Thoughts For the Thoughtless: Sarah Palin Edition.

Awesome review of Sarah Palin’s “book”:

Now we are faced with the daunting task of wrapping our minds around the Palin memoir Going Rogue, appearing atop a bestseller list near you. Millions of copies will be sold of a book written by someone who can’t write, intended for an audience that doesn’t read, about the thoughts of a person who doesn’t think. God is dead.

Mortal Combat II: English Language Strikes Back

As I noted before, Sarah Palin is clearly fighting a losing battle with English language – here’s the next installment – and I thought I had long sentences:

Well, Americans are caring about the problems in the economy of course And wanting to know what those long term solutions are that our ticket can provide and what the other ticket is proposing so when you talk though about what it is that we are proposing and what it is that Barack Obama is proposing again it is relevant to connect that association that he has with Ayers–not so much he as a person Ayers, but the whole situation and the truthfulness and the judgment there that you must question if again he’s not being forthright in all of his answers as to how did you know him, when did you know him, why would you continue to be associated with him!?

It reads as if she simply cannot stop once she unleashes a sentence. I am telling you, very soon she will just drop dead under the weight of all those words – go English language!

P.S. Yes, the above-quoted statement comes from a woman who is yet to have a public press conference…

Mortal Combat: Sarah Palin vs. English Language.

For all of you nerds and elitists out there – Diagramming Sarah (by Slate):

In a few short weeks, Sarah Palin has produced enough poppycock to keep parsers and diagrammers busy for a long time. In the end, though, out of her mass of verbiage in the Sean Hannity interview, Palin did manage to emit a perfectly lucid diagram-ready statement that sums up, albeit modestly, not the state of the economy that she was (more or less) talking about but the quality of her thinking:

Want more diagrammy things? Check this one out.

How To Lie Well: Palin Pity (Updated)

With all the Palin pity going around, especially on the conservative side, I would like to make a suggestion – Palin should not “be herself,” as some suggest, and try to wing it in the answers to the difficult questions, she should just take the whole process literally and honestly, i.e. respond what she really thinks, even if it is a simple “I dont’ know” – this way, at least according to the point that Žižek’s been emphasizing lately, she will be reacting to the system of journalistic interrogation literally, and will thus challenge the implicit rule of such an interrogation which is: Whether you know the answer or not, we want to see you try.  Now, you might ask, how exactly does this fill in the theme of “How To Lie Well” series? Let’s hear Žižek’s point first – this is from the small book on violence: Continue reading

How To Lie Well: Moral Superiority Trump Card.

Clearly politics and the upcoming elections are on my mind so hopefully we’re not going to lose that audience that daily comes to our blog in search of information about “colon” or is desperately looking for nude pictures of Karita Mattila (today’s popular search terms). Hearing all the talk about McCain’s lies on TV and in the blogosphere, my initial reaction was and continues to be the following: McCain’s lies are a problem because he does not understand the basic premise of lying that goes back to Plato’s Republic – it is better to lie and do whatever one pleases while appearing to tell the truth and being a generally decent human being. [Socrates, of course, attacks this premise and spends a long time trying to argue that it is profitable to live a decent life].  In other words, McCain needs to learn to lie well, i.e. lie like a real politician – if I were a voting member of the public with Republican sensibilities, I would not vote for McCain simply because he is a bad liar and therefore would make a horrible president. But don’t just trust me on this one, read this piece from The American Conservative: Continue reading

When Populism Meets Elitism (Updated)

I have to admit that I do not understand the current economic crisis in the US. I’m an educated adult with some knowledge of how economies work in capitalism, I think I understand what “stocks” are and what “brokers” do and where this magical place called “market” is – and I even know that this “market” is not the same as “farmer’s market” – but still I’m at loss at how whatever is taking place started and how it continues to take place and where exactly that place is. That’s why my first reaction is to ask experts or, at the very least, read something by experts, but I quickly recover from that temptation and remember that apparently I as a member of the general public want my leaders to be “one of the people” or “just like us” – so I listen to some of them only to discover a strange strange thing…

