Monday, September 1, 2008

Sarah, Gustav and Me

Though it didn't come to me over text message, as soon as I heard about John McCain's pick for the Republican Party's vice president, I knew I would have to blog about it. Apparently he thought all those women who were disappointed about Hillary losing would gladly go to the Dark Side because their first choice had a vagina and now this team has a vagina - Hooray!

I admittedly struggled with a focus for my analysis. Should I talk about her sartorial decision to sport a beehive worthy of former Texas Governor Ann Richards and her totally awesome glasses? Maybe I could use her children's unusual names (Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig) as the perfect framework for a rant on the utterly-stupid names people give their kids? I could even reimagine her live as a bad chick flick, but alas, Maureen Dowd beat me to that one.

Then this afternoon, like manna from liberal heaven, I got my answer. Just as the Republican National Convention kicked off, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (aka our favorite new Vice Presidential nominee), announced her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and due in December. As only the parent of a knocked-up teenager could, Palin and her husband issued the following statement: "Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents."

Yeah, she might be beautiful, but you also forgot some other choice adjectives like dumb, possibly ignorant of her own reproductive system and if the rumors are true, already a parent (according to some sources, 6-month-old Trig is Bristol's son that Sarah is raising as her own a la Jack Nicholson). And of course, Bristol will be marrying the equally-moronic sperm source in a ceremony that probably won't have the same understated luxury as Jenna Bush's recent nuptuals, but will certainly be more entertaining.

What has our country come to when shotgun weddings have made it within a few bullets of the White House? It's an incredibly ironic finish to W's reign of terror on comprehensive sexual education that his own Party has selected a vice presidential nominee whose own daughter clearly missed contraception day at the Wasalia High School. NOW and Planned Parenthood could not have asked for a better twist of fate. I mean, what's scarier than a woman head of state who doesn't even support her own daughter's right to choose?

Now from Alaska to Louisiana and the storm that thankfully wasn't. Or at least wasn't as bad as it could have been. It seems that Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast at a more glancing angle than models initially predicted and the damage to New Orleans has been minimal. Unfortunately, the coastal communities in Cajun Country have suffered the double whammy of fierce winds and vastly-depleted barrier islands.

In the three years since Katrina, we have all heard stories about rebuilding efforts, FEMA trailers, levee repairs, more sophisticated emergency response systems and returning culture. What has not been discussed extensively (even with all our new attention to being "green") is the devastating and near-total loss of marshes, swamps and those all-important barrier islands. Due to damning of the Mississippi River, the aforementioned levees and oil drilling in the area, essential soil deposits have disappeared, taking grasses and wetlands species along with them into the ether of extinction.

My thoughts and prayers are with those waiting out the storm and with those still rebuilding, even now, from the damages of Katrina. I remember being glued to my television in late August and early September 2005, aching inside and mourning a city I'd never visited. Close your eyes and think back to those images - looters (or foragers depending on your skin color), humans crowded into stadiums like animals, people stranded on rooftops, one of America's cultural and culinary treasures brought to its knees before the awesome power of nature. Luckily, Gustav had a much smaller ax to grind and if it refocuses our attention on the story of New Orleans, then maybe it's all worthwhile.

A reproductively-gifted governor/governor's daughter and a Category 2 hurricane might not have much more than chronology in common. One is H.L. Mencken's wet dream and the other is just wet. One brings lots of wind and the other is full of hot air. One is... oh, you get the picture. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a No Reservations marathon on tv.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The full import of nominating a soccer mom with the management experience of a mid-size company CEO just a heartbeat away from the presidency remains to be seen.

At least she is computer savvy.

The MySpace page of her futher son-in-law was taken down and sanitized. She had a wikipedia page that had to be scrubbed.
See artcle at UK Times Online

I just not sure that computer skills are a major part of the job description!