Celebrity Sarah Palin To Play Scarlett O’Hara In Remake?

7 09 2008

Okay, this morning I finally got a few quiet minutes to evaluate this talking point about Sarah Palin as the most popular governor in the nation.  (I’m a mom, you know.  It’s rare.)

I started with the hypothesis that Republicans appeal most strongly to people who want both low taxes and high quality of life (for themselves at least.)

If that were true, one would expect the most popular governor in the nation to be in the state with the lowest tax burden AND abundant public resources, the kind all can share without personal cost. If there’s any such place left in America.

Voilà! My hypothesis has predictive value —
Alaska has the lowest tax burden of all 50 states AND abundant natural resources, resources the Republican leadership of that state exploits industrially (oil and gas) as well as encouraging its citizens to freely enjoy The Big Outdoors, for enhanced quality of life. It seems in fact, that the whole culture there is built around simultaneously exploiting and enjoying those abundant resources, with relatively little demand from “actual responsibilities” to interfere. It’s unreal, almost, as we hear the story unfold.

Very like the continent itself, back when we as early Americans thought there was no need for actual responsibilities — there’s plenty more of everything ahead in the new frontier, right? Palin’s news stories quite literally appear in “The Frontiersman.”

No wonder her culture has embedded in her story a smugness toward the rest of us Americans, and our petty economic and urban problems (miseries such as Barack Obama as a young man in Chicago, say, was called to address as “community organizer”) and it’s not just an annoying tone in her voice — it’s that her Alaskan family and friends seem to nurse secessionist fantasies, how much richer and more carefree they’d be, without the dead weight of all of us! That’s not just personal, that’s political power of story too.

All of which reminds me of Gone With the Wind, southern belles as steel magnolias, my American cultural equivalent of hockey mom pitbulls in lipstick.

The beautiful, accomplished Scarlett O’Hara once tossed her pretty head in denial and said “war, war, war, fiddle-dee-dee” in much the same way Palin now tosses her pretty head and says “global warming, community organizer, fiddle-dee-dee” — neither is overtly racist or sexist, in informed intent anyway. Just in effect.
Fiddle-dee-dee.

Scarlett O’Hara exemplified tough-as-nails privileged femininity, but was it feminism?  And since her ancestral home looked so much like the White House, is Scarlett qualified to play vice-president as we remake America?

As a big Scarlett fan and a lifelong Southern woman myself, I say no way — her story is shallow, pampered, selfish in every way. She was healthy, headstrong, unrefined, a minimally educated young woman with a very sharp tongue, getting by with her natural resources — breathtaking beauty and carefully cultivated feminine wiles.  Scarlett produced several beautiful children not because she had any real choice or felt called to “actual” mothering as her own life purpose, but because it was inevitable in her society. Lucky for her and her ruthless pursuit of money and power and control out in the business world among men, then, that in that old-fashioned life, she had ample family and social resources at her disposal through which she could avoid bearing many “actual responsibilities” of active motherhood herself.

Living large the unexamined life, as it wreaks havoc on everyone else’s life.
Fiddle-dee-dee. She was the still most popular girl in three counties.

Scarlett was fictional but that doesn’t mean her story is a lie. From Scarlett we could buy a bridge to Louisiana’s Katrina Governor Kathleen Blanco, who is practically a twin separated at birth of Sarah Palin.

So — while it makes for racy fiction and compelling characters, paraded in a glam premiere that thrilled the fawning fans (with unexamined lives of their own but much less of everything else to enjoy in public OR private), I don’t see how Palin’s pitbull-in-lipstick (personal or political) model has any sort of relevance for real life in third-millennium America.  Except maybe for the South, in some steel-magnolia states still nursing its own secret and unseemly secessionist fantasy? How close are the definitions of “rebel” and “maverick” — oh yeah, that fits. Low taxes and abundant natural resources to exploit, sunshine and beaches for folks to enjoy PLUS oil to drill, drill, drill all along the coasts. An unsustainable economy but I’ve still got mine and you can tax it when you pry my gun out of my cold, dead hands?

Sure, it’s not overtly racist or sexist exactly, but guess which way most of the South will be voting again this fall? It’s Power of Story and we already know Palin’s story by heart.

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19 responses

7 09 2008
Nance Confer

Am I the only one who thinks Sarah Palin looks like Marcy from the Married With Children show? http://www.triviatribute.com/images4/amandabearse4.jpg

Nance

7 09 2008
JJ

Here’s another homeschooler’s take today, which I thought was brilliant and said so:
“Why We Love Sarah Palin”

7 09 2008
JJ

And while we’re on a roll — here’s a funny post about how hard it is to make this any funnier than it really is, which isn’t funny!
A Beauty Queen From Alaska Walks Into A Presidential Election. . .”

7 09 2008
JJ

I can see it, Nance. 🙂

8 09 2008
JJ

Since Vivian Leigh who played Scarlett “actually” was British acting as the American South’s rebel without a cause, here’s something Rove’s Republican Guard asked for imo — bring it on! — and deserve, from across the pond:
“There’s a whiff of baby oil and moose blood, a heady pheromone that rouses delegates to waggle their paunches at her. . . .Sarah’s womb is the black hole into which the best laid plans of the Republican party have disappeared.”

