More shiny objects.

It’s time for another edition of Short Attention Span Theater:

In honor of “unfriend” being christened a word by the New Oxford Dictionary, I decided to do some. My Facebook is becoming ridiculous, not only a time suck but a ceaseless update on the lives of people I wouldn’t recognize with a gun to my head. In a few cases, they’re people I’d recognize, but cross the street to avoid.

And so (cracking knuckles): The guy who posted video of Red Skelton doing his pledge of allegiance routine? Buh-bye. The alter ego of one of my old writing-group buddies? Probably outta there, although her regular self stays; she’s doing some anonymous-blogging thing, but jeez, do I have to keep up with non-existent Facebookers, too? Probably gone. Dunno this person, but her status updates are funny, so she stays. And then my mind wandered, and I gave up that project. Net friend reduction: Two, one a non-existent person in the first place. The internet has destroyed my attention span.

I’ll do anything to avoid reading one more thing about S- – – – P- – – -, but every so often something squeaks past my P- – – -Filter that I’m not sorry about. This brief passage quoted by the guys at LGM, for instance:

When Gerald Ford took over, I knew who he was because I remembered reading about him and seeing him a picture in a scholastic magazine. He’d been America’s vice president then, sitting parade-style atop the backseat of a convertible, waving at the crowd. Now he was our president!

Note the exclamation point. (I’m assuming that “him a picture” part is the blogger’s transcription error.) When I’m editing our student reporters, I sometimes find myself on a search-and-destroy mission for exclamation points, and my stock line is to save them for the next time you are eyewitness to a Hindenburg explosion, and even then, hold your fire and let the facts speak for themselves. You hardly ever need exclamation points in mundane copy, and to use one to punch home the fact that a man who was once vice president is now president…well, let’s just say that’s a punctuation tool the rest of us get to use about you, Mrs. P:

I can’t believe a three-time cancer survivor in his 70s would choose this nitwit for a running mate; it’s not hard to imagine a scenario that could make her president!

Sometimes, even facts that speak for themselves need a certain boost. Sometimes they need a boost and afterburners:

…it’s not hard to imagine a scenario that could make HER president!!!!!

If a student turned in a story with that passage in it, I’d underline it and scrawl “word, dude” in the margin.

It is, of course, pathetic when a person older than 30 uses the word dude. Far from fading away, dude is now unisex; Kate and her friends call one another dude. When I was at the University of Michigan in 2003, I nearly blanched when a girl in my screenwriting class, a sweet-faced cherub with the sort of complexion S- – – – P- – – – would call peaches and cream, casually discussed what a pain her film-history professor was. Direct quote: “So I’m all like, ‘dude, quit jumping on my nuts. I’ll finish the paper.'” She was headed for Hollywood after graduation; I’m sure she fit right in.

Speaking of yawning gaps between the generations, the other day I was using a yardstick. Kate said, “Hand me the meter stick.” What are they teaching you at that communist school, I wondered. “It’s a yardstick,” I protested. “What’s the difference?” Kate replied. What’s the difference? I can’t believe this girl is the daughter of Mr. Measure 10,000 Times, Cut Once.

Roughly three inches, if you’re taking notes.

Jeez, what a train wreck. Next time, people. Until then, tip your waitresses, but feel free to stiff me.

Posted at 11:18 am in Same ol' same ol' |

78 responses to “More shiny objects.”

  1. moe99 said on November 18, 2009 at 11:25 am

    After your last comment in the prior thread, I went to amazon to try to find out where her book was ranked. Could not find that information, but was nonplussed to read that the average review was 4 stars. Huh?

    ps. loved this review:

    270 chars

  2. Carolyn said on November 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Nance, I laughed out loud at the nuts outburst and hadn’t caught my breath when I stumbled into Katie with the meter stick.
    Good luck stamping out exclamation points! Your arguments are well-taken, but the older I get, the more I use them!

    240 chars

  3. Jolene said on November 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Palin’s book is #1 at Amazon. You have to scroll down to the “Product Details” to find that info. As to the ratings, I don’t think we should assume they come from a random sample of the citizenry–or even that the reviewers have read the book.

    245 chars

  4. Dorothy said on November 18, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I did the “unfriend” thing a few weeks ago. A light bulb went over my head when I realized the solution to my irritation was as easy as ditching the people I was weary of. (On a side note this does NOT apply to you, Ms. Nall. I just figured that reading this every day was sufficient and I didn’t really need to be Facebook friends with you. And I did that a l-o-n-g time ago. Don’t take it personally!)

    A guy who went to high school with my sister friended me. I even replied back to him “Didn’t I go to school with your brother John?” and he said yeah. So I approved the friend request, so as not to look unfriendly, then thought “WTF?!”. He’s history. Some of the youngsters I met doing theater with friended me, but it was their whiny, needy remarks that made me want to scream so they’re gone now, too. This morning Facebook actually had a little reminder on the right side of my screen about my husband: You haven’t connected with him on Facebook recently. That one really left me shaking my head. I wanted to yell: HE SLEEPS BESIDE ME, YOU CLUELESS IDIOTS!!

