felt sorry for Mrs. Palin and the gotcha questions, flummoxes me. That he only now feels that she is helping the opposition (i.e. President Obama) by destroying the GOP almost makes me laugh. Almost.
But for this fact: I saw through the woman the moment she stepped forward on that stage. Why couldn’t he?
It was three years ago this month, and I was on a Jet Blue flight across country. As luck would have it, I had a row of three seats to myself. That meant I had three TV screens. Not a big television watcher in general, this was a thrill for me at 36,000 feet.
The window screen was on something juicy, either HGTV or Bravo. The middle screen was the flight map. The aisle screen I had set to a news station because en route from the lavatory, I saw monitors all over the plane with the caption stating that McCain was about to announce his running mate.
And there she was. Huh
? My first thoughts, honestly? Grandmother in a bun with a tacky black suit and granny glasses. Voice that could shatter glass. Cold kisses on the cheeks of her dazed children and grandchild. Cindy’s face frozen in horror.
And the shoes. Jesus, those shoes!
As my grandmother might have said, “God love her, she didn’t even know enough to put on stockings and close-toed pumps.” This Palin woman was so ignorant, I remember thinking, she didn’t even know how to show up for the party (still doesn't, as Regina points out so well here
.) That was my initial impression without knowing a thing about Palin beyond minimal governing experience and dubious academic credentials.
And I never got beyond those feelings.
Next thing I remember, Palin was standing on a stage outdoors introducing her family to the crowd. “And Bristol is in the bus napping with her baby brother,” she said.
“Yeah, right,” I thought. Without knowing a thing about this woman or her family, I felt Palin was fibbing right then and there. Right out of the gate.
And that’s when it began for me, this spiral of silence and insanity. That Shaeffer now
concludes that Palin is a side-show clinging to center state who might do his beloved party damage is such lunacy. That he now
suggests someone from the GOP gently take Palin aside and suggest she shove off, is so insane. WTF has this man been these past three years?
Any time Palin's position on the public stage comes to an end, it will be all right with me. That moment can't come soon enough.
I would truly love it if this were the last thing I ever saw of Palin. A bookend to the red hooker shoes of August, 2008:
And I would truly love it if a true conservative would, for once, stop couching their doubt and regret in such careful terms and would own the embarrassment and travesty this woman and her clown car full of family have become.
Joe McGinnis, I’m begging you. I hope you gave it all you’ve got (though something tells me you did.) I ordered your book at my local independent book store. And I can hardly wait for September.
A reader sent me this comment from another blog. It is buried deep in the thread of the Political Animal column of the Washington Monthly. Take a look. Tom, the writer, gave me much to think about:
- Tom on August 11, 2011 10:54 AM:
The predominately white progressive intelligentsia don't see Obama clearly because of our racial blind spot. We don't see the role of race in how he seems to understand himself and how other perceive him.
First of all, we think that he understands himself as one of us. A progressive activist, heir to the radical and New Left movements most of us were raised in. He is not; I think that he understands himself (and certainly his real base understands him) as the first African American President. We're thinking Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. We should be thinking about Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago. Washington was elected and immediately faced a solid wall of opposition from most white aldermen in the city. Washington understood his role as breaking down that wall of opposition and assembling a governing majority, which he finally did after his re-election. Unfortunately, he died shortly thereafter. By the way, one of Washington's political strategists was David Axelrod.
How does Obama break the iron unity of the GOP opposition to assemble a governing majority in the US Congress?
If we progressives were not blinded by our own assumption that our history is the only history, we might see how Obama may be seeing his situation.
White progressives often think that African American elected officials are politically naive. We will far more credit to Cornel West, who has never been elected to anything, than to an elected state senator, or even the President of the United States. We think that Obama does not understand the nature of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell or Eric Cantor, as though he has not sat across the table from them. He doesn't understand how mean they are, we think.
Obama acts entirely within the tradition of mainstream African American political strategy and tactics. The epitome of that tradition was the non-violence of the Civil Rights Movement, but goes back much further in time. It recognizes the inequality of power between whites and blacks. Number one: maintain your dignity. Number two: call your adversaries to the highest principles they hold. Number three: Seize the moral high ground and Number four: Win by winning over your adversaries, by revealing the contradiction between their own ideals and their actions. It is one way that a oppressed people struggle.
Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said "There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults. That is what people expect us to do and that is why we have entered into public service." That is the moral high ground.
Honestly, I have been reminded more than once in the last few months of those brave college students sitting in at a Woolworth's lunch counter, back in the day. Obama sits at that table, like they did at the counter. Boehner and McConnell and Cantor clown around, mugging for the camera, competing to ritually humiliate Obama, to dump ketchup on his head.
I don't think those students got their sandwiches the first day, but they won in the end.
Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him. Even some Republicans are getting disgusted with their Washington leaders. Obama is not telling us about lack of seriousness of the Congressional GOP; he is showing us the vivid contrast between what we expect of our leaders and their behavior. The last two and half years have been a revelation of the essential conflicts in our society and politics.
If white progressives understood much about the politics of the African American struggle in the United States, we would see Obama in the context of that struggle and understand him better. And you don't have to be African American to know something about the history of the African American struggle. The books and the testimony is there. It's not all freedom songs. But you have to be convinced that it is something that can teach you something you don't already know.
- * * * * *
- Tom's comment was also flagged on this terrific website which I've only now discovered. In fact, I am putting it in my blog roll. Take a look at W.e.e. See You.