Read the whole thing when you have time. It will remind you how artfully even vicious political messages (like Palin’s!) can be packaged in the hands of a true wordsmith. The real message here is that cynical Republicanism waggles its paunch Palin’s way not so much because it is cynically sexist (though it certainly seems to be) but that this bottom-line, bottom of the barrel defense is “actually” racist — anything no matter how destructive and humiliating, is better than putting a black man in our white house.

Sarah like Scarlett gives us both in one civil war epic.

8 09 2008
JJ

And on a serious note of ACTUAL sexism worldwide, sexism Palin hasn’t bared a fang to address and probably never even heard of, fiddle-dee-dee:

So yes, while everyone else in white-bread redneck America is collectively ovulating with excitement, I am curbing my enthusiasm and consigning Palin to my long list of things I refuse to get very worked up about . . .

In case you missed them, there have been three developments on this subject that are worth mentioning.

9 09 2008
JJ

More about Alaska’s real taxing and spending (and that OIL) from Time Magazine

. . .Alaska’s government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it. Although Palin like McCain, talks about liberating ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, there is no evidence that being dependent on Alaskan oil would be any more pleasant to the pocketbook.

Alaska is, in essence, an adjunct member of OPEC. It has four different taxes on oil, which produce more than 89% of the state’s unrestricted revenue. On average, three-quarters of the value of a barrel of oil is taken by the state government before that oil is permitted to leave the state. Alaska residents each get a yearly check for about $2,000 from oil revenues, plus an additional $1,200 pushed through by Palin last year to take advantage of rising oil prices.

Any sympathy the governor of Alaska expresses for folks in the lower 48 who are suffering from high gas prices or can’t afford to heat their homes is strictly crocodile tears.

As if it couldn’t support itself, Alaska also ranks No. 1, year after year, in money it sucks in from Washington. In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.

10 09 2008
boremetotears

Am I the only one who thinks Sarah Palin looks like Marcy from the Married With Children show?

I doubt Sarah and friends would be too pleased with the comparison as that actress is a lesbian as I recall :O

10 09 2008
Nance Confer

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 🙂

Nance

10 09 2008
JJ

AS long as you don’t call her a lesbian in lipstick, because that would be offensive and disgraceful and you’d owe Palin an apology.
[sticking out tongue through lipsticked lips]

17 02 2009
JJ

What goes around comes around!

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s first two years in office have been called a time of milk and honey, when the resource-rich state was flush with wealth from record oil prices.

The second half of her term isn’t looking so rosy as Palin faces her first major financial challenge as governor.

The rapid decline of oil prices has left the state in a looming budget crisis and a late-entrant in the national recession. And that could have political repercussions. . .

Gee, ya think??

14 04 2009
War War War, Fiddle-dee-dee « Cocking A Snook!

[…] War War War, Fiddle-dee-dee 14 04 2009 War war war, fiddle-dee-dee! […]

22 05 2009
Palin Parenting Pregnancy Pomp (and Circumstance) « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Just in effect. Fiddle-dee-dee. […]

3 07 2009
Sarah Palin “Freeing” Herself From Public Office! « Cocking A Snook!

[…] couldn’t resist revisiting Fiddle-dee-dee: Lucky for her and her ruthless pursuit of money and power and control out in the business world […]

22 10 2009
War, War, War Revisited « Cocking A Snook!

[…] War war war, fiddle-dee-dee! […]

19 11 2010
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[…] starlets billed as real moms dancing like bears animated by corporate control for America’s “votes” are really […]

21 09 2011
What’s in the Words “Red Meat”? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] her. (No wonder her own high school basketball teammates called her Sarah Barracuda.) This all once made me think of her as a somewhat sympathetic Scarlett O’Hara but now it seems more like Lou Gossett Jr. except unfortunately she’s in my real life whether […]

10 10 2011
JJ

Here in 2011, the news is that Sarah Palin isn’t running for the GOP nomination. But isn’t she?? Just without the lipstick . . .

The editor of Texas Monthly, Jake Silverstein, sums up [this governor whose last name starts with P] as “a child of the mythology of the frontier,” in which “every man is more or less for himself, a good neighbor is one who needs no help, and efforts by the government to interfere are not to be trusted.”

To this P. adds a damn-the-pointy-heads denialism — global warming is a hoax, evolution is just “a theory that’s out there” — as well as a wink to the evangelicals, a nod to the executioner, and an ardent defense of personal liberties for those who are heterosexual and don’t need an abortion. . .

Temperamentally, [P] has a fever of class resentment that appeals to voters who see themselves trodden by elites. P knows the right way to hold a pitchfork.

There are plenty of P-watchers who see . . . less of a populist ideologue and more of an opportunist, which is an unkind way of saying . . . politician. .

11 02 2013
The Scarlett O’Hara Approach to Social Media? | adroyt

[…] To see our comrades posting for this #LetsBlogOff, click here for the roster. For a very funny blog post juxtaposing Scarlett and Sarah Palin, visit Cocking A Snook! […]

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