8.02.2009

question for you all

Would someone please explain to me Canadians' continuing fascination with Sarah Palin?

It borders on obsession. I don't get it.

37 comments:

James said...

I hadn't noticed a Canadian obsession with Sarah Palin... Though that may be because all the news I do see about her comes from US blogs & such.

L-girl said...

Canadian media and especially Canadian bloggers seem obsessed to me.

Amy said...

Well, as she would say, she can see Canada from her window. So, you know, you guys might invade us and everything.

Seriously, I don't get the US fascination, so no clue as to why Canadians would care at all.

James said...

Well, she does have a sort of fascinating-train-wreck quality to her... And it probably doesn't help that she's a living embodiment of so many Canadian stereotypes about the US. I mean, "Drill, baby, drill"? Shooting wolves from a helicopter? About the only thing that could make that more "US stereotype" is if she had been using air-to-ground missiles instead of a rifle.

Richard said...

Canadians, perhaps, don't realise how unelectable she is and thus think she may be the next Republican candidate.

That's just a guess, mind you, and your guess is as good as mine (and probably better!)

sandra said...

I delight in her because I despise what she represents SOOOOO much. She was foisted on the world by McCain as, "Here's a woman, I found one too! Vote for me!". To me, she represents the worst of the populist idea -- her lack of education, her lack of serious experience, her acheivements based on the WORST judge of character there is, the Beauty Pageant!, her determination to take feminism back an additional 50 years...Its schadenfreude! If she were some hapless, dopey beauty stalled at the side of the road, unable to operate a jack to change a tire, I might stop to help. But,for her sheer arrogance in thinking that ANYTHING she had done or thought qualified her in any way to take on the office of VP, I unkindly take delight in all of the difficulties that come her way. She makes the conservative movement look ridiculous, and I like that.

Also, there's hardly any fun stuff like that in Canadian politics.

johngoldfine said...

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/

Nothing to do with the Divine Sarah but might interest you--and Amy said she was a mappie too, right?

L-girl said...

I love that blog! I've been to it many times.

John, feel free to put that in a more appropriate thread. Lots of people subscribe to comments.

L-girl said...

And it probably doesn't help that she's a living embodiment of so many Canadian stereotypes about the US.

OMG. I hadn't even considered that.

Canadians, perhaps, don't realise how unelectable she is and thus think she may be the next Republican candidate.

Hm, that may be part of it. When we first moved here, people thought Rudy Giuiliani would run! We thought that was hilarious.

I delight in her because I despise what she represents SOOOOO much.

Thanks Sandra - interesting. I'm still left wondering why her - she's a person of no consequence whatsoever. But that helps me see a bit more of why people bother!

James said...

I'm still left wondering why her - she's a person of no consequence whatsoever.

She's a person who should have been of no consequence whatsoever, and if the Republicans hadn't made her the VP candidate, she'd still be unknown outside Alaska. But she was thrust into the spotlight, and we're all sitting here and saying, "Her? Really? That's the best you could come up with? Or do you actually think she's a good candidate? Are you desperate, or are you clueless?"

L-girl said...

we're all sitting here and saying, "Her? Really? That's the best you could come up with? Or do you actually think she's a good candidate? Are you desperate, or are you clueless?"

Absolutely. Of course I had the same reaction, and more. Like, do you think all women are interchangeable, so any woman you can find will do? And, are you purposely trying to lose this election [McCain applies here too]. Because the Republicans are anything but clueless.

So yes, I certainly understand all that.

However... why the continuing fascination with her? Why are so many Cdn bloggers posting regularly about the ongoing travails of Sarah Palin??? That's what I am scratching my head about.

Vancouver Isle Doug said...

She just represent so much of what is wrong with the US. She is elevated to star/celebrity status, with the likes of Jessica Simpson and this Kate & Jon couple, which I really don't get, and so much of the populace think she is the greatest thing since sliced bread. How absurd!

James said...

However... why the continuing fascination with her? Why are so many Cdn bloggers posting regularly about the ongoing travails of Sarah Palin??? That's what I am scratching my head about.

I think a combination of train-wreck fascination and schadenfreude cover it. Silvio Berlusconi has similar properties, though for different reasons.

Mainecatwoman said...

Because she can see Canada from her house!

Well, that and that she was punk'd by two Canadians. That's all I can figure.

James said...

