[cue Twilight Zone music]
Consider if you will, a place outside our normal time and space... a land of both shadow and substance. You've just entered the post-feminist election zone ...
I just can't get my mind around the bizarre role gender politics is playing in the 2008 presidential election and the many faces of Sarah Palin. Here's what I mean:
In a Google Trends search I just ran, Sarah Palin turned up 3 times in the top 100 searches -- in three radically different guises: porn star, demagogue & wife.
1. Her first appearance in the Google top 100 search terms is #42 nailin palin video, which references a report from the online entertainment industry rag TMZ.com:
Hustler Video is shooting a porn with a look-alike titled "Nailin' Paylin." The spelling is sic and so is Hustler. You betcha!The problem isn't the porn; it's the fact that her public persona lends itself so easily to porn and other forms of parody. Where's the dignity in that? (I don't remember any porn films about Bella Abzug or Shirley Chisholm, do you?)
The faux Sarah is Lisa Ann, who "will be nailing the Russians who come knocking on her back-door." In another scene -- a flashback -- "young Paylin's creationist college professor will explain a 'big bang' theory even she can't deny!"
There's also a threeway with Hillary and Condoleezza look-alikes.
The video is in pre-production, but is being fast tracked for release before the election.
Seriously, I think we all learned from Bill Clinton that sexualizing your political image is ill-advised.
"Demagogue in a skirt"
2. In her second appearance on the top 100 search term is in reference to search term #80, demagogue, which is studded with links to stories like Sarah Palin -- A Demagogue in a Skirt and Palin the Ignorant Demagogue?. Looking at video of her rallies, it's easy to see her as a one-woman fascist movement, whose vague seemingly on-the-spot phrases ("in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America" ...
"all of you hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation") are in fact calculated, especially since she can't seem to really apologize for them.
3. Palin next turns up in search term #83, palin cnn interview, which links to her interview today with CNN's Drew Griffin.
There's a lot to criticize in the interview, but let's focus for a second on her portrait of the Governor as "cherished wife." Asked if her husband's interference in Troopergate was an ethical violation, she purrs, "My husband did exactly, I think, what any sensible, reasonable father, husband would do who was concerned about their family's safety."
Figure o' fun
Two days ago, the Googleverse was rife with searches related to Palin's appearance on Saturday Night Live.
What boggles my mind is how Palin can possess acute social savvy while totally lacking self-awareness.
First, she's parodied on Saturday Night Live by Tina Fey -- who was able to make fun of her simply by repeating her word-for-word replies to Katie Couric.
Then, in the spirit of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, she makes a guest appearance on the show, treated like a VIP to restore her dignity. The scripted jokes about her are good, but not great.
They're hardly needed, however, since Palin's own inadvertent self-parody in interactions with Amy Poehler, Lorne Michaels & Alec Baldwin is so effective.
Remind me, which Sarah Palin is the one that's supposed to appeal to women voters?
P.S. If you want to see the McCain-Palin's "feminism" depicted with stark candor, you must watch Women for McCain:
(h/t: Write Like She Talks)