Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 42: Cookies for the Haitians

I’m sure the lamestream media will think of a million ways to besmirch Sarah’s visit to Haiti this weekend. They’ll say she’s accompanying Franklin Graham, spawn of the famous evangelist Billy, on behalf of the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, just to make herself appear less parochial — and to get on the good side of those evangelicals who might otherwise support the cute-named Mike Huckabee as the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

But let the lamestreamers make their ugly accusations; the earthquake- and cholera-ravaged African Americans in Port au Prince who have suffered so awfully this year will be no less grateful for the homemade cookies Sarah will reportedly offer them. And I wonder what those who accuse her of having no interest in the printed word will say when — because her firm belief is that the intellect craves nourishment as voraciously as does the body — she is seen autographing and distributing copies of her 2009 bestseller Goin’ Rogue that otherwise might have wound up humiliated on bookstore discount tables. The great irony being that Kreyol is one of the few languages into which the book hasn’t been translated.

Once finished at the Port au Prince Barnes & Noble — assuming it’s withstood the civil violence and frequent visits by Sean Penn that have ravaged the already-devastated city in recent weeks — Sarah and Frank, as he presumably permits close friends and powerful politicians to call him, are scheduled to head for a local cholera clinic, where Sarah will apparently attempt to evoke the martyred Princess Diana by holding up an ill infant for photographers.

As of this writing, it has not yet been confirmed that husband Todd and daughter Bristol will be accompanying the presumptive candidate and her new (not really that new, since she defended his assertion early in 2010 that our current president was born a Muslim) BFF Franklin on the visit to Haiti, though it is known that husband Todd had hoped to be able to bust a cap in the ass of a looter, or three.

The lamestreamers are sure to make a lot of racket about Our Gal’s apparently imminent first visit to the United Kingdom too, for purposes of communing with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whom she has described as one of her political idols in spite of having not knowing her from Becky Thatcher (in Tom Sawyer, you see) before John McCain’s thugs insisted in 2008 that she bone up on recent world history. Between now and then, someone presumably advised her that the so-called Iron Lady was a big favorite of her hero Ronald Reagan. Now if only someone would advise Sarah that Baroness Thatcher suffers from severe dementia, and that Sarah might be better advised to head for two other countries she’s gone on record as hoping to visit, Israel and Africa. Or it may be that Sarah is looking forward to chatting with a political leader, even a retired one, over whom she will be able to lord it intellectually.

If we were advising her, we would, on balance, suggest that she give the UK a wide berth. If Sarah and husband Todd have found the American tabloid press annoying, there are no words for what they will find its British equivalent. British newsstands are full of magazines devoted to photographs of celebrities with dark spots under their arms, or cellulite, or herpes blisters. The comperes (that is, hosts) of their late-night television chat (that is, talk) shows are either cheeky (that is, brazen and irreverent) or pompous, and unlikely to be mesmerized (that is, mesmerized) by Sarah’s spunk and charm. And to them, the word spunk means something very different from what it means to hard-working, average Americans, and indolent rich ones alike.

Scott Spencer: I Am Not Worthy

Thank God for NPR, province of the liberal elitists though it may be (he said ironically). If I hadn’t listened by chance to Teri Gross’s interview with Scott Spencer on my iPod during one of my early autumn constitutionals, I wouldn’t have read his latest novel, Man in the Woods, and been so awed by the beauty of his writing as to seek out all his earlier stuff. All of it humbles me, and I am not easily humbled.

I’m afraid I’ve folded many of the pages of the copy of his 1986 novel Waking the Dead I borrowed from the East Fishkill Community Library, as I've been resolved the past view days to try to demonstrate why I love his writing so much. I might just as well have folded no pages, as every three paragraphs or so he expresses something so beautifully as to take your breath away.


Here the narrator talks about a recovering alcoholic’s yearning for drink:


I wanted a drink, many drinks, many many many drinks. There was a moment after the first drink when you knew there were more to come, and you could walk through yourself as if through the rooms of a cozy paid-for house and the painters had just arrived to put the primer on and soon everything would be painted your favorite colors.

*

I put my arm tentatively around [his teenaged nephews], trying to embrace them in a way that seemed somehow casual, athletic, using that code masculine shame has created for affection.

*

Mileski’s eyes clicked in her direction. He made a small, tight smile that was all but hidden by his beard; the whiskers around his mouth shifted like grass will when something unseen suddenly slithers through.

*

It was one of those extravagantly sunny winter mornings, as if all that low trembling gray had just been wrapping paper and this perfect blue dome was the gift inside.

