Vortex of cosmic suck

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

I hope, though I very much doubt it, that someone close to Sarah Palin played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons back in the day. I know, strange way to start a post, but bear with me. The reason I'm hoping this is because of two particular magical items in AD&D; one was something called a "portable hole," which was exactly what it sounds like--inspired, perhaps, by old Warner Bros. cartoons where a hole might easily be grabbed by a corner and put somewhere else, the portable hole was a round black thing that became a hole when you laid it down. The other item was a "bag of holding," which, much like the TARDIS on Doctor Who, was bigger on the inside than on the outside, allowing an adventurer to put all sorts of things inside to more conveniently lug them around.

Now, the tricky thing was this: if you ever put a portable hole inside a bag of holding, what happened was you got a hole in the universe, a vortex of pure suck, a tear in the space time continuum. Which was bad, you see. And the reason I'm mentioning this is because I was just reading Joan Walsh's piece in Salon about the possibility of a Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck 2012 presidential ticket. Which isn't something that seems all that probable, frankly, but it also seems like it would be very bad for the entire universe. What would happen if the floppy black hole of Glenn Beck's intellect were placed within the event horizon of the vast, empty, bottomless sack of Sarah Palin's mentality? A tear, a terrible tear in existence itself. It would not be enough for President Obama and Vice-President Biden to campaign vigorously, no: they would be forced to pilot giant robots into the proximity of the existential vortex in order to close it with their laser swords. And I'm not sure they're the men for the job, to be honest: anybody who has carefully researched giant robots through hours and hours of watching cartoons and reading comic books, as I have, knows that the major weapon systems of such devices are operated by shouting the name of the attack at the top of one's lungs; and anyone who has spectated in the American political theater knows that Mr. Biden is regrettably prone to mangling the English language given enough opportunities to do so. While I imagine Mr. Obama would quickly master the controls of his giant robot, I foresee Mr. Biden accidentally ejecting himself into the sun while spontaneously decapitating the President's robot after mistakenly shouting, "SUICIDE NINJA MASSIVE ROSE BLOSSOM ATTACK!" or something similar. And so we shall be doomed.

I say it's improbable, notwithstanding the popular claim that the ancient Mayans foresaw something impossibly awful happening in 2012 that ends the world. For one thing, there's no way a people as cultured and sophisticated as the Mayans would have watched Fox even if they'd been cable subscribers at the time. So how could they have foreseen Glenn Beck? On the other hand, I am sure astute readers have noted that Palin/Beck's stupid-within-stupidity would represent a temporal as well as spatial rift, and as Star Trek and other documentaries have taught us, time waves can travel forwards and backwards, influencing events and causing ship's doctors to overdose on Cordrazine (raising the spectre of a Nazi victory in WWII); it's admittedly possible, then, that Mrs. Palin and Mr. Beck joining forces would result in a stupidity so immense it was noticed in the far past. Speaking of which, perhaps this also offers a new theory on what killed the dinosaurs.

Speaking, also, of burning stupid: Ms. Walsh's column also offers this quote from a Palin interview with Barbara Walters, which would almost beggar belief if I hadn't lived through the 2008 presidential campaign and seen Mrs. Palin's titanic mental struggles on display:

"It's kind of like what Reagan used to do, though, when he talked about, say, the 'evil empire.' You're never going to find the evil empire on a map of the world ... And yet he talked about that, in terms that people could understand--kind of rationing down, not complicating the issue.

"But he, with the issue of the evil empire at the time, used those two words to get people to shake up, wake up, find out what's going on here. Now, had he been criticized and, and mocked, and, and condemned for ever using a term that wasn't actually there on a map, or in documents, we probably would never have succeeded in, in crushing the evil empire, and winning that."


What I find interesting in the above is the way Palin sounds like a student struggling with an exam question--she sounds like a student who remembers there was something about the "evil empire" in the materials, but can't recall if it was the Soviets or the Russians (yes, I know) or maybe somebody else who was being referred to. So the student keeps using the vague phrase in her essay in the hopes the professor will assume the student really was paying attention. Notice, too, the vagueness in the phrase, "...we probably would never have succeeded in, in crushing the evil empire, and winning that." Crushing who? Winning what? Of course, what's most distressing about that vapid vagueness is that Mrs. Palin isn't a nineteen-year-old struggling to remember a lecture four weeks ago or a page skimmed last night, but is describing events that she actually lived through; surely she remembers the latter decades of the Cold War and has some cognizance that President Ronald Reagan was not "rationing down" (whatever the hell that means) anything, but was describing a systematically corrupt and oppressive Soviet regime, and that it wasn't about waking anybody up to anything since anybody who was paying attention was certainly aware of the Soviet Union.1

Ms. Walsh notes some of the other factual problems with Mrs. Palin's statement (e.g. President Reagan in fact was criticized for simplifying geopolitical issues, and even people who agreed the Soviet regime was evil weren't necessarily convinced that the President of the United States saying that publicly was conducive to world peace and/or American interests abroad), but I'm not sure Ms. Walsh doesn't miss the forest in pointing out those trees: the overall problem is that Palin just doesn't have a clue about major historical events that she witnessed. Anyone of her age, which isn't much more advanced than mine, ought to indeed be able to find President Reagan's "evil empire" on a map of the era, or its remnants on a contemporary map, and however one describes the end of the Cold War--victory or survival or both--one ought to be able to do better than "winning that."

Well, what else can one say, really? I mean beyond asking how one gets a seat on the ark if Palin runs and somehow wins in 2012?





1Of course there were some people on the Left who were aware of Soviet evils or should have been, and were in denial or engaged in apologetics; these people didn't need to be awakened, they needed to have their heads pulled out of their asses, which is something else entirely.



3 comments:

Leanright,  Friday, November 20, 2009 at 1:34:00 AM EST  

This post is more than 12 hours old, and no comments yet.

What's wrong, Eric?

Let me be the first.

Janiece Friday, November 20, 2009 at 11:52:00 AM EST  

It stands alone, Leanright.

I myself pimped it on the "Smart People Speak" section of my blog.

M Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 2:03:00 PM EST  

This is a fantastic post, and has been linked elsewhere.

I personally think the Hannity is more likely than the Beck, but Beck is less principled altogether, being an "analyst" while Hannity is supposed to be reporting impartially.

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