Post-election, life feels strange. It lacks urgency, lacks tension. Part of me feels compelled to stake out bars near off-off-Broadway theaters to try to find some High Drama friends to help make up the difference.
Instead, I’m joining a Swarthmore alumni book group whose curriculum is set by a current prof. You know who could have been an alum but isn’t? Barack Obama. True story! This both adds value to my degree and subtracts value from it, since I *was* accepted, but who could care about having been chosen by a place with such poor taste?
It does allow me to picture an alternate universe in which Obama is a Swattie, though. He graduates, as my friend Rebecca E. put it, full of “relentless criticism and liberal despair.” He spends a summer working at an alternative camp for disadvantaged city children; this inspires him to join Teach for America, where he meets a cute fellow teacher, a Peruvian-American anarchist. They get married in West Philly, where they set up house and grow food in an urban garden. Every once in a while Barack feels a disembodied itch to be doing something more significant with his life, for which his wife chides him and then asks him to remember to stir the compost.
Of course, he still has holes in the bottoms of his shoes.
Speaking of High Drama types, poor Sarah Palin. Yeah, that’s right. I have now argued with one brother and two parents about this, and I’ll argue with you too if necessary. (At least Flea agrees with me.) Flinging anonymous shit at a person is WRONG, no matter how stupid and possibly evil that person is. Maybe it’s true that Our Sarah didn’t know what countries were in NAFTA or that Africa was a continent. Our President has a pretty iffy track record himself.
As I see it, McCain’s people paired an ambitious, attractive, charismatic woman with an old man to draw audiences, using her the same way Winona Ryder, ScarJo, and Catherine Zeta-Jones have been used (mostly with the same meager results). They spruced her up to get her camera-ready and fed her already healthy ego by putting her in front of adoring crowds while keeping bad news — and the press — far from her.
When their plan backfired, thanks in no small part to Katie Couric and Tina Fey, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to return her to Alaska and thank her for her service, not leak blind, spiteful quotes to a Fox news reporter. “Jerks” is a kind word for what these staffers are; they should dream of being hanged by their tongues and wake up screaming. Not that I wish them any harm.