    1077 chars

  5. Peter said on November 18, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Dude, that nuts statement is a keeper.

    Nancy, I have to disagree with your dude meter – if nothing else, The Big Lebowski made dude acceptable for slackers of any age.

    and as for S— P— an article in Slate lumper her in with Dan Quayle, and it hit me – she’s Quayle v 2.0; cuter, dumber, and more dangerous!

    316 chars

  6. LAMary said on November 18, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    “…and as for S— P— an arti­cle in Slate lumper her in with Dan Quayle, and it hit me — she’s Quayle v 2.0; cuter, dumber, and more dangerous!”

    And she has tits.

    178 chars

  7. ROgirl said on November 18, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    The “conventional wisdom” is that S-P-‘s book will rally her supporters to greater fervor, but it won’t win over any converts. She’s burning a lot of bridges with the Republican party at this point, so if she does still harbor aspirations for the presidency, maybe she’ll run as a 3rd party candidate.

    301 chars

  8. Jolene said on November 18, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Are people notified when they are unfriended? The privacy settings info says that “unfriendings” don’t appear on anyone’s wall, but is the person notified?

    Note that you can effectively get rid of people w/o unfriending them by simply hiding their posts. Most of the people I’ve hidden were people who thought I wanted to know what games they were playing. In some cases, you can hide anything related to the game, but, in other cases, I hid the person completely.

    470 chars

  9. Julie Robinson said on November 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Your title should be: MORE Shiny Objects!!!!!

    45 chars

  10. john c said on November 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    The “dude” reference put me in mind of a song. “Comfort Eagle” by Cake. It’s one of those songs I can relate to because I have a very vivid image of what it is about, even though I know that image is made up in my mind and may not be what the song is about in the least. It’s sort of a nightmare-rant, with churning music. I see it as the panic attack of a person whose world is spinning out of control, mainly because the bosses and other significant people who used to be reliably a generation older, are now suddenly … younger. (Can you see how I might be projecting?) Anyway, what passes for the chorus is the phrase: “He is calling you DUDE!”
    Sample lyrics:
    “Resistence is useless.
    It is useless to resist.
    His cigarette is burning
    but he never seems to ash.
    He is grooming his poodle.
    He is living Comfort Eagle.
    You can meet at his location
    but you better come with cash.
    Now his hat is on backwards.
    He can show you his tatoo.
    He is in the music business.
    He is calling you DUDE”

    Great song.

    Then there’s the Big Lebowski, of course. It gets better every time I see it … “Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude. At least it’s an ethos.”

    1191 chars

  11. coozledad said on November 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I’ve visited my Facebook page once in the past couple of years. I forget why I got one, and especially why I signed up as Pamela Rogers.
    There’s a recent Achewood comic that describes(and this is a shoddy recollection)Facebook as a high school reunion that never goes away. I made the error of looking up an old classmate the other day, to see if he was the same guy dicking the Republicans out of a seat in NY-23. He wasn’t, but there were links to other people I vaguely remembered, so I checked them out.
    How many women who are washboard thin their senior year in high school sprout boobs in late adulthood? Why are the people who seemed so aloof and rebellious so damned needy now?
    At least the one chunky guy in my drama class who was in denial about his sexuality has a splendid picture of him in full tinkerbell drag with a wand and a rainbow tiara. You tell em, Carl!

    878 chars

  12. Jolene said on November 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    A couple of follow-ups on our conversations earlier this week. First, a carefully reasoned, clearly stated response by Ruth Marcus to an earlier attack on the idea of trying KSM and others in NY by the unctuous, self-righteous, loathesome Michael Gerson.

    Second, The Atlantic has a post re side dishes for Thanksgiving. I thought the Spiced Winter Squash Puree with Roasted Garlic sounded particularly good.

    658 chars

  13. Steph said on November 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Hey! You defriended Daisy Zipkin! How could you?! No, I’m just kidding. That facebook profile and anonymous blog project lasted about a day and then I lost interest. I should probably delete her profile altogether.

    214 chars

  14. jeff borden said on November 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Maybe “dude” is simply replacing “guys” or “man,” which were unisex terms in the ancient days of my college education. Of course, we had to dodge velociraptors on the way to English when I was in school, so what do I know?

    I remain both sick of and fascinated by S—- P—-. She represents so very much of what is wrong with this nation –last night on Hannity she said she’d have “no problem” profiling American Muslims– with her proud ignorance, her reliance on gut instincts, her casual bias against those who don’t share her views, her simplistic view of the world and the way it works. Yet I’m captivated by how strong a hold she has on the intellecutal wing of American conservatism.

    This leaves me wondering how it is that Harvard-educated men like William Kristol, who clearly has forgotten more knowledge than S—- P—- ever learned, find her compelling. Are they so cynical they see in her an avatar they can use to whip up the rubes for their own dark purposes? And empty vessel they can fill with their ideas and rhetoric? Or are they self-loathing intellectuals who think it is wise to defer to a loon?

