Ye Gods!

I watched the debate between Palin and Biden. It was a mix of a sermon to the converts and a folksy barn dance.

Palin is Betty Crocker dressed up as a politician. She’s McCain’s mannequin dressing up the Republican window. And she’s one of the walking wounded for dead words. She was chock-full of them. “Around the kitchen table.” “Joe six pack.” “Surge.” Aw, say it ain’t so, Joe.” “Walk the walk, talk the talk,” “Doggone it.” And the list goes on like coffins to graves.

Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for the Independent, has a great editorial about clichés:

Now he would make a good leader.

“How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.” Thoreau.

It’s plebby the way Palin’s credentials of soccer mum, mother, everywoman with a smattering of provincial politics, Gap girl platitudes, Norman Rockwell affectation can be taken as VP material. She’s just a protocol droid.

Jesus, there’s more rigor in choosing the US Poet Laureate. Imagine a laureate being chosen because he or she attended a few slam poetry nights, dropped hot butter from a crumpet on his or her collection of Longfellow, and believed that clichés, ballads, and iambic pentameter are the future of poetry.

I want someone who is a leader, who has authority and expertise, someone who inspires. What ever happened to people we looked up to, people who awed us with the potential of the human spirit and its humanity? But I also don’t want some cold analytical automaton, either, devoid of his or her humanity. I want someone who can use what’s in his or her skull as well as feel what’s in the ribcage. I don’t want a leader who dilutes the brain to a watery organ or the heart to a system of sentimental valves.

What I worry about Palin is that she is the bellwether of a whole flock of people who are distrustful of ideas (unorthodox or not), intellect, science, doubt, imagination, dissent, other points of view.

Government should be about the collective will of the people in the hands of those who are Darwinian fit and strong to rule. It should not be about those who are all equal in the eyes of God and approved by the aggregate’s fear.

Maybe I have a conservative streak after all and am not all bolshy and Molotov cocktail, but I think we need a strong, resourceful, bright, sophisticated, cultured, imaginative, and spiritually bold (not pious) leader.

I want a great man or woman (cliché, I know, but Nietzsche’s superman is too erudite).

I’m going back to the world of books where life isn’t reduced to clichés and where every word is weighed out and has to be contained by periods and commas and where each word means what it is saying and not saying one thing but meaning another or preaching what nobody lives by.

And I’m going to walk the beach, close to where I live, with my daughter and gather windfall apples then take them home to bake in a cake.

And if Obama loses, I’m going to find a shag’s rock and live out the rest of my days there surrounded, as it may well be, in guano.


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