Coquette: “Who Else Hasn’t Sarah Palin Met Before?”

3 10 2008

OMG, do you see now that I was not joking when I said that I cannot shut up about Sarah Palin? I thought I was done! I thought I’d let the venom out for the day.

I was totally wrong.

So, something happened last night when the debate started. I watch on CNN, because CNN has crazy-making analyst insta-responses, and some sort of arbitrary group of voters sequestered somewhere giving insta-impressions of how well they like what each candidate is saying, all plotted out in moving line graphs with pluses and minuses and color-coding…it’s an orgy of useless data analysis, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I like watching. (No, I do not have any of the iPhone apps to monitor the national polls. Because I have a job and someone would notice. But don’t think I haven’t thought about it.)

Anyway! Watching on CNN, everyone’s got their little pie-chart plus/minus thingjobs, all clear and ready to start giving points once the VP candidates open their mouths. Except then…Palin walked out on stage, and two of the analysts gave her a +1. The woman walked without falling down, and she got a positive response. I knew expectations for her were low, but DANG!

So I’m sitting there, stunned into silence (a rarity, I promise you), and then Palin actually did manage to open her mouth. And she said, to Senator Joseph Biden, “Hi, nice to meet you, can I call you Joe?” This bothered me for some reason, but it wasn’t until I was walking back from lunch today that it sunk in.

Sarah Palin had never met Joe Biden before. Sarah Palin had never, ever met Joe Biden.

Fun facts about Joe Biden, in case you weren’t aware: he’s the senior US Senator from Delaware. He’s been doing it for a while. Over 30 years, in fact. Since 1972! And she hadn’t met him until the 33 days before the election.

People can and sometimes do complain about Barak Obama and his supposed “lack of experience.” But that “lack” translates into teaching constitutional law for over a decade, followed by seven years as a state senator and leading into his term now as a US Senator. And I feel pretty certain that, before this election, everyone else involved on both sides had met the entirety of the US Senate.

Then in twinkles Sarah “Pew! Pew! Pew! [adorable]” Palin, whose political experience thus far breaks down as:

– Wasilla (pop. <10,000) city council, 4 years
– Wasilla mayor, 6 years
– Alaska (pop. <700,000) governor, 1.5 years

This is supposed to qualify her to meet with world leaders, represent the United States abroad, and lead the nation should the President be unable to perform his duties. Wasilla is classified as a “small town”, and the entire state of Alaska has fewer people than Ft. Worth, Texas.

And she’d never met one of the most senior senators in the US Senate until last night. But hey! She can walk across a stage! Success.

Coquette: “Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin”

3 10 2008

I discovered something this morning, to the great pleasure of the ladies in the gym locker room with me, I’m sure: I cannot stop talking about Sarah Palin.  Perhaps I should have realized it sooner; after all, when my boyfriend comes home, he usually asks, “what did that woman do or say today?”  And then I tell him, usually while flailing around the kitchen.

I think the reason I can’t manage to steer away from her is because she, like Julia Allison to some, never stops doing horrible things.  Every time I think, “Oh, I know the worst thing about Sarah Palin,” a new day dawns and lo, there is another story that makes me want to cry and rend my clothing.  And since I am a crazy person who reads too many blogs, and/or since you are not that person, I’ve undertaken the harrowing task of coming up with a top ten list.  A greatest hits album, if you will, of jaw-dropping facts.  And I say “jaw-dropping” because when I mentioned some of these in the gym locker room, the ladies stared at me like I was making them up.  Like they wanted desperately for me to say, “Oh, I’m just kidding, she’s a cupcake.”

She’s not a cupcake.  And she’s not a pitbull (lipsticked or otherwise).  She is, like we all are, the sum of our actions toward others.  Here are some of hers:

10. She used unofficial webmail accounts to conduct state business, thus avoiding having to disclose the contents of the messages and not adhering to that pesky, “all communications by public officials are public record,” thing.

9. When asked what newspapers and/or magazines she read regularly before she got scooped up by McCain to win the crucial bear vote, she was unable to name any specific sources, instead just citing, “most of them“.

8. She has asked for more federal dollars (aka earmarks — those things she and McCain claim to be against) than any other state per capita, including the ridiculous Bridge to Nowhere.

7. Palin doesn’t know of any other Supreme Court decision besides Roe v. Wade. (Or, to be fair, any other decision she “disagrees with”.) You’d think she would at least be able to disagree with Dred Scott v. Sanford without setting the world on fire.  But nope, silence.

6. When she was mayor of Wasilla, she built a $15 million dollar sports complex. But first, she failed to actually buy said land…so she built it anyway. And then tried to claim eminent domain and sued the actual landowner. And lost the lawsuit, costing the city $1.7 million dollars. For land that, had she actually purchased it in the first place, would have only cost $125,000. And this woman could be a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the Presidency.

5. Once she was elected mayor, she had a little chitchat with her local library for a refresher on how she could go about banning books. What particular books did she want to ban? Oh that’s right, she didn’t have a list. She just wanted to see if she could do it.

4. In defiance of the United States Supreme Court, Palin thinks that creationism should be taught in schools. The only condition under which I could be okay with this is if it’s followed by a mandatory semester of Pastafarianism.

3. Palin tried to use her influence as governor to get the Public Safety Commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper. And when that didn’t work, she fired the Public Safety Commissioner. And then, once an independent investigation of said firing was formed, she demanded another investigation be formed, mostly to keep tabs on the, uh, independent investigation already happening. Glorious.

