Monday, 6 October 2008

Down-home truths

The cold and the frost are here, and as I watch the 2008 United States vice-presidential debate the temperature drops below freezing; Sarah Palin sends a shiver down my spine.

As the nights draw darkly, temperatures tremble in the breeze, and dawn won’t break till morning I can begin to feel the creek in my bones that signals the onset of another cold Alaskan winter. This afternoon I moved my bed into a warmer room. I wedged it up against the stove with a chair. If I don’t have it jammed it squeaks and rattles and frightens the life out of me. The thought struck me that in this respect it couldn’t be unlike a Sarah Palin presidency.

Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin visiting KuwaitPalin comparison
Although there’s a certain economy of discourses of truth adhered to at these events that is not to my taste, I watched the 2008 United States vice-presidential debate. Perhaps the cold was making me hungry, but the exchange reminded me of nothing more than fish. Joe Biden shark-smiled teeth like razors, but the thriller from Wasilla too proved she’s more than a minnow: Alaskan king salmon are popular for sport because they put up a good fight when you get them on the hook. Palin might sometimes look like a fish out of water but her Last Frontier pioneer spirit we see her through a ropey start to the bitter end, whichever way this tough cookie crumbles. Or put another way, there’s that small-town parochial partisan pettiness that’ll keep her fighting all the way. (One of her first acts as Wasilla mayor was to fire the police chief who’d supported her opponent.)

Whiter shade of Palin
Wasilla is also the name of the Ossetian god of storms. So it is in a way appropriate that Palin should cause a storm in a teacup on entering politics and a furor on her ascent to the national stage. However, the town’s name actually commemorates a Dena' ina Athabascan Indian Chief whose name meant “breath of air”. Whether this was fresh air or hot air was not specified. There might have been a lot of the latter down in Whitman County Thursday, but it’ll be an ill wind blowing in Washington if there’s a Palin Vice Presidency in the wind, and then we’ll all be left to twist in an extended metaphor that’s worn thinner than the Sarah Palin end of a regressive and ignorant conservative wedge.

Palin to insignificance
Regardless of which way the vice-presidential wind is blowing, the wind in the land of the midnight sun is very definitely cold. The doors bang and the windows rattle and the wind gently rocks the dilapidated cabin. I close my eyes for a while and listen to the chill wind shrieking around the old relic. It's a John McCain of a house and a wind that’s not unlike the Sarah Palin candidacy.

2 comments:

LadyFi said...

You're too funny - I miss the British sense of humour here in Sweden. (I'm a Brit living here but south of the Arctic Circle so no midnight sun down here in Stockholm.)

Alex said...

Hey thanks for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate it. BTW I have to say that you have a good sense of humor.