I’ve had the sort of fight he describes so gorgeously here:

I took the day off from classes and Sarah stayed home, too. We lied to each other and said we wanted to work out our difference, to put our house back in order, when in fact our anger with each other had awakened a kind of awful perversity and what we really wanted was to use the stick of our intelligence to wedge into the crack in the earth between us and to open it further and further — until the other could suddenly see the emptiness below and panic.

*

Here the narrator has just tried to reassure his brother's Asian girlfriend about her lack of facility in English:

She gave me a quick, sour look and I realized that my saying she spoke more English than I spoke Korean and then my saying I spoke absolutely no Korean had turned what I’d meant to be a compliment into a slight. But of course it wasn’t a compliment in the first place. It was merely a bit of patronizing banter and as she turned her mouth down and glanced away from me I felt a surge of horror at myself — true horror — because it seemed suddenly that a sensitivity that I had always assumed was my second nature had turned into (perhaps had always been) something really rather coarse — a salesman’s friendliness.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 37: Chucks

According to WikiLeaks, on this Sunday evening’s edition of Sarah Palin’s Iowa, Sara and husband Todd and the children will help her pop — retired science teacher and track coach Chuck Heath — decorate the Christmas “tree” made of the antlers of the moose and caribou Chuck has assassinated over the years, and the spines of a couple of lamestream media types who, during the 2008 presidential election, weren’t quite as judicious as they might have been about whom they approached for interviews. At the time of “publication,” FAITP remained unable to confirm that Mr. Heath will be a contestant in the next Dancing With the Stars series, but knows for sure that he placed third in a university-wide twist contest at the University of Idaho in 1962, and is also adept at more contemporary dances, like the mashed potatoes. We have no more reason to infer that he was ever romantically linked to the recording artist most closely identified with that dance, Dee Dee Sharp, than that Jacqueline Onassis dated twist avatar Chubby Checker.

Our understanding is that Mr. Heath moved his family from Idaho up to Alaska because of his love of nature, which love most commonly takes the form of his going into the wild and killing something. A lot of people find this brand of outdoorsmanship incomprehensible or even objectionable, but if they read their Bibles, which says clearly that God gave us white people dominion over all the beasts and wildlife and so on, they would STFU, to use Willow’s increasingly famous acronym.

In any event special surprise guests on Sunday night’s SPI will apparently include Dr. Stephen Hawking, with whom the candidate will chat about quantum physics and the upcoming 27th season of American Idol, which all the Palins are known to enjoy together with big bowls of popcorn except when flamboyant homosexual contestants are singing, in which event they all hurry into husband Todd’s study for a few moments’ joint Bible study, or a “family conference.” Musically, the show will be Wayne-themed, with Fountains of Wayne, Wayne Newton, and Lil Wayne all appearing and, with any luck, “jamming” after their various individual segments. The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade will teach husband Todd how to shoot free throws (though not, let's hope, how to spell Dwayne!), and son Traction will do impressions of his former Army buddies, this in spite of the critics’ lukewarm reception to his earlier such impressions on the show. If a Palin is anything, it’s resolute.

I couldn’t, speaking of television, help but enjoy Internet terrorist Julian Assange’s appearances via video hookup the past two nights on Letterman and Conan. You might have imagined, in view of his imminent arrest on rape charges — in Sweden, it’s considered rape if, for instance, you don’t withdraw in humiliation if your partner asks if it’s in yet — and of the fact that many American political leaders have called for him to be hunted down like a dog (or, in Sarah’s case, like a moose or caribou) that he’d have been ill-at-ease and terse, but he turned out to be an engaging raconteur in spite of his excruciating northeastern Australian accent.

I’ve always been a sucker for such grace under fire. Long before my recent conversion to common-sense conservatism, I passionately loathed Richard Nixon, but had to admit to having been hugely impressed by his courage the day in August 1974 he left the White House for the last time. How he managed to walk to his helicopter and then wave triumphantly (too triumphantly in the circumstances!) at the press without bursting into tears of shame or rage or despair was beyond me. I actually felt sorry for the loathsome son-of-a-bitch, in a way I don’t ever picture myself feeling sorry for George W. Bush.

If you were a science teacher, and your grown daughter didn’t believe in evolution, as Sarah apparently does not, would you perhaps question your own abilities? I think I might, which isn’t to say that I hold with Darwinism, another ploy by the elitists to make the salt of earth feel stupid.

