Daily Archives: January 13th, 2011

Sarah Palin stripped down

Sarah Palin considers 2012 Run for PresidentFirst things first, if you clicked on this post because of a certain something teased by the title: shame, shame, shame!

I am not a pundit or an especially keen observer of things political. I’m an entertainer. Even so, I still have my political feelings and leanings, and I can’t help, from time to time, to inject a bit of that into my blog offerings. At the end of the day, I’m only human.

In fact, politically speaking, I find myself on the short end of the stick the vast majority of the time. Apparently I like to be different from those around me. That decidedly makes me a poor choice for armchair editorializing.

Even so, I’ve been thinking a lot about the latest brouhaha about the reaction to the shooting in Arizona and Sarah Palin. It’s one of those things that I just can’t shake and I find it back on my mind again and again.

I admit, my first response to the shooting was reflexively visceral. I remembered Palin’s tweet about “reload” and how it directly referenced a Facebook post with bullseye symbols denoting candidates for office in the United States.

Never have I suspected a causal relationship between these facts, but I did think it was highly unfortunate that a person Palin had labeled with a bulleye icon had been shot. I remember thinking, “I sure wouldn’t want to be in Palin’s shoes.”

If it was me, being in that sort of circumstance would have left me feeling bad.

This is when I had an idea and decided to take another approach. Maybe it’s the part of me that takes a bit of pride in being unbiased and considers itself to be, at least on some level, a scientist. What if, I surmised, we chucked politics and identities out the window? I decided to strip things down, to deconstruct the situation and try to examine some basic facts.

What we have in this case is a person’s comments and symbols directed at another human being who ended up being shot. I submit that most people in that situation would feel bad about something like that. I know I would.

But how did Palin respond? With an eight-minute video that initially attempted to portray understanding and compassion but clearly switched gears to make the point that opinions about her were a “blood libel.”

Again, forget about the content of the “blood libel” thing. There are those who will take great umbrage to that on the content-level. That’s not pertinent to my point here.

I don’t think it should work like this. Understanding and compassion are fine, but how can you include the “blood libel” response in the same message? That effectively makes the whole video a me-oriented thing. It’s like including the word “but” in a compliment, statement, or apology.

“I’m sorry about what I did but …”

“I like your cooking but …”

“I feel for your loss but …”

“I love you but …”

What could possibly come next in these examples that won’t impact and minimize the tone of the initial statement? I read something about this recently, but alas I can’t remember the specifics or where I saw it. Basically it was about the falseness of statements that begin with an overt message and then subtly change tone in the middle. This results in the overall message not matching what was initially said.

In other words, at least with the persona she projects to the public, she doesn’t feel that bad. In fact, she takes a line in the sand approach and makes it about her. In that light, the portions of the video that pertain to understanding and compassion ring hollow.

This is a trend with Palin. Her approach is part “in your face” and part “never back down.” She takes pride in doing what others perceive as being “politically incorrect.” Then, if there happens to be any fallout, she ups the ante by taking a position that is basically the kindergarten equivalent of, “you push me, I’ll push you back.” That projects a certain image and makes it easier to forget who really pushed first.

Forget the specifics of what she actually said and try to look at her behaviors and overall patterns. To me this is what scares me about the possibility of Palin in the White House.

Infantile choices

Heaven road turn into clouds

This baby goes from joy to despair in six seconds

Some people think that you can choose your parents*. This morning, for some reason, I woke up thinking about this idea.

What would it really mean to make a choice like that?

And, if you could choose your parents, what else would you be choosing? How much information would you be given when making such a choice?

What might the process of this choosing look like?

Putting it into context (in other words, “me”) this is one possible imagining…

There I was floating in time and space. I didn’t know if it was heaven or hell. Maybe it was neither.

I was aware of my sense of self. I knew I was an incorporeal form.

Drifting, I ended up at a structure that looked like a car dealership. I made my way inside.

Before me there were choices. I sensed that these were all possible futures of me. Without knowing why, I realized it was important that I pick one. Somehow I knew it was time to leave this place and be moving on.

Each choice presented tantalizing partial glimpses. Even I knew that total awareness would have made the process of choosing completely irrelevant. What mystery would there be in that?

I could see different parents. Some looked nice, some not. Some choices presented wealth, others not.

Then, down at the end, almost hidden, I saw something that caught my eye. I turned to the salesperson who, previously unnoticed, was floating by my side. “What about that one?” I asked.

The salesperson’s aura flickered suddenly and brightly, flashing rapidly through amazing oranges and reds. What was it that had caused that reaction? “Oh, you don’t want that one,” it spoke to my inner thoughts. “That’s basically just there as a yin-yang kind of thing. Its purpose is to merely provide context for the other choices. It’s not meant to be a legitimate choice of its own.”

I was, of course, very intrigued. “Go on,” I emoted.

“You do not grok,” I heard in my mind. “That fate is not to be chosen. It is extremely flighty. Among it’s many problems, it has the ability to go from joy to despair in six seconds flat. Trust me, nobody wants that.”

“I’ll take it.”

And now you know the rest of the story behind how I ended up on this planet. I’ll be writing about The Pit of Joy and Despair in a future post soon. It’s from the owner’s manual for this model. Stay tuned!

* For proof, google the phrase “choosing your parents.” I was surprised by the number of hits.