Now the bearded man called her “the leading expert” (arguably citing someone else) – where exactly is she leading? Is there a person out there who can explain to me exactly what she just said? Is it just me or everything she says sounds like those things you often find in students papers – a lot of words that sound right but don’t really add up to anything intelligible? Wait, maybe I’m thinking about Leo Lawlor’s recent book? Never you mind…

P.S. Ask her about Russia! Since her “expertise” on energy comes from the simple fact that Alaska has some crude oil, I’m sure she will have plenty to say about Russia since it’s so close…

UPDATE: Finally, someone explains the clip – I now may continue with my usual activities…

To Sarah Palin Lovers: Be Glad He Did Not Ask About “The Monroe Doctrine”

Everyone and their mother have expressed their opinions on the Palin interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson – everything from admiration and cautious support to outright glee at her stumbling around and showing how shallow her knowledge of… well, anything is. The part that seemed to bother some conservatives and gladden some liberals was the one about the Bush Doctrine – whether it was a fair question to ask or not, you decide, but I would like to point out that lovers of Palin should be glad Gibson was not asking about the Monroe Doctrine vis-a-vis the situation in Georgia – I bet my life she wouldn’t have been able to wiggle her way out of that one:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Monroe doctrine and how do you think it’s relevant in our interpretation of the Russia-Georgia conflict?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Monroe — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: Her worldview? Continue reading

Jacques-Alain Miller on Sarah Palin

From the Lacanian Ink website, here’s Jacques-Alain Miller (for what it’s worth) discussing Sarah Palin, castration and a new race of political women:

The choice of Sarah Palin is a sign of the times. In politics, the feminine enunciation is hence called to dominate. But be careful! It’s no longer about women who play elbows, modeling themselves on the men. We are entering an era of postfeminist women, women who, without bargaining, are ready to kill the political men. The transition was perfectly visible during Hillary’s campaign: she began playing the commander in chief and, since that didn’t work, what did she do? She sent a subliminal message, one that said something like: “Obama? He’s got nothing in the pants.” And she immediately took it back, but it was too late. Sarah Palin is not only picking up where she left off but, being younger by fifteen years, she is otherwise ferocious, slinging feminine sarcasm like a natural; she overtly castrates her male adversaries (and with such frank jubilation!) and their only recourse is to remain silent: they have no idea how to attack a woman who uses her femininity to ridicule them and reduce them to impotence. For the moment, a woman who plays the “castration” card is invincible. Continue reading

Elitism Is Bad (Unless, Of Course, It Is Good)

So all the talk about elitism and arugula (which I am yet to try) in the media, especially when it comes to a kind of dismissal of elitism from the supposedly non-elitist pundits, made me think about my own high appreciation of everything elitist: I mean, let’s face it, if everyone likes their coffee with a carefully mixed combination of soy milk, a touch of cinnamon, and a pinch of crushed roasted almonds waved in the close vicinity of a burning pink Japanese dogwood branches, then why would I go through the painful process of making my magic mix every morning? The very satisfaction of being an elitist is precisely this very being of an elitist – it’s not about the actual position of belonging to the elite of any kind, it is the attitude, we are told, of regarding others as not-so-worthy of our elitist level. This, of course, is suppose to make all of us educated elitists feel bad about our societal position and think twice before we decide to express our opinions and distribute our wisdom – “who do you think you are, elitist, to teach me about politics?” Yet it is difficult not to laugh and be all mean and unfairly intrusive when something like this comes out:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin attended five colleges in six years before graduating from the University of Idaho in 1987.

Federal privacy laws prohibit the schools from disclosing her grades, and none of the schools contacted by The Associated Press could say why she transferred. There was no indication any of them were contacted as part of the background investigation of Palin by presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign.

Ok, my first assumption is that she was not very serious about her education, Continue reading