Archive for November 19th, 2010
So Sarah Palin tells Barabara Walters that she believes she could beat President Obama in 2012.
Now, she has a big following, which I understand has extended to her daughter Bristol on Dancing With The Stars. I don’t watch the show, so I can’t say for sure, but if my Facebook friends are any indicator, Bristol’s longevity on the show is due solely to the fans (I hear Tea Party?) and not due to her skill as a dancer. I also understand that both Bristol and Willow demonstrated less than cultured restraint when Facebook commenters dissed the new reality show that attracted considerable viewers, but we’ll not let the children as a reflection on the character of the parents come into this discussion (more than I’ve already introduced.) Nonetheless, that following has significant influence on popular culture. Can it have similar influence on political culture?
Let’s examine the hypothetical possibility that Ms. Palin might somehow get elected. Who would be her handler? That’s a question I cannot answer, and wonder if DI readers might have a thought on the matter.
As far as I can tell from what I’ve seen and what I’ve read, she has virtually no knowledge of national security, foreign policy, how Washington works…..pretty much any clue about governance on a federal level. (Opinion, folks. Let it pass with the hypothesis.) Governors are like that. George W. Bush was an exception, having grown up around it, but then he also had Karl Rove. Bill Clinton was also an exception, but then he had been around major politics for a long time prior to his election in 1992. He was and remains a naturally skilled politician that managed to navigate the warrens of D.C. that President Carter couldn’t (familiarity with warrens?) Reagan had national presence and a loyal group of advisors. Carter had virtually no national experience and it showed in some of his decisions, but he attacked Washington in his campaign (sound familiar) and as we all know, won.
So who does Sarah have? Karl Rove is less than supportive (if you read Media Matters) and probably would not be on hand to advise her. Randy Scheunemann is her foreign policy advisor. Andrew Davis is her political (campaign) advisor. Kim Daniels (legal?), and Fred Malek (financial advisor?), Bill Kristol (The weekly Standard editor and press secretary?) have all been linked in the press, but according to a NY Times article are no longer in daily contact.
So if the hypothetical could happen (remember, a professional actor got elected) and the Mayans were wrong, neglecting the very possibility that her own party would resist inanity (please! it’s hypothetical) thus rendering her ineffective…
…who would advise her so that we don’t go down in flames while she learns the ropes?
It’s been reported, (and I’m not sure of the authenticity, but it’s all over the geeks sites as well as The Guardian), that apparently an evangelical cult in Brazil has banned the use of USB for its members because the symbol
resembles a satanic trident.
Next they’ll not want President Obama to visit because he might be the anti-Christ.
Because Christmas is quickly approaching, I decided to start looking for Jesus in the easiest places to find large numbers of people: big box stores. More specifically, I’m looking for large images of Jesus, not thumb-sized Jesus Babies tucked away in a little mangers.
I started my hunt at Lowe’s two days ago. I found huge Santas, reindeer, snowmen, elves, penguins wearing hats and fashion-model angels, but no Jesus. How odd, that when a celebration is supposedly only about Jesus, you won’t find any prominent images of Jesus. You’d expect to see huge inflatable images of Jesus on the roofs of the stores and on their parking lots. You’d expect to find life-sized Jesus images on people lawns. You’d expect to see large statues of bloodied Jesuses on crosses, his alleged moment of glory. But, except for those little Jesus babies you might find in an occasional manger kit, that doesn’t really feature him, you won’t find Jesus, even though he is the purported reason for all the fuss. Nor will you find stores promoting his alleged teachings. Such strange compartmentalization.
Why is it that we don’t see a life sized Jesus statue trying to get us to buy that new iPod? Or a Jesus image urging us to buy a life-sized Santa? Apparently, the image of Jesus doesn’t sell plastic goods and gadgets. Is that because Jesus is never alleged to have said anything about going into debt by buying lots of consumer goods. Is it because it would be tasteless to buy all of this crap with the image of the alleged creator of the universe, the man who allowed himself to be tortured to save your eternal life, staring at you?
Or is it because we don’t really believe the things we say about Jesus, and that we actually don’t believe in Jesus, but we only believe in belief?
I don’t follow gossip columns, or even broadcast news. But I do read a few blogs. Yesterday FriendlyAtheist posted Tony Danza’s Funeral Outburst Makes Sense. I don’t particularly care about the actor or the author involved. But apparently he has gotten some negative press for an action that I wish I’d had the cojones to do a couple of times. He cut off a a cleric who was in full stride in a fire and brimstone recruiting speech at the funeral of a friend, to redirect focus to the friend.
Personally, I think the cleric was misbehaving, not the friend. And I wish more people would stand up at funerals and demand that the subject be of the life departed, not of the faith of the orator. Better yet, make sure the minister knows beforehand that bald propagandizing will not be tolerated.
If the deceased had been a pious person, then discussing the faith and piety of the departed meets with my approval. But using the occasion simply as a recruiting drive is too common of an occurrence. I’ve been to a few funerals where the cleric/priest/minister had nothing particular to contribute about the guest of honor, but went on and on about how doomed the rest of us were unless we took his preferred sacrament. He simply knew a captive audience and marketing opportunity when he had one. Very dissatisfying to those of us who knew the decedent.
I have also been to good memorials, where the focus was on the life as lived. My two favorite memorial services ended with a participatory kazoo performance, or recessional music by Groucho Marx. They were fully celebrations of the life departed, not dire warnings to the audience. Unless as a cautionary example to enjoy life while you can.
Here is an example of an appropriate farewell, although NSFW:
The Onion network News reports on the new federal high-speed bus system: