Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama/Huxtable '08

Since the moment McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, I wanted to write a blog about it. I knew more than your average "Lower-48" American about Mrs. Palin, but I still wanted to do a little research before putting pen to paper, so to speak. While researching, I also debated writing anything at all because politics isn't the most entertaining topic, and there have been quite a few blog-worthy things going on of late: my sister's wedding planning, my travels through the remnants of Hurrican Gustav to Bentonville, AR, my subsequent introduction to the Wal-Mart corporate cheer, my discovery of the Intervention episode featuring an anorexic who inhales up to ten cans of computer duster a day, my horror at some of the items offered in the Sky Mall catalog...

But no. I have decided Mrs. Palin needs to be addressed. First, while I sincerely doubt anyone who has read this blog questions my political affiliations, it should be said that I...ahem...tend to lean toward the Democratic side of things. With that said, I'm also a female. Some might argue I'm a strong female. As such, I appreciate the drive and moxie Mrs. Palin brings to the table.

And that's pretty much where the appreciation ends.

With each passing day, I keep expecting Palin fever to end. I definitely understood the initial excitment. She was the dark horse. She's a GILF. She's a supermom. She's "folksy". But since then, people have had enough time to see where she stands on the issues, learn more about her, and frankly come to their senses.

While The Beverly Hillbillies were great entertainment, I don't think anyone would have considered Elly May Clampett a viable candidate for Vice President. And that's exactly what we have here, right down to her success resting on black gold. I can't imagine that any female supporting Hillary would vote for the Republican ticket based on the VP candidate being a fellow "Vagina American" (as Samantha Bee so brilliantly put it). However, I absolutely believe there are a lot of blue collar American men who are currently thinking with the wrong head, and that scares the shit out of me, particularly since she's been so shielded from any form of direct media scrutiny.

But luckily, McCain's team can't keep her in a bubble and away from the media forever, though after the grilling she received last week from Charlie Gibson, I have to imagine they wish they could. The woman is so clueless, so chock-full of soundbites, so in over her head, the interview would have been painful to watch had it not filled me with glee to watch the Palin mysitque come crashing down. It also confirmed my long-standing desire to have Charlie Gibson adopt me.

GIBSON: "Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?"

PALIN: "Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life."

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sarah Palin, head of the Department of Redundancy Department. Oh, and Sarah - everyone knows that Canada and Mexico don't count.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.


GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they're doing in Georgia?

(Which, for the record, you can't see from any island in Alaska.)

PALIN: Well, I'm giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia.

So that's why you're supporting Georgia? To keep good relations with all countries, especially Russia? Well, then I hate to tell you but the Russians probably won't appreciate your Georgian support on a matter that arguably doesn't affect our country in any way. Just sayin'.

This next exchange would have really cracked me up, were I not so terrified someone [this close] to the presidency is this retarded.

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

You could tell Charlie wanted to finish that last statement up with a giant sigh and, "DUMBASS," but as a professional journalist, he kept his reserve and his complete and total annoyance with her was only marginally, and by that I mean completely, obvious.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.


GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

PALIN: I agree that a president's job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.

I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.

GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.

This whole exchange went on for quite awhile and absolutely killed me. It reminded me of that episode of The Cosby Show where Vanessa tells her parents she's at a slumber party and she and her friends drive to Baltimore to see "The Wretched" instead. When they eventually get busted for lying, Cliff tries to stay calm even though he's clearly pissed and annoyed, while Vanessa stammers and tries to explain herself. I kept wishing Clair Huxtable would burst into the interview, lose her shit and say all the things you know Charlie was thinking.

"Here you think you because you've been cramming for a week that you know ALLLLLL about international politics and the Bush Doctrine, when your entire career, you've just been havin' BIG FUN in Alaska. Weren't you, Sarah? Having BIG FUN in Alaska. Ridin' snowmobiles, eatin' moose burgers, shootin' guns and killin' caribou. You don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, do you?"

