Sunday, 28 September 2008

Terrified for us all Pt. Deux

It seems that College Humor beat me to the punch. Or should I say... rink.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Terrified for us all

Some time ago, my partner in crime and crime fighting and I had been joking, during the Hilary battle, about a great pitch for a movie called President Mom. We described the pitch to our friends - President Mom wins on a platform of family values, but is by and large considered too inexperienced to run... there would be a series of mom related disaster and high jinx until at the climax of the movie she wins over the party on their agricultural platform with her signature board room oat bran cookies. As the bad guys chew, and argue against the farmers, President Mom kindly points out that every ingredient in those cookies came from an American farm, and enchanted, the bad guys become less stringent on their brand new agricultural tax on Iowa and everyone wins. President Mom exits the White House to the cheers of the protesting farmers, and the skeptical Dick Cheney character shakes her hand, then, with a "what the hey!" elbow shrug, gives her a hug. More cheers. The poster would be a mom sitting at a desk, cookies prominently displayed over her files and papers, with the white house in the background, and her two children clawing at her legs under the table. Miraculously, Morgan and I were brainstorming this film well before Sarah Palin emerged as the keenest actress to audition.

This article is guilty of Michael Moore style hyperbolizing in parts, but its sentiment is right on the money. Since reading her Wikipedia entry I have been terrified of Sarah Palin - but strangely in awe of the marketing strategy behind the choice of her as John McCain's running mate. The Guardian ran a controversial opinion piece by Zoe Williams last March well before Palin joined the presidential ballot discussing how beautiful and stylish French politicians happened to be. I remember reading it after a female friend pointed out how appallingly sexist it was, though in retrospect it seemed to have been making an excellent point. How could America not have seen it earlier? In politics sex sells.

Although choosing a female running mate may have seemed like a drastic political move, it could not have been a sounder marketing strategy. President Mom, as Hilary pointed out, is not going to happen, but Vice President Mom feels as comfy to the American people as her hand knitted slippers. An attractive, supportive wife figure to the big old white male leader - this fits right into our oldest and most deeply ingrained stereotypes of the female leader. There were plenty of other Republican women who were much more experienced and looked better on paper for this job, but Republicans are voting for family values - and every family needs a mom. Naturally, this mom makes less than your father, is less experienced, and is Oedipally sexy. Of this I am certain - Sarah Palin was not chosen as John McCain's running mate on the advice of senior members of the Republican party, but on the advice of the best marketing team the Republicans could afford. Now, more than ever, let's hope that Americans don't fall prey to the plot of a sub par Hollywood Movie, otherwise known as classic advertising. Remember Hitler? He was quite the publicity savvy straight talker himself.

If elected, Sarah Palin will do everything in her power to give less freedom to the American people. This mom has a strict curfew, doesn't like your black friends, and insists that you go through with the pregnancy. She may make you cookies and take you to soccer practice once in a while, but ultimately, this mom will ruin your life. So call off the production, because the film that stars Sarah Palin does not have a happy ending.