Canadians love it when someone makes a fool of an American -- look at Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans" bit. (Yeah, I know you don't like it, L -- I'm not big on it either.)

Palin is like a self-propelled "Talking to Americans" routine, even moreso than her predecessor Dan Quayle.

johngoldfine said...

They say Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, but SP is not ugly, and that adds a frisson.

Men fantasize about sex with her, women fantasize about being a beauty queen and being 'perfect.'

Also she presents a narrative or myth or legend, where most politicians merely present themselves and some general bland characteristics--but SP has a story and there's nothing like a good story to get and keep attention.

And the more one sneers, saying, 'Some story--a bunch of colleges, a jock, a bimbo, a crazy, a liar...,' the more the resentfuls see her story as theirs, the story of every kid made to feel dumb in school who winds up showing them all, all the people who said they were nothing. That's SP's fan base.

But, honestly, I think it comes back to anatomy. If she was not attractive, no one would care. Sorry if that sounds insultingly reductive but no other explanation I can think of meets the Occam's Razor test.

I'd say Mitt Romney has the same problem in reverse: he's so Sears underwear model cute that it's hard for men to take him seriously.

Greg said...

Canadians have an eye for comic genius. It was no coincidence that Conan O'Brien tapped William Shatner to read Palin's final speech. Canadians get Palin.

L-girl said...

Canadians love it when someone makes a fool of an American

James nailed it. I think that's exactly what it is.

She's a fool - she's American - Canadians love it.

L-girl said...

Now I will pick my jaw off the floor to ask an absurd but apparently necessary question.

People find Sarah Palin attractive?????

Men fantasize about sex with her, women fantasize about being a beauty queen and being 'perfect.'

You are telling me people find Sarah Palin hot? This does not compute.

If she was not attractive, no one would care. Sorry if that sounds insultingly reductive but no other explanation I can think of meets the Occam's Razor test.

It doesn't sound insulting or reductive, and it's obviously true of many people. But I can't see how it applies here.

I mean really can't see!

L-girl said...

Canadians have an eye for comic genius. It was no coincidence that Conan O'Brien tapped William Shatner to read Palin's final speech. Canadians get Palin.

So what is it they "get"?

L-girl said...

Mainecatwoman, nice to see you here - it's been a long time. Join us at Joy of Sox for a game thread if you're so inclined.

PaulM said...

I believe Canadians DO love an American laughingstock, and she's certainly that. But there's also the perception that anything can happen down there. That under the right circumstances, she *could* be elected. (After all, she was the governor of Alaska, right? And she, along with McCain, did get millions of votes, did she not? People actually *voted* for her.) What if the Democrats had had a lame duck candidate? What if she got in as VP and McCain then died? (One in three chance of that, according to oddsmakers). President Palin would be pretty scary. And, of course, she *is* colourful. We don't produce loonies like that and we don't have the magnifying glass of the American media to play up anything we *do* produce.
Just my opinion, of course.

James said...

People find Sarah Palin attractive?????

You are telling me people find Sarah Palin hot? This does not compute.


Apparently it's true. I don't understand it, myself, but apparenlty there's enough of that for Jon Stewart to get a lot of milage out of MILF jokes.

johngoldfine said...

What can I say, l-girl? Men--poor weak foolish creatures as we are--do often find her attractive. I assume Canadian male bloggers did not check their limbic system at the door, and so perhaps there's a partial answerto your question....

She's reminiscent of Joan Crawford circa mid-1940s Mildred Pierce. Not in her prime anymore but so tightly put-together she dares anyone to notice.

Google 'Sarah Palin hot'--and find 14 million hits. 'Sarah Palin candidate' about half as many. Now you know her claim to fame.

L-girl said...

Apparently it's true. I don't understand it, myself, but apparenlty there's enough of that for Jon Stewart to get a lot of milage out of MILF jokes.

Allan said the same thing - "apparently it's true".

What can I say, l-girl? Men--poor weak foolish creatures as we are--do often find her attractive.

I like to look at women as much as the next dyke (or half-dyke, whatever), and women are often poor weak foolish creatures when it comes to the objects of their desires, too.

I just can't see the attraction. It's not the politics either.

Huh. Go figure.

L-girl said...

Google 'Sarah Palin hot'--and find 14 million hits. 'Sarah Palin candidate' about half as many. Now you know her claim to fame.