"But, Clair," Sarah would stammer.

"SHUT UP! Don't you DARE open your mouth when I'm asking you a question! RUDY, GO TO BED!"

Monday, September 1, 2008

Maybe she should wear pearls with her tape?

A few days ago, I spent the night at my aunt's house and she and I ended up talking late into the night. My uncle had fallen asleep in his chair, and as we sat there drinking wine and chatting, I suddenly interrupted her.

"I'm sorry, but how do you sleep with that???" I asked, nodding to my uncle whose snoring was causing the windows to vibrate.

And with her response, I got one of those weird glimpses into married life that, as a single person, leaves you completely befuddled.

"Oh, I tape his lips shut," she explained, and took a sip of wine.


"Wait, you do what?" I asked, with a horrified look on my face.

"Well," she explained as though this was all perfectly normal, "you know, he sleeps with a CPAP machine, but even with that mask on, he's just soooooo LOUD." She began to imitate my uncle by putting her lips together, then blowing air through her mouth which created this horrible sputtering noise. "So after a couple of nights of that, I decided if I taped his lips shut, he wouldn't be able to make that awful sound."

"Clearly, that was the next step," I deadpanned.

Unfazed, she continued. "Bless his heart, when we first got married, he made this styrofoam box that only his engineering mind could have, because he wanted a sound-proof...well, a sound-proof box, I he wouldn't disturb me. It was so cute," she remembered with obvious fondness, "Here he'd taken one of those gas station coolers and made this box, and he called me from the bedroom one day, and I walked in and he was lying in the bed with all this styrofoam around his head. It really was so precious. Of course it was also so funny, I had to take a picture of it. Speaking of which, I wonder what happened to that picture..." she trailed off.

While I briefly considered my uncle lying in bed with his head shoved in a styrofoam cooler, I was still confused. "Sorry, can we go back to the fact you tape his lips shut at night?" I asked, clearly perplexed.

"You know, the lady at the CPAP store the other day also thought that was strange, though I assured her I fold the ends under so he can rip it off more easily. I used to not do that and he had a terrible time getting it off in the morning..."

"Hang on, how did all of this even come up with the lady at the CPAP store?" I inquired.

"Well, I'd looked at his machine and saw it had this filter on it, and thought to myself, 'I bet that needs to be changed.' And sure enough, when I pulled it out, it disintegrated..."

Usually not a good sign.

"...So I went to the CPAP store, and told her I needed a new filter, that this one had disintegrated. Then she asked me how long it had been since we'd changed it, and I told her we'd never changed it. She gave me this puzzled look, and then asked how long we'd had the machine. When I told her we'd had it twenty years..."

Oh god.

"...then she seemed really troubled, because I guess you're supposed to change it every three months."


"So after she'd gotten my new filter for me, we were discussing what a great machine it is, and I told her that while I do think it's a good machine, it still doesn't keep him from snoring and that's why I have to tape his lips together. When I told her this, she looked at me like I was a murderer or something and said, 'M'am, if the electricity ever went out, he would die!' I mean, she really seemed upset about this! And I just laughed and said, 'Well, I guess we're lucky that hasn't happened!'"

My poor uncle.

A few days later, I was at dinner with them, when my uncle held up his wristwatch. "Dear, do you like my repair job?" Sure enough, around the clasp of his wristwatch was suspicious-looking tape.

"That's the stuff, isn't it," I asked.

"Oh, ha, yes! It is!" my aunt replied, and started laughing. I told my uncle I'd heard about his sleeping conditions and was concerned.

"You know, I'm not the only one who snores," he said with a groan, "But your aunt refuses to acknowledge that she could possibly make any noise at all while she's sleeping, but I assure you she does. And I've suggested perhaps she try sleeping with her lips taped shut, or at the very least with a CPAP mask on, but she won't do it."

With this, she gave him a knowing look, patted his arm and said, "Well, dear, that's just not very ladylike," and they went back to eating their meals.