    Whatever happens with the Obama Administration, and as a liberal I’m not a very happy camper, I truly thank the stars that McCain and Palin are not the president and vice president. However bad things are now, how much worse would they be with them at the helm? For starters, we’d probably be at war with Iran right now while his administration tried to figure out how to save Paris Hilton and other trust fund babies more money through tax cuts.

    1575 chars

  15. brian stouder said on November 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    “…and as for S— P— an arti­cle in Slate lumped her in with Dan Quayle, and it hit me  —  she’s Quayle v 2.0; cuter, dumber, and more dangerous!”

    And she has tits.

    Still laughing! I vote for Mary as the Queen of the thread! (I know, I know – too many exclamation points. Ease up, DUDE!!) (Too many parenthetical remarks, too, but for the record, our 14 year old adopted the word “dude” as an all-purpose exclamation. For example, I tell him to turn the TV down and/or clean his room and/or go outside and get some air – or any other thing that he wishes to object to, and he will loudly say “DUDE!” – followed by whatever his defense brief is. Or – he sees something mildly amazing, as we’re driving to grandma’s [or wherever] and he softly says “Duuuude”)

    802 chars

  16. moe99 said on November 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    fun stuff from Sweden. Actually not the full monty, if you get my drift….

    148 chars

  17. Sue said on November 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    john c, Comfort Eagle is one of my favorite albums, ever. Just a great mix of songs. I love the way they yell “Dude!” in Comfort Eagle, instead of actually singing it. Personally, I would love to be the dude-ess on ‘Short Skirt/Long Jacket’, but that was never meant to be, even on my very best days. Ever.

    310 chars

  18. Peter said on November 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Now Sue, would you trade in your car for a white Chrysler LeBaron?

    LA Mary, I should amend my statement to say that Quayle 2.0 has bigger tits – for all we know, Dan might have man boobs by now.

    197 chars

  19. beb said on November 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I avoided the friend/unfriend issue by not joining facebook. I’m not a people person.

    85 chars

  20. Sue said on November 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    That’s exactly what I mean, Peter. When I was young enough to qualify for those lyrics, I drove a GREMLIN.

    107 chars

  21. 4dbirds said on November 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I unfriended a cousin who was a God botherer. I think by doing so I was too obvious and therefore mean. She is family. Now I just hide anyone who feels the need to share their religious mental illness with me.

    212 chars

  22. mark said on November 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Palin’s book will sell a lot of copies for a few weeks and make her and her publisher a lot of money. Most of the purchased copies will go unread and not because those buying can’t read. There isn’t much worth reading inside, unless you care how Sarah met Todd. Ann Coulter offers more substance, which is pretty damning.

    Buying the book makes a statement. It may be more of a gutteral scream than a precise declarative, but a statement nonethess. I’ll admit to getting a little enjoyment from the angst she causes to so many by her failure to act as though she is justly humiliated.

    Speaking only as one conservative, I think Palin is very valuable as a rock against which waves and waves of progressive outrage can break harmlessly. She causes progressives/liberals to show a remarkable amount of ugliness and that is generally helpful. The Newsweek people may think they were being subtle in their message with the Runner’s World photo on the cover, but they weren’t. It will cost them a few more subscribers.

    Americans are generally nice people, who wish good things even for those with whom they disagree on government programs or gun control. When you take the knives to SP excessively, the statement you send is an ugly one.

    1250 chars

  23. Lex said on November 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    One of the only useful insights I’ve ever taken from any beer commercial, ever, other than that Sam Adams was now available in North Carolina, was the idea that the single word “dude” can, depending upon inflection and upon what prompts use of the word, be used to convey almost any fact, concept or emotion the speaker wishes.

    Next step: Figuring out a way to make money off this insight.

    Third step: Seeing “The Big Lebowski.” I’m probably the only person my age who has never seen it.

    493 chars

  24. alex said on November 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I’m afraid I’m going to be unfriended by all the people who keep bugging me to join Facebook despite my protests that I don’t need another time waster in my life.

    So is it uncool if you’re over thirty to say “beeyotch”? Will people jump on my nuts if I do?

    260 chars

  25. kayak woman said on November 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm


    Border’s (Ann Arbor) a few weeks ago… Two young men rumbled by the table I was sitting at apparently playing football with a book. First young man: “Dude! I’ve only been a manager here for like a week.” Second young man: “Dude! Me too.”

    It was funny but it was also frustrating given that my highly articulate 22-year-old college graduate has been trying for six months to find a job – just about any job besides cleaning toilets. This is a young woman who has probably never said “Dude” in her life and has been correcting my grammar since she was about four years old. Not that my grammar is terrible but I do sometimes intentionally slide into 1960s Sault Ste. Siberia street kid language just for the heck of it. “I ain’t got none.” Etc.

    I know all about how bad the job market is but I couldn’t help thinking, “how the heck did those guys get hired?” Grrr.

    909 chars

  26. mark said on November 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm


    How about a package of 25 cell phone ring tones using only the word “dude”, with different inflection/tone conveying everything from “you’re gonna get laid” to “yes, there is a warrant out”?

    198 chars

  27. Jolene said on November 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Lex, I haven’t seen “The Big Lebowski” either. Perhaps we should make a date to do it.

    moe, your Swedes are hilarious . . . and cute.