My question was specifically about Canadians, though. I don't think the Canadian blogosphere is fixated on Sarah Palin because she's hot.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems unlikely.

The foolish American - the crazy broad from that kerrazzy country down there - where people are so stupid that they might elect someone even stupider - that makes more sense to me.

L-girl said...

PaulM, yes, I see that. We grew accustomed to GWB in the WH but there was a time it was inconceivable that that could happen. (Diebold be praised.)

Are you the PaulM in Vermont? Famous name, different guy?

James said...

NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! had a good line about her barely coherent farewell speech:

She went out as she came in: as if narrating her own acid trip.

Specifically, they were referring to this passage:

And getting up here I say it is the best road trip in America soaring through nature's finest show. Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun. And then the extremes. In the winter time it's the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty, the cold though, doesn't it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?

PaulM said...

No, I'm the PaulM from sweltering Vancouver Towne... :)

Daryl said...

Canadians, (led by Rick Mercer and his unfunny bit) are always happy to feel superior to Americans.

Don't we have plenty of Sarah Palin types of our own? (male and female)

There's no shortage of ignorance, racism, and stupidity flowing on this side of the border.

how about our former minister of Foreign affairs.

Mainecatwoman said...

Thanks for the invite, Laura-maybe I will.

As for Sarah, a lot of people find her very attractive-guys were always yelling "You're a hottie!" to her at her rallies. And she is, of course, a former beauty queen. But she strikes me as attractive in a Britney Spears kind of way-very processed, very packaged, a lot of frosting but no cake.
If that's your thing, great, but I just don't see it either.

L-girl said...

Paul: Oops, sorry! And welcome.

Daryl: THANK YOU! It's about time someone said that. We don't get buffoons and cartoons in politics up here? The hell we don't.

Also nice to meet another member of the What's So Funny About Rick Mercer club.

Mainecatwoman: I don't even find Palin attractive in that sense. But I do like your frosting and cake analogy. Perhaps I'm more a whole grain bread type when it comes to those things. :)

L-girl said...

James, thanks for sharing the NPR bit. I don't know that show, but it sounds great.

James said...

THANK YOU! It's about time someone said that. We don't get buffoons and cartoons in politics up here? The hell we don't.

Sure we do -- but Canadian political buffoons are rarely as over-the-top out there as US ones.

James, thanks for sharing the NPR bit. I don't know that show, but it sounds great.

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! is a comedy news quiz game hosted by Peter Sagal, with Carl Kasell as the announcer. Regular panelists include (from Wikipedia): Roy Blount, Jr., Tom Bodett, Amy Dickinson, Sue Ellicott, Adam Felber, Kyrie O'Connor, P.J. O'Rourke, Alison Stewart, Paul Provenza, Paula Poundstone, Charlie Pierce, Roxanne Roberts, Luke Burbank, Mo Rocca and Julia Sweeney.

Most of the show consists of callers and panelists answering questions about the week's news, with an emphasis on silly stuff, and in the middle they have a celebrity section called "Not My Job", which features an interview followed by a three-question game concerning something the guest probably doesn't know much about. For example, they had a great interview with Leonard Nimoy, followed by a quiz bout Dr. Benjamin Spock. The most recent game, which the Sarah Palin line came from, featured The Gong Show's Chuck Barris, with questions about McDonald's Happy Meals.

It's very silly, and usually pretty funny, too.

The show's available as a podcast through the website or iTunes, which is how I listen to it.

John F said...

I think Sarah Palin is the finest unintentional comedian of our time. I love her in the same way I loved Dan Quayle. Someone mentioned train wreck? She's like a train wreck without all those nasty injuries.

deang said...

I can't fathom why Canadian media would be so obsessed with Sarah Palin, but do they have cheerleaders in Canada? Because her looks remind me of the way popularly-elected high school cheerleaders look in the US, kind of capably, medium-weight muscular, but not too much, with pleasing but otherwise unremarkable faces and healthy-looking hair. For some reason, lots of Americans, men particularly, find that attractive. Maybe some Canadians do too.

I've been expecting the French to be obsessed with Palin myself, and have been checking Paris Match and Le Monde to see if my hunch is right, but no luck. They don't seem as interested in her as Canadians are.

Joe Grav said...

She's the hero of the tiny and shrinking angry fringe of the white evangelical Christian movement. That makes her significant, from the perspective of a social scientist.