Reading Rogue: First impressions

>> Friday, November 27, 2009

The first thing you notice about Going Rogue: An American Life is that it looks very much like a book. The second thing you notice is that the name of Mrs. Palin's collaborator, Lynn Vincent, doesn't appear anywhere on the cover.

(On a related note, if you're wondering what American author has the least-functional professional webpage on the planet, may I submit as a candidate one Lynn Vincent, whose website appears to consist of a single page with only one link--to the e-mail address of her agent. Ms. Vincent's website mentions that she's the author of six books--but doesn't tell you what they are, and cites her journalistic credentials without mentioning anything she's written in that field, either. There are three small pictures of three of her books, so I guess you can squint out the titles there if you really want to, along with very small blurbs. As for actually buying one of these books, Ms. Vincent or her webmaster are so disinterested in selling them that they don't bother telling you where they might be purchased--not even a generic "At All Major Booksellers" is offered--much less actual, you know, links to publishers or retailers like Amazon, you know, links like they have on the internet now? Ms. Vincent's site does mention that her work has been cited before the U.S. Supreme Court, which probably seems like an achievement up to the point you realize the SCOTUS receives briefs from violently psychotic pro se death row appellants; also, again, no mention of what was cited or when. Ms. Vincent indeed puts the "ghost" in "ghostwriter.")

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Superficial things noticed before I started reading. Well, the book seems to be printed on rather cheap paper, so that's going to be fun to read, though if I had any qualms about the possibility of marking up the 1" margins I guess I needn't feel bad (I hate marking up books, but this may be an exception--I'll have to use pencil, though, if I have one--I think ink would bleed right through this stuff). There are two sections of photographs, spaced at roughly third intervals through the book. For some indiscernible reason, the first printed page of Going Rogue: An American Life is a polar projection map of much of the northern hemisphere missing any kind of scale markings and labeled, "The View from the Top of the World." The location of a number of major cities--Moscow, Tokyo, Washington, et al.--is marked along with several minor towns in Alaska, including Wasilla, but Mrs. Palin's birthplace in Idaho (Sandpoint) isn't; one can't help assuming that the map is meant to show that Mrs. Palin can, to paraphrase Tina Fey, see Russia from her house, along with Stockholm, Seoul, Shanghai and New Delhi. That, or possibly publisher Harper Collins wasn't entirely certain Mrs. Palin's audience could find Alaska (the only state labeled) on a world map (Hawai'i, by the way, isn't shown).

The book has six chapters and an epilogue, and a section for acknowledgments, and an afterword by Dewey Whetsell, who appears to be an Alaskan fisherman, artist, writer and former fire chief in Cordova, Alaska, and I have no idea why he was asked to write the afterword--maybe it's in the book somewhere (my mission in reading Rogue may have to be figuring out who in the name of all everlasting hell is Dewey Whetsell?). The acknowledgements section's a bit painful to read, believe-it-or-not, because you can hear Palin's whinnying voice thanking everybody as you read along with it. Ouch. My brain.

The book is dedicated... well, here (and I know of a few of my regular readers who I suspect will love this until veins pop in their foreheads):

Dedicated to all Patriots who share my love of the United States of America. And particularly to our women and men in uniform, past and present--God bless the fight for freedom.

After all, you know, yay America and soldiers and stuff. She might as well say that as early and often as she can if she expects members of the U.S. Armed Forces to vote for her in 2012, and naturally she wrote Going Rogue to promote the fight for freedom--if it was just been about the advance and the narcissism, why would she write a memoir of all things?

I suppose it's time I actually began to read. Four p.m. is definitely not too early for beer.


Janiece Friday, November 27, 2009 at 4:01:00 PM EST  

Okay, yeah - that dedication made the veins in my head explode. I shall now excuse myself to go see Blind Side, in an effort to prevent any further bleed-outs...

Jim Wright Friday, November 27, 2009 at 4:53:00 PM EST  

You know what that dedication reminds me of?

When one of those halfass country stars writes somekind of uber patriotic song, the kind they play at tractor pulls - say like Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" and every mouth breathing drooler in the stadium stands up and hold up their lighters and starts crying.

You wanna have a hit, write a song about you fans or about 'Merica.

I warned you before, Palin isn't well educated, but she is shrewd and calculating and has an innate ability to connect with the lowest common denominator - criticize her book and you're criticizing the "brave men and women who keep us free blah blah blah." This is about them, not Palin. She's ignorant, she's not stupid. Every kneejerk patriot's heart will swell with pride and love when they read that dedication.

Eric Friday, November 27, 2009 at 7:12:00 PM EST  

I warned you before, Palin isn't well educated, but she is shrewd and calculating.... She's ignorant, she's not stupid.

You're dead-on, Jim. Rogue is a bunch of horseshit aimed squarely at her base--greeting card "wisdom," chest-beating about small-town virtues, idle random bashes at "liberal" stereotypes, the sorts of banal hypocrisies you come to expect from a certain kind of political crowd. She's not stupid, quite a trick for someone who clearly doesn't have a brain in her pretty little head.

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