    139 chars

  28. Lex said on November 18, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    As for SP, I’m not sure it’s possible, Mark, to take the knives (figurative) to her excessively. I’ve been a registered voter — yea, verily, a registered Red State Republican — for more than 30 years, and the level of anger I have developed at the contempt shown for me by BOTH parties as gauged by the craven stupidity and psychological defects of the candidates they foist upon me passed toxic in about 1988.

    The solution to this is not fewer knives, but more. Maybe if we tear every such flawed candidate to shreds like a rabid badger would a paralyzed naked mole rat, the parties will wake up and stop foisting such grossly defective merchandise on us.

    Or maybe not.

    I can’t do much. I’m one guy with a vote, a blog and a bad attitude. But one thing I can do is refuse to, in Warren Zevon’s deathless phrase, sit on my ass and nod at stupid things. Nah. Guh. Do it. And SP is second only to GWB in terms of the stupid things at which I have been asked to nod in the past three decades. She’s getting a cool $7M for this experience and she’s WHINING about it? She needs to take her $7M and STFU.

    All that said, the ringtone idea? Genius. I’m a former deejay and I’ve got audio editing capability. I’m gonna get right on this. 50% split OK w/you?

    1262 chars

  29. LAMary said on November 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t take a knife to Sarah Palin. I try to ignore her which is what I think she deserves. I think she was a cynical choice for McCain, chosen in an attempt to lure Clinton supporters, and she turned out to be something other than what they were expecting. I won’t be buying her book, but I don’t buy more books than I do buy. I just bought a bunch of cookbooks and a Philip Roth book. I’m good for a while.

    409 chars

  30. mark said on November 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm


    Different strokes for different folks. Glad you mentioned your blog. I just made a pass over there and will go back to browse later. Looks like we are angry about a few of the same things.

    On the ring tone, 10% would be more than fair. You did the heavy lifting.

    277 chars

  31. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2009 at 2:34 pm


    I disagree. She whose name cannot be said deserves every single whack and then some. And since the vast majority of Americans do not like her and think she is unqualified for national office, it’s not exactly going to create a tsunami of backlash to point out how very mediocre she truly is.

    When a calculating demagogue looking to make a quick buck –which is all that S—- P—- ever was or ever will be– lies about a candidate “palling around with terrorists,” exhorts the crowds she draws with eliminationist rhetoric, labels only those who agree with her simple-minded empty rhetoric as “real Americans” and lies about things large and as easily as you breathe, she’s made herself a target rich environment.

    BTW, I think the Newsweek cover is awful. She does not deserve to be called nasty, sexist names by those who oppose her. Her family should be largely off limits unless she uses them as campaign props, which alters the rules. But calling her on her frequent lies is hardly picking on this avatar of average.

    1037 chars

  32. Julie Robinson said on November 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Even I’ve seen The Big Lebowski. It’s refreshing to know there are two people who live more out of the mainstream than me. Speaking of which, I gave the Ramones ten songs, but couldn’t make it to 11. Loud electric guitars doesn’t do it for me. If I need angry music, there are any number of Russian composers to turn to. I promise not to push Stravinsky on anyone else, though.

    380 chars

  33. Scout said on November 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Nancy, I’m just relieved you got bored with the purge before you got to the J’s. Because even though you wouldn’t know me if you tripped and fell over me, I do enjoy your FB postings and would miss them.

    (aka crazy old cat lady who uses the name of her favorite feline as her comment moniker here)

    310 chars

  34. ROgirl said on November 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    The Dude abides.

    48 chars

  35. adrianne said on November 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    My only unfriending (I think the FB guy is arguing that it should really be defriending) was two people – smug Republican uber-Catholic moms I went to high school with who posted some unforgivable s$$##t about Ted Kennedy. It was highly satisfying to hit the defriend button on these jerks.

    290 chars

  36. Mindy said on November 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I wish that Sarah Palin would sign her book in a different grocery store instead of the one where I shop. Thursday is my usual day to gather groceries, but not tomorrow. Perhaps she’ll be parked in the produce department with the other fruits. This morning I heard that she’s signing her book in the mystery section of Barnes & Noble in Grand Rapids, also a good place for her.

    384 chars

  37. Dorothy said on November 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Awwww now Scout has me feeling all guilty about no longer having Nance as a Facebook friend. I feel like I’m missing something important…

    My daughter went to a Lebowski fest in LA 4 years ago and had a blast. She said the place exploded when inside this theater where they all were (and not expecting this person to appear), the curtain parted and there on a chair with a guitar was Jeff Bridges, The Dude himself. Here she is talking with the guy who played The Big Lebowski:

    539 chars

  38. Jean S said on November 18, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I had to hide a couple of people on FB, too. Haven’t pitched them overboard yet, but that might be in their future.

    As for S–P–, David Brooks is right: She’s a talk-show host!


    187 chars

  39. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm


    Ed Schultz said on his show earlier today that 1,500 people were standing in line to see S—- P—-. The Queen of Moose Chili will need to sign a book every 15 seconds to satisfy the demand during her three-hour visit.