I wonder if, during his lifetime, anyone addressed Darwin as Chuck, as they do Sarah's pop. I think it would have served to make his views a lot more palatable to average Americans.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 35: Keeping Americans Safe From Australians

As one who fights tirelessly in this journal for the restoration of our precious liberties and the preservation of tax cuts for the wealthy, I, as all other common-sense conservatives, am very much in favor of freedom of speech on the Internet. But the WikiLeaks unpleasantness of the past couple of weeks reminds us how easy it is to abuse that freedom. Julian Assange, a known Australian, has gravely embarrassed the American government, revealing, for instance, that our brave men and women in uniform continued to torture Iraqis even after Abu Ghraib, and that their commanders understandably got sick and tired of writing detailed reports about the atrocities some of our soldiers, crazed with homesickness, committed. Naturally, I’m no fan at all of that rhymes-with-which Hilary Clinton, but when I learned that WikiLeaks’ publication of sensitive State Department cables will make it difficult for our diplomats to spy effectively on the countries to which she’s dispatched them, I was as incensed as the next patriotic American.

I couldn’t agree more with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — the handsomest man in Congress, by the way — whose view is that Assange “is a high-tech terrorist. He’s done an enormous damage to our country, and I think he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if that becomes a problem, we need to change the law." We must bear firmly in mind that the law is a living thing, written not by God, but by man, and therefore subject to revision. A law that doesn’t protect decent, God-fearing Americans from Australians does indeed call out for revision.

Naturally, I’ve been disgusted with the ObaMao administration’s typically effete, ineffectual response to Assange’s treason. They've blocked his access to his financial assets, frightened the likes of Amazon.com and his Internet service provider out of doing any business with him, frozen funds earmarked for his legal defense even as they were encouraging our Swedish allies to charge him with sexual improprieties, gotten our friends in high places Down Under to threaten to revoke his passport (Julia Gillard may be no one’s MILF, but she knows on which side her toast is Vegemited), and even threatened him with assassination.

They stopped short, though, of advocating that he be hunted down like any other terrorist; it fell to mama grizzly Sarah Palin to summon the moral fortitude for that. And here she showed herself to be very much more circumspect than her fellow former governor and Jesus-lover Mike Huckabee, who wants to see hanged the American soldier thought to have passed documents to Assange. Well, in Sarah’s America, we’re not going to be so quick to hang those who’ve fought to protect our precious liberties, buster.

In other news, results from this year’s Programme for International Student Assessment, announced this week by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, show Asian, and especially Chinese, 15-year-olds to be the world’s best-educated. Ours, meanwhile, placed 23rd in science, 17th in reading, and 31st in math.

We must bear in mind here that while those in the Third World are spending 16 to 18 hours per day studying, our own youngsters are out enjoying precious freedoms of which the Chinese, for instance, can only dream — “cruising” in their own cars, sending each other text messages, listening to iPods the Chinese couldn’t hope to afford, binge-drinking, and getting each other pregnant — just generally having the sort of fun God put American teens on earth to enjoy. Would we really want our youngsters to be as hard-working as those in the Third World? Would that not jeopardize their God-given feeling of entitlement?

So Belgium, Estonia, Iceland, France, and the Slovak Republic all finished ahead of us; so friggin’ what? My guess is that they cheated; honestly now, have you ever met an Estonian you trusted? Be that as it may, in your face, Turkey, Mexico, and Greece, three of the five countries whose kids ours did better than. If we can kick the butt of the so-called cradle of civilization, the birthplace of geometry, I don’t think we need to apologize to anybody.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 34: Bernanke and Boobs

I ventured unwittingly yesterday afternoon into a neck of the woods that probably went in 2008 for ObaMao — as those of us who recognize that, if he had his way, he’d turn us into the People’s Republic of America, like to call him, though our strong preference would be not to call him anything at all, as the mere thought of him, with his Ivy League elitism and lefthandedness and teleprompter, make any sensible person want to purge, in the binge-and-purge sense.

What an eye-opener it was! Most of the people on whose ratty screen doors I tapped were up in arms — at least those not too depressed to get up off the sofa — about the imminent termination of their unemployment benefits. Several were outraged because the federal government seems quite happy to toss them out into the street, as they put it, a little melodramatically, even while not repealing George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.

As to the latter, I pointed out recently that few of us would want to live in a society that doesn’t shower perks and privileges on its wealthy. As for the former — the unemployment teat going dry — have these people ever thought that maybe, instead of rhymes with which-ing and moaning, they ought to go out and get jobs? I’ve also pointed out that the less we tax our wealthy, the more gardeners and domestics and so on they’re likely to hire to work in and around their 5000-square-foot houses with more bathrooms than inhabitants. Common sense tells us that keep the rich folks’ tax cuts in place is exactly the way to solve the unemployment mess, not exacerbate it.

