Reviewing the memoir of a 20 year-old

Say goodbye to these, Levi, because it's the last time you'll ever...

This morning, Mike Sebba alerted me to a looming public health crisis. It seems that Bachmania, previously believed by doctors and Combat! blog’s traffic numbers to be limited to my apartment, has reached epidemic proportions. Even Bristol Palin, normally isolated from disease by geography and her traumatic experiences with all types of human affection, suffered a Bachmaniacal episode during her interview with Rob Shuter:

I think [Bachmann] dresses a lot like my mom. But a lot, a lot of women have done that the last few years. I do think it’s odd, you know, seeing people with red blazers with their hair up with glasses. I don’t know if she’s wearing glasses but you want to be hummmm, do you think that people don’t notice you’re dressing like my mom?

It is possible that people do not notice the glasses-like absence of glasses that makes other adult women reminiscent of your own personal mom, Bristol Palin, yes. But she can be forgiven her airtight watertight bricktight logic. She has a memoir to promote. And if Stephen Lowman’s review at the Washington Post is anything to go by, it’s amazing.

Close Readings: Sarah Palin’s view of expertise

"Are you going to stand there babbling about what carbon does, or are you going to get the first woman president a fuckin' Jamba Juice?"

There is much to enjoy, guiltfully, about this review of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, the tell-all book by former staffer Frank Bailey. Memoirs like his threaten to become an ugly micro-genre of an already ugly mini-genre, but there is something in the essential sameness of Sarah Palin Stories—the pride in ignorance, the deceptions of others en route to self, the different supporting characters in the same vexed orbit around our heroine—that suggests a form whose themes transcend detail. They’re like Sherlock Holmes stories. As Holmes was to Victorian London and solving crimes, so is Sarah Palin to suburban America and being a mindless church bitch. What I’m saying here is that I think here oeuvre is more than genre work. That’s good news for Close Readings, which received from Stubble yesterday this wonderful gift:

Remember: amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

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History takes one on the chin

They're going to remember us as heroes, dog.

We here at Combat! blog are big fans of Paul Begala, in large part because he once made Meghan McCain feel sad on TV. Like a lot of political strategists, Begala has an incisive mind. Unlike a lot of political strategists—especially certain childlike, doughy political strategists we could name—some portion of that mind seems devoted to discernment of the truth, as opposed to truth’s active obfuscation. I’m sure he’s only tricked me into believing this, but Paul Begala seems to be the anti-Karl Rove. When he responded to Me-Mac’s bitchy assertion that she wouldn’t know about the Carter-Reagan transition because she hadn’t been born yet by saying, “I wasn’t born during the French Revolution, but I know about it,” I felt like I was watching a man who succeeded in politics by attacking the flaws in arguments, not by exploiting them. He’s the debate team to Rove’s student council, and that makes him a great choice to review Karl Rove’s new memoir. Spoiler alert: he did not like it. Under the headline, “Karl Rove’s Book of Lies,” Begala describes the former Bush advisor’s memoir as “a brief and compelling personal narrative, followed by 500 pages of dishonesty and deception.” But on the plus side, it contains a great recipe for bean dip.

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