    A caller from Ann Arbor was breaking bad on Grand Rapids, but I paid no attention because I know plenty of cool people live in the G.R. area, to.

    378 chars

  40. Jim said on November 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Jeff, she can do it if she’s talented — and practiced. I once watched Suze Orman sign several hundred books at the rate of one about every three seconds. Amazing.

    165 chars

  41. Sue said on November 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I thought people went to book signings to get a little face time with an author they admired, even if it’s just a “Thank you” or something. One every three seconds? What’s the point? Do the people standing in line know they won’t be able to actually talk to Sarah?

    267 chars

  42. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm


    Most of them just want to bask in her aura, lol. It’s the closest they’ll ever get to a photogenic demagogue. Me? I’m waiting for the release of Salon’s book: “Going Rouge: An American Nightmare,” but I have no interest in an autographed copy

    250 chars

  43. Dexter said on November 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Long ago I had just returned from Vietnam, was in my hometown talking to a friend who also had just returned to civilian ways and we were catching up a bit. He said “(Dexter) , when I was in Newburgh, New York finishing up my army time, the guys would say “we’re goin’ into town for a piece of cock, wanna come?”
    He said it took him a while to realize they were talking about going after sex with women.
    He asked me if I had heard that in my army travels. Yes I had. Being stationed near Monterey for almost a year, I had friends in groups of white guys from SoCal and Mexican Americans from LA. Only the white guys from the San Fernando Valley area ever used that term around me, anyway. Going out for a piece of cock.
    I am glad it never really stuck. Very strange. …..!
    Well, hell, we have several folks from Cali here…anybody else ever hear it?

    865 chars

  44. Sue said on November 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Dexter, pardon me for being crude – really – but it’s the “wanna come” part that strikes me as strange.

    103 chars

  45. Lex said on November 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    OK, y’all have convinced me that tonight I have to head to and edumacate myself about Lebowski.

    113 chars

  46. paddyo' said on November 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Hey, Duderinos —
    Nice marmot.

    Oh, yeah, about Facebook: No, you don’t get an “I’ve-unfriended-you!!!!!” message from Facebook. You just … disappear, sort of like Dubcek (except for his foot) in one of those photos doctored by the Soviets after Prague Spring …

    271 chars

  47. Joe Kobiela said on November 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    You people just amaze me.
    Here is a person that has no governing rights, can make no national policy, can set no rules, or make any laws. Yet you have just spent the better part of 2-days discussing how terrible a person she is, and none of you have read or will read her book. I think the problem with most Liberal is she has become what the Liberals have been preaching about for years. She is a successful good looking woman with kids. She has it all with just one problem. She is not one of us. She is going to be interviewed by Bill O Thur, Fri, and Mon. I dare you to watch with a open mind. Bill did, what I thought was the most fair interview with Obama that I saw, I don’t like the way Mr Obama is running the country, but I watched the interview with a open mind. I challenge you all to do the same with Mrs Palin.
    Pilot Joe

    837 chars

  48. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm


    You know I like you, man, but no. I will not read her book. I will not listen to her on O’Reilly or Hannity or Limbaugh, just as I have not listened to her on Oprah or Good Morning, America. She has nothing to say, no matter how closely you listen.

    So far, there are 33 confirmed fallacies –outright lies– in her “book.” Some of them come from e-mails furnished by the McCain campaign, which contradict her account of the 2008 campaign. Some come from the Anchorage Daily News, which has covered her for years. Some come from La Palin herself, where anecdotes related in her book do not jibe with interviews she has given on tape.

    She IS a terrible person, Joe, because she is a hack, a demagogue, a liar, someone who appeals to the very worst natures in all of us. And I’m glad you mentioned her looks because, let’s face it, if she looked like Sen. Barbara Mikulski, say, you would never have heard her name.

    Let her make her money. Let her have her fame. Let her be the political equivalent of Kim Kardashian. It’s a free country and it has made her a multi-millionaire. Bless her heart. I certainly wish I could find a similar path to such riches.

    But let us please stop pretending that this is someone who policy ideas to share with a grateful public. “Drill, baby, drill” is as deep as she gets, baby.

    1329 chars

  49. Jean S said on November 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Not that there’s anything wrong with Mikulski, of course.

    57 chars

  50. alex said on November 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Pilot Joe, no doubt you’ve never sucked another dude’s cock. How can you knock it without trying it? Where’s your open mind? Conservatives have spent the better part of my lifetime knocking it, including many who’ve been busted for doing it. You people amaze me.

    263 chars

  51. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Jean S

    I meant no disrespect because Sen. Mikulski kicks butt. My point is that she who must not be named has gotten a lot of mileage out of her telegenic qualities. Had John McCain been serious about wanting a woman to share the ticket, there were any number of accomplished Republican women who would have fit the bill. For example, while I do not like the politics of Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, she has been in the Senate for many years and has a record of accomplishments. Or what about Olympia Snowe of Maine? Hell, what about Condoleeza Rice? I hated what she did during her years under the wee man from Crawford, but she is a woman of real accomplishment whose life story is far more compelling than she who must not be named.

