Monday, December 27, 2010

Quick-Thinking Enough for the Presidency

That I almost missed Sarah Palin’s Third World Hell Holes last night had nothing to do with the frightful blizzard-like weather that kept me from the gym for the second day in succession (the place was to have been locked tight on Christmas). Rather, it was to do with the fact that, while making myself an ultradeluxe lasagna, with roasted carrots and zucchini, to enjoy over the course of the week to come, I was tuned into the Food Network on the little TV in the kitchen, and they kept showing commercials for catheters. Now, apparently, no Food Network viewer need use a dirty catheter ever again, as you can get 200 lovely pristine ones sent to you for a low, low price. I found most disturbing the juxtaposition of all this dirty catheter talk with Bobby Flay and his Japanese counterpart — Morimoto, if I’m not mistaken — competing to see who could make the more delicious meal using eggnog in everything.

I washed down a Valium with some bourbon, lay outside in the snow until I lost the feeling in my fingers and toes, hurried back inside — to whatever extent one with no feeling below his ankles can be said to have hurried — and got the old Magnavox on and warmed up just in time for the beginning of SPTWHH. Sarah and family this week visited the southern African country of Malawi, where the average annual income is $7.65, and where inexpressible misery is rampant. The lamestream media will no doubt attribute the Palins’ visit to Madonna’s having adopted a Malawian orphan, or sort-of orphan, a few years ago, but I prefer to believe that she made her choice strictly on humanitarian grounds — that she felt it her responsibility as a beautiful white goddess to give the populace hope, just as Madonna had, but without the intimations of perversity, and without diminishing the population.

I suspect that, in view of the tragic recall of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell last week, many centrist viewers might have been offended by the segment in which Sarah, at lunch with President Bingu wa Mutharika, husband Todd and Mrs. Mutharika, expressed her enthusiasm for Malawi’s fervent intolerance of homosexuality. The good news is that centrists are going to find themselves right next to liberals and so-called progressives in the litter box of history in a couple of years. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!

I hugely enjoyed the musical portion of the program, during which Malawi’s premiere recording artist, Tay Grin (nee Limbani Kalilani), joined the Mutharikas and Palins for a medley of his big hit "Break Out", the Captain and Tennille’s "Love Will Keep Us Together", and, rather insensitively, Madonna’s "Like a Virgin", during which daughter Bristol’s embarrassment was palpable. I can’t imagine even the hardest liberal or so-called progressive heart not being touched by the taped segment showing Sarah, with tears in her eyes, handing out condoms, Bibles, and autographed copies of Goin’ Rogue in Chichewa, the country’s poorest region.

After that, it was both a wonderful surprise and a great relief to watch Sarah welcome the week’s surprise special guests Hugh Hefner and his new fiancĂ©e Crystal Harris, to whom he proposed on Christmas Eve. At 104, Hef is actually older than Crys’s great-grandfather, but the couple’s mutual adoration was nonetheless unmistakable. I loved the great aplomb with which Sarah handled their suddenly trying to stick their tongues down each other’s throats, from the look of it, right in the middle of responding to her question about the Playboy Foundation’s plan to distribute free Bantu-language editions of the magazine in the country’s schools to stimulate interest in literacy. “Hey, you two,” Sarah chirped brightly, missing not a beat, even while husband Todd cringed in embarrassment, “get a room, why doncha?” And her detractors would have you believe she’s not quick-thinking enough for the presidency!

I wasn’t at all sure I approved of how Hef, who clearly likes ‘em young and frisky, was leering at Bristol over his new fiancee’s shoulder later in the interview, but Bris is more than old enough to take care of herself nowadays, and in a fight between Hef and Bris’s new inamorato Gino Paoletti, I can’t imagine any common sense conservative favoring Hef.

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