Tuesday, September 16, 2008

my gal

My Gal

by George Saunders

Explaining how she felt when John McCain offered her the Vice-Presidential spot, my Vice-Presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin, said something very profound: “I answered him ‘Yes’ because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.”

Isn’t that so true? I know that many times, in my life, while living it, someone would come up and, because of I had good readiness, in terms of how I was wired, when they asked that—whatever they asked—I would just not blink, because, knowing that, if I did blink, or even wink, that is weakness, therefore you can’t, you just don’t. You could, but no—you aren’t.

That is just how I am.

Do you know the difference between me and a Hockey Mom who has forgot her lipstick?

A dog collar.

Do you know the difference between me and a dog collar smeared with

Not a damn thing.

We are essentially wired identical.

So, when Barack Obama says he will put some lipstick on my pig, I am, like, Are you
calling me a pig? If so, thanks! Pigs are the most non-Élite of all barnyard animals. And also, if you put lipstick on my pig, do you know what the difference will be between that pig and a pit bull? I’ll tell you: a pit bull can easily kill a pig. And, as the pig dies, guess what the Hockey Mom is doing? Going to her car, putting on more lipstick, so that, upon returning, finding that pig dead, she once again looks identical to that pit bull, which, staying on mission, the two of them step over the dead pig, looking exactly like twins, except the pit bull is scratching his lower ass with one frantic leg, whereas the Hockey Mom is carrying an extra hockey stick in case Todd breaks his again. But both are going, like, Ha ha, where’s that dumb pig now? Dead, that’s who, and also: not a smidge of lipstick.

A lose-lose for the pig.

There’s a lesson in that, I think.

Who does that pig represent, and that collar, and that Hockey Mom, and that pit bull?

You figure it out. Then give me a call.

Seriously, give me a call.

Now, let us discuss the Élites. There are two kinds of folks: Élites and Regulars. Why people love Sarah Palin is, she is a Regular. That is also why they love me. She did not go to some Élite Ivy League college, which I also did not. Her and me, actually, did not go to the very same Ivy League school. Although she is younger than me, so therefore she didn’t go there slightly earlier than I didn’t go there. But, had I been
younger, we possibly could have not graduated in the exact same class. That would have been fun. Sarah Palin is hot. Hot for a politician. Or someone you just see in a store. But, happily, I did not go to college at all, having not finished high school, due to I killed a man. But had I gone to college, trust me, it would not have been some Ivy League Élite-breeding factory but, rather, a community college in danger of losing its accreditation, built right on a fault zone, riddled with asbestos, and also, the crack-addicted professors are all dyslexic.

Sarah Palin was also the mayor of a very small town. To tell the truth, this is where my qualifications begin to outstrip even hers. I have never been the mayor of anything. I can’t even spell right. I had help with the above, but now— Murray, note to Murray: do not correct what follows. Lets shoe the people how I rilly spel Mooray and punshuate so thay can c how reglar I am, and ther 4 fit to leed the nashun, do to: not sum mistir fansy pans.

OK Mooray. Get corecting agin!

Thanks, Murray, you’re fabulous. Very good at what you do. Actually, Murray, come to think of it, you are so good, I suspect you are some kind of Élite. You are fired, Murray, as soon as this article is done. I’m going to hire someone Regular, who is not so excellent, and lives off the salt of the land and the fat of his brow and the sweat of his earth. Although I hope he’s not a screw-up.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate, as my eyes are killing me, due to I have not blinked since I started writing this. And, me being Regular, it takes a long time for me to write something this long.

Where was I? Ah, yes: I hate Élites. Which is why, whenever I am having brain surgery, or eye surgery, which is sometimes necessary due to all my non-blinking, I always hire some random Regular guy, with shaking hands if possible, who is also a drunk, scared of the sight of blood, and harbors a secret dislike for me.

Now, let’s talk about slogans. Ours is: Country First. Think about it. When you think of what should come first, what does? Us ourselves? No. That would be selfish. Our personal families? Selfish. God? God is good, I love Him, but, as our slogan suggests, no, sorry, God, You are not First. No, you don’t, Lord! How about: the common good of all mankind! Is that First? Don’t make me laugh with your weak blinking! No! Mercy is not First and wisdom is not First and love is super but way near the back, and ditto with patience and discernment and compassion and all that happy crap, they are all back behind Country, in the back of my S.U.V., which— Here is an example! Say I am about to run over a nun or orphan, or an orphan who grew up to become a nun—which I admire that, that is cool, good bootstrapping there, Sister—but then God or whomever goes, “It is My will that you hit that orphaned nun, do not ask Me why, don’t you dare, and I say unto thee, if you do not hit that nun, via a
skillful swerve, your Country is going to suffer, and don’t ask Me how, specifically, as I have not decided that yet!” Well, I am going to do my best to get that nun in one felt swope, because, at the Convention, at which my Vice-Presidential candidate kicked mucho butt, what did the signs there say? Did they say “Orphaned Nuns First” and then there is a picture of a sad little nun with a hobo pack?