    We know Alaska, mmm, excuse me, Leska was not going to be delivering a boatload of electoral votes, so what was the lure? Yes, S—- P—- was the darling of the neoconservative elites led by William Kristol and she had credibility with the Christianists, but her looks were certainly part of the equation. A candidate who looked like your doddering old Uncle Phil paired with an extremely attractive younger woman was a compelling photo op.

    I cannot be the only one who remembers the T-shirts on the campaign trail reading: “The hottest governor from the coldest state.” I don’t believe those shirts were referencing her towering intellect. Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, went so far as to describe feeling “starbursts” when she winked during the vice-presidential debates.

    Her looks were part and parcel of the deal. Now, of course, she is crying sexism –a legitimate charge in my opinion– over Newsweek using a Runner’s World photo of her in short shorts. She has a point and I accept it. But her attractiveness is a critical component to her public appeal. . .always has been, always will be.

    1862 chars

  52. Jean S said on November 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    ack, Jeff, I’m with you 100%. I was razzing you a little & it didn’t translate….

    or should I say, !!

    109 chars

  53. brian stouder said on November 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Well, as Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam say in one of their “Lost Dog”* songs called Drifting:

    The suitcoats say, “There is money to be made.”
    They get so damn excited, but I guess it’s their way.
    My road it may be lonely just because it’s not paved.
    It’s good for drifting, drifting away.

    Cable news and tabloids and weekly magazines have pretty much dedicated the past week to last year’s political/pop culch ‘American Idol’ winner – to the point that it’s like one huge (dis)infomerical for the former governor and the book she endorsed (not to say “wrote”) – and why? Why would the ‘real’ print and electronic press do this?

    “There’s money to be made”, indeed, and I don’t blame any of the players.

    And indeed – if Nate Silver believes that this person has a serious chance to win the GOP nomination in 2012, it strikes me as foolish to dismiss the possibility out of hand.

    I read some pundit making the point that her present status as a genuine (and genuinely aggrieved) political ‘outsider’, coupled with the anti-incumbent impulse that our nation now has, is a pretty powerful asset – especially when coupled with her ability to draw a crowd.

    All I can promise is – if lightening strikes and she becomes president, I will never, ever sound anything like the Obama-haters and racists and gun-nuts and Beck-heads currently sound. (‘course, that means I’ll probably have to “drift away” and remain stone-silent, but that’s OK, too)

    *a genuinely wonderful Pearl Jam album, containing a collection of songs that just didn’t fit in with any of their other albums over the years. Also on there is their superb cover of Last Kiss, which is worth the price of the cd right there. (Eddie wryly remarked that they seem to do best when they sing about dead teenagers – referring to their huge success with Last Kiss and with Jeremy)

    1855 chars

  54. LAMary said on November 18, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Bush I said he had considered Quayle’s looks and his appeal to the ladies when he chose him for a running mate. Whatsermukluks shares that honor. Women were supposed to vote for her because she was a woman and men were supposed to vote for her because she was hot. I am very glad she didn’t win. She is an uninformed, intellectually uncurious person who is very sure of her uninformed opinions. I don’t think that the country should be run by someone like that no matter what party or leaning they represent.

    508 chars

  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    My, my. Spend a day inside a CT scanner and come out to find everyone here just fascinated by Sally Politzski, or whomever. I have good news, which is that they cannot say they checked the inside of my head and found nothing [rimshot!], and the bad news waits until next Tuesday . . . i love modern medicine. (No exclamation point.)

    What’s really fascinating, and that the S____ P____ stuff is nice avoidance of, is the David Plouffe interview i watched this am in the waiting room, where he edges around just how seriously they did or did not consider an offer from John Edwards earlier in the primary roundelay.

    Given a choice between S____ P____ and J___ E______, i’ve got no qualms. Whatshermukluks makes me less uneasy any day, and not because she’s as easy on the eyes as Silky Pony . . . hey, wait: S____ P___ is almost the same as S____ P____. Has anyone seen the two of them in the same place? Coincidence? I don’t THINK so.

    941 chars

  56. alex said on November 18, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Amen, hallelujah, LA Mary! Actually, Bush I took quite a ribbing for thinking the American electorate was so stupid we’d buy the hype. Remember, we had to be told Quayle was hot with the ladies and hip with the young. It wouldn’t otherwise have occurred to the ladies or the young, let alone the media or you or me. S____ P____, on the other hand, comes by her fans naturally. She knows how to sling it to the disaffected by acting the part. Dapper Dan and his yeomanlike job of uttering right-wing platitudes about knocked-up sitcom characters just isn’t as seductive as S____ P____’s church lady/sex kitten schtick. And a knocked-up daughter to help drive home the message of abstinence only. Silky Pony indeed.

    713 chars

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 18, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Methinks Levi is doing a fine job of selling the merits of abstinence . . .

    75 chars

  58. brian stouder said on November 18, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    By the way, what is the term they use for women of a certain age, who exhibit and possess an unapologetic and robust sexuality?