I can’t imagine how anyone, not even the closed-mindedest liberal elitist, could have been unimpressed by Sarah’s intellectually nimble, seamlessly eloquent debate with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Meet the Press Sunday morning. She evoked Ronald Reagan (in his 1984 debate with Fritz Mondale) when, in response to Bernanke’s predictable recitation of the sort of monetarist dogma we’ve all had coming out of our ears since Milton Friedman’s self-appointment as America’s pre-eminent economist, she sighed, “There you go again.” It was deeply pleasurable to see Bernanke — he of the degrees from Harvard and MIT, Jewish in spite of his ambiguous (that is, berg-less, stein-less) surname — hemming and hawing when Sarah defied him to explain in terms of classical monetarism the unhinging of the inflation-driven growth of the 1990s’ money supply, and the failure of Friedmanian policy to stimulate the economy to nearly the extent projected between 2001 and 2003. I can imagine her critics might have expected her to gloat — to chirp, “Gotcha!” in that adorable way of hers, or just to wink. I don’t suppose she’ll be accorded the credit she deserves for being the picture of graciousness.

Attentive readers may have noticed that I have said nothing about Sarah’s alleged breast augmentation, though a few of the younger bachelors I’ve spoken with on behalf of the Committee to Elect Sarah in 2012 have seemed to want to talk more about them than about her fiscal policies. I personally disapprove of breast augmentation, but do not question that they may come in very handy when she’s locked into what are invariably described as Frank Discussions with other world leaders. If one endorses heterosexuality — and the alternative, as we’ve discussed, is too disgusting to contemplate — then even one who is sensitive to women’s distaste for objectification will acknowledge that a glimpse of a well-filled black lace brassiere might serve to render Vladimir Putin or even Hugo Chavez less recalcitrant, less hostile to America. Thus, we common-sense conservatives applaud Sarah pre-emptively for her sacrifice. In the words of John McCain, “Country first!”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 31: Dirty Laundry of Our Future First Family

Regular readers of this journal know only too well how petulant I can be. After over 300 entries, I’d have imagined myself to have 1900 followers, and not 19, and for agents to be ringing me day and night to offer me insanely lucrative book, TV, or even movie deals, or to book me onto Bill Maher or even Dancing With the Stars. Even the sunniest-dispositioned among us needs to have the world tell them they’re a bit of all right every now and again, and if it weren’t for the miracle of citalopram, I’d no doubt have been gnashing my few remaining teeth and cursing the world’s unfairness, as I have traditionally done — at least until yesterday, when, completely out of the blue, I received the most glorious affirmation I could have hoped for. Mike Nizich, Sarah’s major domo, phoned in the afternoon to say that the candidate has been reading FAITP with growing delight the past several weeks, and has agreed it would be the perfect place to dispel various tawdry tabloid rumors about her family.

Sarah and The First Dude, as she has so adorably referred to husband Todd, have indeed had their little flings, as what attractive couple would not after 22 years of marriage? She began seeing the musician John Mayer in 2008, several weeks before John McCain invited her to be his running mate, and the two remained an “item” until Christmas of that year, when the singer, or his personal assistant, foolishly left in the Victoria’s Secret box in which he presented Sarah’s gift — a transparent, marabou-trimmed fuchsia peignoir — the receipt revealing that he’d bought three such peignoirs. When Sarah demanded to know who’d received the other two, the singer declined to respond, whereupon Sarah declared him persona not grata not only in Alaska, but in her heart, and heart of hearts.

During her tour on behalf of her first book, Goin’ Rogue, last year, she saw a lot of another singer, Lenny Kravitz, with whom she would rendezvous in the vice presidential suites of various Marriott Courtyard hotels around the country as the very in-demand singer’s performance schedule permitted. She also saw the golfer Tiger Wood on at least two occasions, this months before his famous Thanksgiving night contretemps with his wife Elin. Apparently Sarah was unaware of the athlete’s being married. On finding out, she sent him this text message: “They say I’m stupid? Homegirl can't even spell Ellen! LMAO.” She was apparently unaware at the time that Mrs. Wood was some weird sort of Scandinavian. According to Nizich, the Palin home is devoid of Ikea furniture.

video


While Sarah was seeing Mayer, Kravitz, and Woods, Todd, meanwhile, was dating Bryt’tawnee R—, a cocktail waitress at the Wasilla Ramada Inn, and later Jennifer Aniston, the television and movie actress. Just for the heck of it, and because the Palins don’t believe in condemning anything they haven’t tried themselves, Todd had (protected!) sex with a fellow moose hunter and member of the Alaskan Independence Party on several occasions in the summers of 2007 and 2008, respectively, and was relieved to find it disgusting and abominable, exactly as the Bible had said.

