Last Thursday, while the rest of us were eating stuffing and probably violating the Constitution, Sarah Palin was participating in a 5k Turkey Trot in Kennewick, Washington. As is often the case with Palin, though, the word “participating” does not mean what you want it to mean. It turns out that the former Alaska governor dropped out of the race midway through, ostensibly to avoid the crowd of onlookers waiting for her at the finish line. See, she just wanted to run in the race and meet some Real Americans, not turn the Red Cross charity event into some sort of Going Rogue publicity spectacle. That’s why she announced her participation only two days before on her Twitter feed, and why her team was called the Rogue Runners. And shame on you for finding some cruel poetry in Palin’s decision to quit a charity race she had time to enter because she quit the governorship of Alaska. You try operating the complex assemblage of touch-screens and levers required to synchronize the Palin II‘s legs for 3.1 miles.
It’s Friday, November 20th, and it is on such crisp, bright autumn days that our nation should pull on its jodhpurs, bundle itself in its most worsted wool, hike to the crest of the nearest hilly meadow and take a long, hard look at what pussies we’ve become. Mammograms, books, movies about vampires, books by vampires—one look at the news of the day tells us that the whole country is beset by dandyism. If we’re not debasing ourselves with effeminate pursuits like reading and getting cancer screenings, we’re shrieking in outrage at the latest public perfidy and then doing absolutely nothing about it. Ours is an era in which scoundrels run roughshod, and the righteous must content themselves with their indignation. Some might call it a more civilized society, but I—having left my mountain fortress for temporary lodgings in the comparatively urban Castle Faswell, where I am dogsitting—know that the company of strangers is not an obligation to be borne, but an opportunity to be seized. Strangers are morons, as all polls and YouTube comments sections indicate, and they must be corrected. What does Stringer Bell Faswell, excitable labrador, do when he is confronted with a stranger? He leaps into the air and licks him on the inside of his gaping mouth, or bites him on the ear, depending on the quality of his character. No dandy Stringer Bell, and the rest of us fops might take a lesson from him. When a fat morning radio DJ who has found Jesus and therefore gets to be on television gibbers lies from his greasy lips, must we simply press our handkerchiefs to our mouths and swoon? Or can we draw our rapiers, which we presumably have in this analogy although the time period is kind of fuzzy, and challenge him? The truth is in fashion no matter how ruffly our shirts, and I, for one, demand satisfaction. In the meantime, though, I guess I’ll just keep doing the blog.
I know you guys are probably sick of Sarah Palin, particularly since our media-industrial complex—of which Combat! blog is now officially a part, with the addition of ads touting anti-health car propaganda and krav maga—has recently devoted itself to covering her full-time. But I remain fascinated by her, in part because it’s either that or the bafflingly long-legged story about the changes in mammogram recommendations, and in part because she is so aggressively stupid and yet so amazingly popular that she must be important. You know, like Uggs. The vague feeling that Sarah Palin signifies something, combined with the frustrating inability to articulate exactly what that something is, isn’t a phenomenon limited to her detractors. It also turns out to be a major impetus for her fans, who—at least until she announces for 2012 and the entire national cackles, half of us with sardonic glee—can’t be called “supporters” anymore. Palin is a politician now in the same sense that OJ Simpson is an athlete. She is an entity in the mediasphere, gossamer but still strangely endowed with the power to affect the material plane, and her fans don’t understand what Sarah Palin means any more than we do. Video evidence after the jump.
Anyone who follows current events already knows that Sarah Palin was eaten by a grue during her tour of Cameron Cave in Hannibal, Missouri last June, and since then a replicant version of her body has been operated by a funny snake. That’s just something people who take politics seriously have come to accept. What you may not know is that, after nearly exposing his ruse at a fundraiser for Wisconsin Right to Life last week, Sarah Palin Mark II has been working extra-hard to remind us all that he is totally a human being, just like us, and definitely not a garter snake piloting an elaborate construction of tubes and servos designed to simulate human behavior. To that end, she’s written a book, in which she carefully explains that, despite being a millionaire, a former beauty queen and the 2008 Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States of America, plus eating a live rat every seven to ten days, Sarah Palin is an ordinary American just like us.
When the White House first announced that it would be treating Fox News as an opinion outlet rather than as an objective news organization, it raised a lot of thorny questions. How, exactly, do you define objectivity? High school journalism textbooks are full of charts and bulleted lists, non of which mix serif and sans serif fonts, but any regular reader of the New York Times knows there’s objective and there’s objective, and never the twain shall meet. The problem is that bias is usually a sin of omission; what slants a story is not what you say, but what you don’t. When your annual Christmas card reports that I threw up at your wedding, that’s bias, because it neglects to mention that I also made a very nice toast. It’s exceedingly difficult for me to prove that your Christmas cards display a consistent anti-Brooks bias, though, because one can’t really prove a negative. Sure, you didn’t mention my toast, but you didn’t mention what color jacket your uncle was wearing, either, or what the temperature was, or which year the Inca empire experienced its first flu epidemic. Bias is usually absence, and the scope of absence is, by definition, infinite. Every once in a while, though, somebody straight-up lies. Fox News did it last week, and the public outcry has been far less that it should be. Video after the jump.