    Oh yeah – ‘cougar’

    an excerpt:

    While eastbound on U.S. 24 at Lake Cicott last week, Joy Harrison of White County saw what she believes was a cougar — something that has not been known to live in this area in more than 150 years. “I know it was a cougar,” she said. “It wasn’t a deer, and it wasn’t a dog, and it wasn’t a coyote.”

    Note: this is within easy walking distance of where Pam’s mom and dad’s farm is; that is to say, where we shall be over Thanksgiving. But – it does give rise (so to speak) for some Christmas gift ideas for grandma!

    One last excerpt, from a guy in the area who raises buffalo, and who lost 1/2 of a calf last year:

    “Buffalo really don’t have too many predators, especially around here,” said Shafer, who is also the president and chief executive officer of the Logansport-Cass County Chamber of Commerce. Coyotes and dogs don’t mess with the large herd animals that can weigh as much as 2,200 pounds and become fiercely protective of their young. “So, it left me wondering what would be able to get over the fences and into their pasture and drag 30 pounds of meat away,” Shafer said. “I just think something would have to be rather powerful, rather swift to be able to put any sort of attack on one of those animals.”

    1505 chars

  59. moe99 said on November 18, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Jeff tmmo. My eye caught the CAT scan reference. I’m sensitive to that these days. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please let us know.

    142 chars

  60. Joe Kobiela said on November 18, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Typical Liberal come back. Go vulgar, gets you noticed I guess. Your life style is yours to bear not mine. As a Christian, I don’t agree with your life style, but I have no right to judge you on it. That is for someone much higher up to take care of.
    Pilot Joe

    269 chars

  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 18, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Moe, thanks – we’re rooting for polyps; benign is the word i’m wanting to see on the top of the dictionary “friend” lists . . . i hear chemo is much less amusing than simple surgery.

    Speaking of which, my son gets a down check for using “enigma.” He spelled it right, used it correctly . . . but it isn’t “in the vocab list yet.” Huh? This strikes me as akin to Hitchens’ “premature counter-revolutionary.”

    Plus he was quoting his old man quoting Churchill on Russia, which was the bleedin’ subject. But apparently you can’t use enigma until it’s been properly introduced into polite society.

    602 chars

  62. Jolene said on November 19, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Jeff (tmmo), is that for real? Are your son and his classmates really restricted to using terms that have been formally introduced in class?

    141 chars

  63. Denice B. said on November 19, 2009 at 2:52 am

    I ‘hide’ people on Facebook. I don’t want to unfriend, but I do Not want to see who found a lonely duck on Farmville or who scored high in ‘Bedazzled’. Don’t care. Then there are the ones who are just plain boring. I just can’t take that stuff.

    244 chars

  64. Dexter said on November 19, 2009 at 3:07 am

    “Navy SEALS Lt. role was played by Demi Moore, whose character barked “Suck my dick!” to get the attention of Master Chief Viggo Mortensen in G.I. Jane (1997). ” from:

    That one stayed with me. I may have heard women saying stuff about ball-busting but I can’t pinpoint-recall it. I have neighbors who have lots of young-folks parties. I can hear the word “fuck” said in loud voices constantly, sometimes through closed doors and windows with summertime a/c running. No sex differentiation there, “fuck” is the word of choice by all. Sorry, I guess that last bit is a bit off-topic.

    673 chars

  65. Dexter said on November 19, 2009 at 3:28 am

    David Shuster from NBC is a great Tweeter and a smart Michigan man, too…here’s a Tweet from a few hours ago: “@jasonrantz You believe Sarah Palin is an “intellectual?” What are you smoking? Palin is anti-intellectual. That’s a fact. Grow up. ”
    Love that Shuster

    266 chars

  66. coozledad said on November 19, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Over at Whiskey Fire, Va has the encapsulating review of Going Rogue. The first graph is art:
    “The most unbelievable thing about Going Rogue, by the author-function “Sarah Palin,” is that it’s supposed to be self-serving. The problem a self-serving narrative about Sarah Palin confronts is that it’s about Sarah Palin, whose entire life, it appears, consists of worse and worse attempts to create self-serving narratives explaining away bigger and bigger fuck-ups. Going Rogue’s burden is that it must claim to be the definitive, encyclopedic explanation, the final excuse, for a long history of failure begat by failure; it’s an epic of failure, if you will, and if the goal here is some kind of ultimate vindication, well, it is monumentally unsuccessful. Going Rogue is, at bottom, the story of every one of Sarah Palin’s projects ending in grotesque catastrophe; it is only self-serving in the sense that these catastrophes either prove benign or turn out to be some other schlub’s fault. If everything I knew about Sarah Palin came from this book (and basically it does), I would say her life has been like a play in which a deus-ex-machina descends at the end of every act to bestow peace and harmony, except the deus forgot to put on pants and everyone’s just standing around going “uhhhh…” and then the lights go out and the scene changes.”

    1351 chars

  67. beb said on November 19, 2009 at 8:44 am

    That paragraph, Coozledad, is indeed art. Yet you say there is more to the review? I thought that paragraph said all there is to say about Silky Pony.