Not in my purview.

Sarah Palin knows a little something about God’s will, knowing God quite well, from their work together on that natural-gas pipeline, and what God wills is: Country First. And not just any country! There was a slight error on our signage. Other countries, such as that one they have in France, reading our slogan, if they can even read real words, might be all, like, “Hey, bonjour, they are saying we can put our
country, France, first!” Non, non, non, France! What we are saying is, you’d better put our country first, you merde-heads, or soon there will be so much lipstick on your pit bulls it will make your berets spin!

In summary: Because my candidate, unlike your winking/blinking Vice-Presidential candidate, who, though, yes, he did run as the running mate when the one asking him to run did ask him to run, which that I admire, one thing he did not do, with his bare
hands or otherwise, is, did he ever kill a moose? No, but ours did. And I would. Please bring a moose to me, over by me, and down that moose will go, and, if I had a kid, I would take a picture of me showing my kid that dead moose, going, like, Uh, sweetie, no, he is not resting, he is dead, due to I shot him, and now I am going to eat him, and so are you, oh yes you are, which is responsible, as God put this moose here for us to shoot and eat and take a photo of, although I did not, at that time, know why God did, but in years to come, God’s will was revealed, which is: Hey, that is a cool photo for hunters about to vote to see, plus what an honor for that moose, to be on the Internet.

How does the moose feel about it? Who knows? Probably not great. But do you know what the difference is between a dead moose with lipstick on and a dead moose without lipstick?


Think about it.

Moose are, truth be told, Élites. They are big and fast and sort of rule the forest. Sarah took that one down a notch. Who’s Élite now, Bullwinkle?

Not Sarah.

She’s just Regular as heck. ♦

[Click on image to enlarge.]

Check out This Modern World and the Salon cartoon archive.

1 comment:

Bill Liddicoet said...

Sarah Palin is one of the best examples yet of what has come to be known as IOKYAR -- "It's OK If You're A Republican". Still, I think Dems are making a mistake by falling for this Sarah Palin bait. I know, I know -- she presents an almost irresistible target. Forget pit bulls and hockey moms, what's the difference between Sarah Palin and George W. Bush besides lipstick? Certainly the GOP's uncritical embrace of both at similar points in their careers is eerily familiar. That alone should cause any rational person or party to take pause.

Which is the real point I'm trying to make. The race is still between Obama and McCain. The Sarah Palin episode raises serious questions about McCain's judgment under fire, full stop. That's where the attention needs to be concentrated. How about his performance yesterday on the burgeoning financial meltdown? While I applaud any effort to forestall investor panic, going in front of the cameras with a stack of hastily scribbled note cards and an obvious lack of awareness or grasp of "the fundamentals" is hardly reassuring. That's twice in less than a week that a major Republican candidate has demonstrated for all the world to see that they don't even understand their own policies, and they can't think on their feet.

John McCain has been in Washington for 26 years and voted for every single piece of legislation that dismantled the regulatory safeguards in the banking industry; his economic brain trust has been guided by Phil 'Nation of Whiners' Gramm, the architect of that dismantling, and the best he can come up with is to rail angrily against fraud and greed and call for a '9/11 commission' to apportion the blame? [Lest we forget, his party ignored the findings of the first 9/11 commission and failed to implement its recommendations, so why should anyone fall for this dodge a second time?].

This is breathtaking in its audacity. It's all Wizard of Oz stuff -- smoke and mirrors and little men behind curtains pulling levers, sounding sirens and flashing lights to distract us from the fact that it's his party and its policies which have brought us to this pass. And what's worse, it's totally unconvincing, because McCain is so sh*tty at talking about anything besides earmarks and 'the surge'. Anyone who thinks this guy can lead us out of a mess he and his party created and so clearly doesn't understand might, as Obama suggested yesterday, "be interested in buying a bridge in Alaska." You might think that after getting his fingers singed over the S&L debacle 20 YEARS AGO that McCain would've thought twice about the virtue of a banking industry unfettered by regulation, but you'd be wrong; there's no educating some fools.

All the ballyhoo about negative campaigning is, I'm afraid, par for what has become the course in national politics, so I'm glad McCain's getting his knuckles rapped for his more egregious out-and-out lies, but I don't really have a lot of confidence that it'll influence voters, although it should at least get the saner ones to concede that this guy's no maverick -- he slings mud and BS with the best.

It's hard for me to escape the conclusion that the fact that this race is as close as this is due to any other factor than race. Imagine the furor if the ledger columns were reversed on this account, and it was Obama's daughter who was pregnant, or Obama who attended 5 colleges in 6 years (or is it 6 colleges in 5 years ? It's so confusing...) Imagine that, in order to secure his left-wing base, Obama had selected Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich as his running mate. I can just see Sean Hannity's head exploding.