During his tour of duty in Iraq, the Palins' elder son Traction became obsessed with shemales after buddies in his platoon gave him the links to a couple of hermaphrodite Websites. His post-discharge (from the army!) affair with Shavonna Starr, Wasilla’s best-loved female impersonator (see her lip-syching Shania Twain’s "I Feel Like a Woman" here) was the worst-kept secret in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough through the first half of 2010. But, as viewers of Sarah Palin’s Iowa know, Mom and Dad convinced him that he and Shavonna weren’t good for each other, since which Trac has been dating the mother of Levi Johnston, father of Bristol’s son Tripp. It's all slightly incestuous, but that's Alaska for you!

Anything else you might read on the cover of a supermarket tabloid, the campaign wants you to know, is sheer fantasy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 21: Diplomacy, Sarah-Style

I was surprised to discover yesterday that Sunday mornings are the best time of the week to ask people to contribute to the Committee to Elect Sarah in 2012. The trick is to emphasize that she’s by far the most overtly Christ-loving of the prospective Republican candidates, unless you count Mike Huckabee, who hasn’t a tenth of Sarah’s charisma, his cute name notwithstanding. At the mention of Jesus, most folks look pretty sheepish about being at home instead of in church, and hurry to get their wallets or checkbooks or debit cards, though we don’t support the latter, to use the colorful patois of the computer salesperson.

When couple of those on whom I called yesterday asked why I wasn’t myself worshiping, I explained that I’d used a video conferencing program on my own computer, speaking of computers, to attend daybreak services. Once past why we weren’t at church, most people wanted to talk either about whether the Obamarxists are going to be able to repeal George W. Bush’s tax breaks for the rich, and about how much they’ve been enjoying Sarah Palin’s Iowa — and how much they were looking forward to last night’s episode.

Common sense conservatives agree that a society that doesn’t shower its wealthy with special perks and privileges isn’t a society worth living in. Though everyone I spoke to yesterday seemed to be of relatively modest means — not a single Lexus or Escalade was parked in any of their driveways, which were full instead of American-made SUVs with NObama bumperstickers — they all agreed it would be a tragedy for the country if the tax cuts were revoked. One gentleman summed up the feeling of all when he wondered aloud, tremulously, what sort of message that would send our young people. I observed that giving the young nothing to aspire to is a hallmark of socialist societies, and we sobbed for our country in each other’s arms.

Sarah’s TV show has become must Sunday evening viewing for nearly everyone. Several people said they’d been enjoying Boardwalk Empire, in spite of star Steve Buscemi’s remarkably hideous teeth, until Sarah’s show debuted, but that they switched allegiances immediately.

After last night’s show, I can’t imagine anyone regretting having decided to catch up on Boardwalk when it comes out on DVD, as Sarah had enough surprises up her sleeve for a person with arms as long as the Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslam. During Sarah’s duet with Lady Gaga on his old antiwar chestnut "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," for instance, Pete Seeger slipped quietly on stage in a suit made of halibut — a wry homage to the raw meat dress Gaga wore a few months ago to MTV’s Video Music Awards. When a stagehand handed him his banjo and he discovered it was considerably out of tune, he quipped, “Something’s a little fishy here,” and the studio audience groaned delightedly while both Gaga and Sarah rolled their eyes adorably. It’s wonderful to see Pete, who’s always seemed good-hearted and noble, but relentlessly earnest, finally allowing himself a bit of puckishness at 114.

The chat portion of the program, in which Sarah and Todd welcomed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Reese Witherspoon, was equally pleasurable — and enlightening. Who’d have guessed that the Iranian bogeyman would be so interested in Reese’s new star on Hollywood Boulevard, or that he and Todd — new best friends forever! — would make plans to go hunting together next spring with their sons Traction and Mohammed? I thought it especially gracious of Sarah to promise that, if she gets elected in 2012 to a certain unnamed office (she’s even more adorable than usual when coy!), she’ll see what she can do about getting Mahmoud his own star.

Common-sense conservative diplomacy in action!