    Jeff(TMMO) I hope that call turns out well from the CAT scan. I too, an gob-stopped to read that a student could be marked down for using a big word not on some class vocabulary. Thank God my daughter was never in a situation like that. She always uses big words and couldn’t afford the mark-downs.

    As the most liberal of all those running for president on ’08 I would have voted for Edwards in a New York Minutes. Whether his personal life could have survived a year of oppo research is another matter.

    662 chars

  68. alex said on November 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

    As a Christian, I don’t agree with your lifestyle, but I have no right to judge you on it.

    Good, Pilot Joe. Then quit judging those whose opinions of S____ P____ you disagree with. As you say, that is for someone much higher up to take care of, and He obviously doesn’t give a rat’s ass or He’d have fixed the election.

    331 chars

  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Yes, for a writing assignment, he was told on a draft (this is 6th grade, btw) to change the word “enigma” for one they had seen on the vocab sheets. The Lad asked why, the Teacher said “too long,” and being his father’s son, the Lad replied, “it’s only got six letters.”

    Worse, to me, is that it was a quote, one he’d found to illustrate his assigned topic of “Russia.” The framing device was going to be Churchill’s “a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma.”

    If i went on to comment about my reactions when the Lad, last month, brought home a worksheet singing the praises and teaching the key dates of Jomo Kenyatta, you’d hear me working my Palin mojo, big time. They don’t know Washington’s Birthday, scrubbed off the calendar and out of the textbook (first president, move along), but that noted serial bigamist and defender of female genital mutilation, the Moscow educated “Burning Spear of the Nation” is honored on October 20th in Kenya, and died (in office, natch) August 22, 1978 they all had to know for the test.

    I was going to raise the worksheet at the teacher conference, but further down on the same sheet was a statement that Nelson Mandela was commmitted all his life to pacifism. So i reserved myself to reminding my son that Mandela is still alive, and is a very great man, even if that statement isn’t quite correct.

    It’s all an enigma.

    1383 chars

  70. coozledad said on November 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

    beb: Here’s the thing in full:

    109 chars

  71. Claudia Allen said on November 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Oh dear. I’m about to be unfriended! You allowed me to friend you…but I know you don’t know me. I found you a couple years back and then found out that you know Jeff Borden and I know Jeff and felt this wonderful connection. And then discovered Laura Lippman through you. So…when I friended you, I felt like you are a friend. But if you need to unfriend people, go ahead and delete me. I’ll still feel friendly!

    415 chars

  72. crinoidgirl said on November 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Thanks for the link, Cooz! That review is, indeed, a good piece of writing.

    75 chars

  73. Jeff Borden said on November 19, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Claudia Allen!

    You rascal. How the heck are you? Still laboring in the joyful field of journalism? Send an e-mail to Nancy and get my e-mail and send me a note.

    I think back on my years at the Observer through the Dickensian lens of “best of times, worst of times,” but I have never, ever questioned that I worked with some of the most talented people in the business during my time there. I well recall your incredible writing skills and your winning numerous awards, but of course, this meant nothing to the second-rate management hacks determined to break talent as if they were wild ponies. I hope you’re in a good place.

    Seriously, get my e-mail from Nance and say hi.

    682 chars

  74. brian stouder said on November 19, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Boy howdy – discouraging independent study and discovery is indeed an enigmatic teaching concept; honestly I think I’d stop in and see the teacher about that one. And let me just say, in re Jeff tmmo and nn.c political/cultural discussions, that Jeff’s takes always remind me of the way Richard Neuhaus categorized himself (if I recall correctly): culturally conservative, politically liberal, and pragmatic on other issues. Here’s hoping for a thorough-going positive outcome for any and all tests

    edit: and in the BREAKING NEWS category, we have a system-wide FAA computer problem (is this a cyber attack? will they tell us, if it is?), and we have word that as of 8 this morning 900+ people are at the Meijer already in line for the book-signing event, which will take place at noon. And the word is, if you have a camera out you will be asked to leave the line. (the organizers will be snapping pictures continuously, as people file through, and then you can retrieve your photo from the internet)

    1006 chars

  75. Jeff Borden said on November 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

    The fact that S—- P—-‘s book tour will be avoiding my fair city of Chicago makes me happy that I am not a “real American.”

    We’re too busy reading the “Communist Manifesto” while waiting for our next Satan worshipping session over in the gay neighborhood, where we plan to pull the plug on granny’s life support system as we snort cocaine off her bedstand.

    362 chars

  76. Jeff Borden said on November 19, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Hey Michiganders!

    Where is Port Huron? There’s a piece linked on Raw Story about a wingnut in Port Huron threatening to shoot up the local newspaper office “like Fort Hood” because an editorial criticized the local Republican congresswoman for vamping at that goofy Tea Party event last week.

    That’s media criticism taken to the extreme.

    343 chars

  77. MarkH said on November 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Not that your could just ignore her or anything, Jeff. BTW, is your Google Maps disabled?

    89 chars

  78. Lex said on November 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    [[That’s media crit­i­cism taken to the extreme.]]

    Actually, no, that’s a crime, “communicating threats,” in most states. Perhaps our hostess can tell us whether Michigan is one of them.

    193 chars