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Wednesday, 21 April 2010


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The Modesto Kid

The sentence that starts out "Not that I think..." is epic.

John Emerson

You probably haven't read Gertrude Stein. In all seriousness, look her up.

The Canadians who paid $200 for that were not poor, and they were probably a nasty lot.


Actually, it's about $180K, unless you're referring to her fee specifically. But I think Scott meant 'poor' in the sense of unwitting victims of a crime against civilization.

My favorite section was where she's trying to make connections with Canadians over accent and lower 48 ignorance anecdotes and wartime panic highway construction... "With wildlife and resources and again with that work ethic and that pioneering spirit that just flows through Canada, that’s my state too, that’s Alaska. ... I feel right at home here with you all, I think we share a lot with that accent."

But the whole performance really has to be taken in context to be understood. It's a collage of elements picked up in her rise to Governor, the pregnancies, the VP run, the post-election scandals and resignation, the palm-writing incident -- and that says everything to me, that she's still flogging that hand-note schtick as though it were actually funny, as though she'd scored points somehow instead of embarassed herself and her party (R or T, whatever). That speech is the sum total of her experience, politically and personally, without editing or organization (I defy anyone to outline that monstrosity!) except that she is at the center, that she has never been wrong, and that her place in the world is in service to a greater good. Which is why she's not going away.


I blame the volcano for my math.

P.T. Smith

Oh my. SEK, I thought that whole bit was your version of her speech. I was annoyed. I was thinking: Okay, SEK, we get it, she talks in incoherencies, yeah. This joke has been done, please write about something more interesting, I like you, but I'm growing weary.

But then because it is sllloowww at the office today, I clicked through the link to the actual transcript: Hey, Scott's being wicked lazy, he hardly reworked this at all. Wait. Waiiiiit. Aw jesus.


P.T., when you've built up my tolerance and go without for a day or two, you need the strong stuff to get you, er, high or something.


I was briefly in P.T.'s boat. But then I remembered that SEK's versions typically make some kind of sense.


Stream of unconsciousness?


She was just quoting from Ancient Greek, which, as we all know, lacks and then incomplete, sentencing: "And again, as Plato said, I just want to remind you to be nice to one another, and remembering that everyone fighting the battle, some played out publicly, some are not, everyone though going through some tough times once in a while, so be merciful and forgiving and generous and then you will be blessed in return."

Adam Roberts

You totally deserve to get your pants back for this.


What blows me away is the moment when she tells the crowd that she looked out of her hotel window at the Hamilton city-scape and declared it "God's Country"? Have any of you seen Hamilton? It's one of Canada's most industrial cities.


"God's Country" doesn't mean 'pretty scenery'; it means "God Has Spoken And Your Land Will Be Part Of My Holy Empire Or Be Damned"

P.T. Smith

What's really, really odd about her abuse of language is that so much of it sounds not just like someone who has a poor grasp of English, but a poor grasp of English because it is their second language. I'm not even making fun, it's true and very, very odd. SEK, you've worked with students writing in English as their second language, right? In college I lived with kids studying abroad and saw a similar style, and now I edit things occasionally written by someone who doesn't have English as their first language, and I've seen these mistakes.

Am I making this up? It's really amusing as all hell.


I don't share the myriad of prejudices (class, gender, educational, regional) that inform your understanding of this woman. So, qua persuasion, it might be interesting if we had something to compare this with.

P.T. Smith

Fritz, Do you mean whole, complete sentences? My only prejudice against Palin is intelligence, not educational.

Rich Puchalsky

"a poor grasp of English because it is their second language"

She's a Russian KGB sleeper agent. Well-known fact.

She's a Russian KGB sleeper agent. Well-known fact.

It should be noted that Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell never had any trouble with his English.


Fritz, pray, how does "class prejudice" inform our contempt for Palin? Palin grew up middle class and is currently rich as all hell.


Sure, Fritz, let's compare an off-the-cuff non-soundbite answer to a complex, nearly unanswerable question with a prepared (or at least, scheduled) speech on anything and everything consisting of ungrammatical catchphrases and content-free homiletics. The only thing Obama did wrong was actually try say something interesting on a question most politicians would wave off with a dismissive cliche. Palin's speech is nothing but dismissive cliches, some of which weren't even cliches before Palin started perpetrating them.


@Tomemos -- as I recall, several people on the Web looked at Palin's speech mannerisms, accent, reproductive success, and dress sense and concluded that she was the worst of trailer trash.

I think that's what Fritz is basing his opinion of our opinion of Palin on, that if one person on the web holds opinion A and opinion B, then (contrary to all known experience) everyone else on the web who agrees with A must also agree with B.

Perhaps I am over thinking this. Sorry if I just laid down a lecture on you.

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