Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin's Big Night

An all time record number of viewers will tune in tonight to see governor Palin’s acceptance speech. Many will tune in to see if she will be wearing that tight leather mini-skirt from the picture of her that is currently  circulating on the web. Many will tune in for the same reason they drop by a side show at the circus or read People magazine, to gawk at the subject matter. Many will want to see if the former (and perhaps present) Pentecostal  will actually speak in tongues or  handle serpents while on stage. I think that most Americans (at least a bare majority) will simply be curious as to how the former Mayor of Wasilla will do on one of the world’s biggest stages.


Because of her background, there is a temptation to think of Palin as the Mayor of that town that used to be portrayed on “Northern Exposure”. My wife likens her to Maurice Minnifield, the former astronaut who ran that town. I prefer to think of her as the mayor of Mayberry, either the little fat one who urged Jimmy Stewart to kiss Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, or the snarling sarcastic one who used to play the role of “Darb”, one of Ozzie Nelson’s buddies on the “Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”. I suspect that we will find that Palin is like neither of these types. I expect her to be more like the pregnant North Dakota cop in “Fargo”. Like that woman, I suspect that most people will find Palin endearing if they can get past her unfortunate accent.


Librarians nationwide may soon turn out in force against her. She apparently wanted to ban certain books from the library in Wasilla. I’m not sure that this book banning is that big a deal. Cities ban library books all the time. They do it in the intake process. If a library does not think that a book should be on the shelf, they will simply not order it. That is a censorship just as sure as yanking the book off the shelf, it is just done in secret. Admit it, if you and I ran the library (there is a Doctor Seuss book by that title) we would keep a pretty good handle on what books were let in. For starters I would go down to the airport and ban anything that was being sold at the newsstands there. That would get rid of most of the really bad fiction and “How to Make a Billion dollars” books that clutter up libraries, bookstores and airplanes across the country. I would also ban the biography of any movie star who was never nominated for an Oscar. I can’t believe that people actually read biographies of Suzanne Summers and Marylou Henner. I would also ban books by Lance Armstrong, whom I find  obnoxious, but that is admittedly  a personal prejudice.


Who knows ? Maybe those are the kinds of books Palin wanted to ban, not ones about  gay cowboys or gay penguins or old musty volumes of “Tropic of Cancer”. In fact, if Palin will stand up and denounce self help books tonight, she has my vote. Maybe she’s not into censorship, maybe she just has good taste (the leather mini-skirt not withstanding). That husband of hers looks like a real reader, possibly a Cheever fan. He is probably in a book club in Wasilla, maybe even one that reads Jane Austin.


I think that in the end we will all decide that there is only one valid reason to vote against Palin,and it’s a damn good one, his name is John McCain.


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