2. She thinks that being able to see Russia from an island in Alaska is an actual, legitimate type of foreign policy experience. Which is especially weird, considering she’s never even been to that island. My favorite part is how she tries to defend “I can see Russia from my house” via half-sentences and gibberish.

1. In Palin’s version of the world, if you’re a victim of rape or incest and you are impregnated by the assault…too bad, you’re having the baby. She claims she’d even stick to this if it were her own daughter. That actually makes it worse, somehow, that she’d be willing to force her kid through that.

If you didn’t feel like reading the list, if you’ve just scrolled through because you’re bored, or if nothing else has transformed Sarah Palin in your eyes from a tiny goddess into a terrifyingly unqualified, poor choice for the office of Vice President, then allow me to present:

The Fact About Sarah Palin That Makes Me Think She Is Actually A Bad Human Being

*. Residents of Wasilla, while Palin was mayor, were billed for their own sexual assault kits. That means if you were raped and you went to the hospital to have a kit done (to 1. provide some forensic evidence of the rape and 2. get medical treatment), you and/or your insurance company would be getting a bill. Because nothing says, “you were asking for it,” like behaving as if the sexual assault kit is a medical procedure you just happened to ask for. Like it’s an eye exam or something, instead of a criminal act.  Palin cannot really speak to this one way or the other, because if she approved it, she’s a monster, and if she didn’t approve it, then she’s a buffoon who didn’t know what her own state’s police department was doing.  That is some fine executive experience there, either way.

Nellie: “Reach Out and Retouch Someone”

15 09 2008

This morning, Coquette pointed me toward this article on Jezebel about the new 90210, and how the new cast is shockingly thin compared to the old cast.

Now, I’m all for size diversity. I’m a fatty, yes, but I’m not one to throw insults at or harbor any ill feelings toward skinny women, and I’m a firm believer that size-acceptance should apply to everyone. But when you compare the photos of the original 90210 series cast to that of the new series, it’s more than a little disturbing.

The new female cast members make Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, and those other two look downright voluptuous. Considering we know that our favorite West Beverly High Schoolers were offered as perfect specimens the 90s beauty standard, and were therefore quite thin, the obvious shift in the beauty ideal over the last 15 years is truly astounding. What exactly will the standard be like 15 years from now? Will there be a backlash (yes, please?), or will Hollywood continue to shove ever-thinner and ever-more-airbrushed women into the spotlight until the “beauty ideal” is literally unattainable by anyone?

And is that so far off? When you take advances in retouching software and its widespread use in the publishing world into account, it matters very little what the original photo looks like. For example, check out another Jezebel article about the recent Redbook/Faith Hill debacle, in which the editors had poor Faith Photoshopped within an inch of her life in order to make her look younger and thinner. All of this for a picture that was already beautiful.    

So getting back to 90210, just think – even the very tiny new cast members’ photos have been airbrushed, which makes me think about all the young girls out there who are constantly beating themselves up because they don’t look like AnnaLynne McCord. This prompts me to fly into a rage coma, because even AnnaLynne McCord doesn’t look like AnnaLynne McCord. And then I become very concerned, or possibly vaguely horrified, about where things are headed.

Coquette: “Good for you!”

19 07 2008

I am sad to report that working for Big Moves is not my full-time job.  No, instead I work in an office, where I do a variety of office-type things, like doing boring tasks, fending off telemarketers, sitting in meetings…basically it’s a daily struggle not to answer my phone, “Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam.”

So!  I was sitting in one of my meetings the other day, making small talk with one of our newer employees before the official start, and she mentioned that I looked kind of exhausted.  Not like, sick-exhausted, just really tired and worn out.  I completely agreed with her, by the way.  “Oh man, no kidding!  Rehearsals have started up for my dance troupe, and they’re totally kicking my butt.”  I mean, even when exhausted and half-asleep at work, I’m still completely ready to talk about Big Moves at any time.  (Side note: I may have accidentally invited my boss to our next show, Hot Buffet, during our bi-weekly meeting.  Maybe.  I should probably warn her about the nudity, yeah?)

Anyway, back to the new hire.  Up until this point, my interractions with her had been polite, professional, enjoyable overall.  But then, OH but then:
“Oh, you dance?”
“Well, uh, yeah.  It’s an all-size dance troupe, we do all different styles of dance, we’re really pretty good.”
“Oh, well yeah, no, I mean, of course, that sounds like fun…And I imagine that there’s a lot of good exercise…Right, right, I mean, good for you!

I didn’t even know what to do or say to that.  It just washed right over me, this nervous, upper-middle-class lady-chatter that managed to throw out insults without even forming a complete sentence.  And then our meeting started and I tried to burninate her with my eyes.  Good for me?  Good for me? What does that even mean?!  Yes, good for me for joining a talented group of women, good for me for being my own personal rock star; but I didn’t join Big Moves as a weight loss system, just like I don’t read Dickens to learn the finer points of punctuation and grammar.  If one follows the other, fine, but I’m just here to shake my booty.

I’ve since shared this story with a few people, one of whom told me about how when she lost ten pounds last month, someone complimented her for being so skinny.  Her response was, “um, I have diabetes.”  His answer: “Well, keep it up!”

So it’s not just me then!  …That doesn’t make me feel any better.