Monday, June 06, 2011
Quote of the Day
"Nothing she's done since resigning her position as governor of Alaska really suggests she's planning a serious presidential candidacy, nor are her current activities indicative of any real commitment to public service. What they do demonstrate is an understanding that outrageous statements, calculated controversy and the blurring of the line between candidate and celebrity are a sure route to lots of attention -- and lots of money."
-- From a piece in today's Salon from Alyssa Battistoni called "Sarah Palin and Profit-Motive Politics"
I realize that there's nothing especially revealing about this quote; it pretty much states the obvious. But it gives me a chance to say something I was going to put in the comment section last week. Despite a few Palin-related posts in the past couple of work days, I'm sticking by my pledge that I'm not returning to, as Glenn Beck might say, a pre-1/12 mentality (that would be the date this year that the Idiot Queen unleashed her staggeringly narcissistic and tone-deaf "blood libel" accusation in the wake of the shooting of Gabby Giffords).
Still, there's something I wanted to expound on a little in regard to Palin, fame, and why she's no longer worth spending too much time on. I alluded to this before, but the above column in Salon kind of hints at why the Palin "brand" is well past its expiration date. When all of this post-election insanity first started three years ago, after her political fortunes had tanked miserably, Palin made a conscious decision that her career trajectory was going to be exactly what it's turned out to be -- that of a reality TV star. She peaked early, saturated the market, oversaturated the market and consequently created a backlash among all but her most obsessive fans.
Anyone who follows these kinds of trends will tell you that in order to restart your fame clock after it winds down to oblivion, you have to do something new -- and by new I don't mean just clumsily inject yourself back into the spotlight, I mean show people something they haven't seen before. In case you haven't been paying attention, so far the Palin 2011 Tour has brought us exactly what you'd expect from an aging act well past its glory days: a predictable roster of stale greatest hits. In Palin's case, there have been the red meat talking points, the comically dumb misstatements coupled with an almost astonishing level of moral and intellectual certitude, the cryptic and thoroughly meaningless allusions to a potential candidacy -- really, she may as well be ending every appearance by doing My Generation. In other words, there's nothing to see here, folks -- may as well move along. Granted the lapdog political press is far too stupid, gullible and desperate for something to fill airtime and copy space to completely ignore Palin's publicity stunt -- but for most of the rest of the country, barring her getting an emergency brain transplant compliments of Stephen Hawking or saving a bus-load of infants from going over a cliff, it's the same old, same old from Sarah. To twist a bit that comic Larry Miller used to do years ago, expecting anything new from the Sarah Palin brand at this point is like putting sour milk back in the refrigerator again hoping it'll somehow be better in a couple of days.
Later this week, 24,000 e-mails between Palin and various subordinates -- all from her first 21 months as governor of Alaska -- will be released to the public. The political media is giddily anticipating a few potential bombshell revelations within these correspondences but Palin is already shrugging off the hype, saying, "Every rock in the Palin household that could ever be kicked over and uncovered anything, it's already been kicked over."
And you know something? She's absolutely right for once. That's exactly the point.