Thursday, February 6, 2014

Beth’s Books: The Return of the Grifter

Beth's BooksNo, that’s not the title of the book. It’s actually Sarah Palin’s latest “book,” Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas. I had to put the word ‘book’ in quotation marks, because I’m not sure this crapfest qualifies as a bona fide book.

Full disclosure: I read this book for the sole purpose of trashing it on here. I generally try to ignore the Half-Gov, because she really is irrelevant, but when she told President Obama on her Facebook page to “stop playing the race card,” I thought, “It’s payback time. You called down the thunder...well, you now you got it! I’m comin’, Half-Gov. And Hell’s comin’ with me, you hear? Hell’s comin’ with me!!”

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes. Payback. Payback for telling our first African-American President to stop playing the race card. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, no less. If that doesn’t deserve a little bit of righteous smackdown, I don’t know what does. And I’m just the gal to do it. So let’s get started, shall we? Kick back, because this is going to be a long one.

First of all, I refused to give this grifter one penny. I was trying to find a free download, and finally saw that it was available as an e-book from my wonderful local library. You know, the socialist one where all the liberal elites hang out. I’m sure she got a few gullible people to fork over some dough for this, but I wasn’t one of them.

It’s difficult to convey just how horrid this thing is, but I’ll try.

Drop the adjectives and walk away. Nothing is simple in the Half-Gov’s world (except for the Half-Gov herself). There can’t just be a Christmas has to be a fragrant Charlie Brown tree with twinkling lights. There isn’t just snow...there is crisp and crunchy snow. People don’t just sing carols, their pure voices soar to the starry heavens with humble joy, their eyes alight with Christmas cheer. These are not actual examples from the book (I’ll get to that later), but this is the kind of “writing” you’ll find there. Adjectives are helpful in small doses, but not every noun has to be accompanied by one. There are several grammatical errors, too, including apostrophe abuse. It makes me laugh that she was a journalism major. Oh, makes me utter a jolly laugh, my rosy cheeks flushed with good humor, my twinkling eyes flashing in the mellow glow of my trusty laptop. ::eye roll::

Ditch the delusion of the idyllic family and household. There is plenty of stuff about the Half-Gov gathering her brood around and reading the story of Baby Jeebus to them and getting all choked up over it. There’s also plenty of family and friends gathering in the kitchen to bake Christmas treats. I cracked up over this: “Nothing says Christmas like strapping on an apron, heading to the kitchen with friends and family, and cooking and baking yourself into the Christmas spirit.” This “book” would have been more tolerable if I’d baked myself! There are stories of her wonderful childhood and the special Christmases she had. She tells a story about wanting a Walkman one year and getting a dictionary instead. “ good parents were teaching me a lesson I would remember forever. Words matter.” I about fell over laughing. Should have spent a little more time with that dictionary, Half-Gov! Although I’m sure you would refudiate that.

Get off the cross, Mary, we need the wood. There is a pervasive tone of personal persecution in her writing. She would be riffing on the joys of Christmas at one moment and toss in a snarky comment about Nancy Pelosi or liberals in general in the next. She often mentions her and McCain’s loss in 2008, and it’s obvious that she is still very bitter about it. She bitches about her treatment by the “lamestream media” (which she later abbreviates as LSM), she mentions the “angry, outraged, and just plain silly and rude responses” that she gets when she posts something on Facebook, and she says she gets “vile tweets.” She chalks this up to “the fringe” commenters. Sorry, Half-Gov, but not liking you doesn’t make people “the fringe.” She says, “The media speaks for itself and not the masses. Ignore it.” I think a more truthful statement would have been, “If the media calls me on my lies, ignore them.” She even mentions the ridiculous “free Obamaphone vouchers” story. When writing about her and some family members volunteering at a Wasilla soup kitchen on Christmas, she can’t stop herself from going on about losing the election and how she was maligned, her family mocked, their privacy lost. She then bitches about the ethics charges with which she was hit in Alaska: “My approval ratings—which had been the highest in the nation—plummeted.” Merry Christmas, poor people! News flash, Half-Gov: your approval ratings didn’t plummet because you had ethics charges brought against you. They plummeted because people saw for themselves that you abused the power of your office and they realized that you weren’t quite the person you had portrayed yourself to be. She equates the Affordable Care Act with “secular leftists” who view “babies as expendable and older Americans as crippling cost centers.” It’s the death panels again! She just can’t stop herself from regurgitating the same old lies.

Scenariopalooza. We are treated to the inner musings of the Half-Gov’s odd little mind as she regales us with constant fictional scenarios. We start with “Joe McScrooge,” an “angry atheist with a lawyer.” Joe listens to NPR (elitist!), and when he goes to the small town where his ex-wife lives with their son, he is disgusted with the public religious displays. When Joe McScrooge gets to the school, he parks “between two pickup trucks, one sporting a red-and-gold Semper Fi window decal, the other a faded, peeling McCain-Palin ‘08 bumper sticker. Joe audibly gagged.” Audibly! I wonder if he sounded like Sheeba coughing up a hairball? I’d like to think so. We get another pair of scenarios set in 2028, with the Half-Gov visiting her grandson Tripp at the University of Alaska. In the first, atheistic version, the communications director she speaks with wears Birkenstocks, there are gender-neutral bathrooms with foot-washing stations for Muslims, and Pagan and Muslim holiday celebrations occur, but Christian ones do not. In the non-atheistic version, all religions are celebrated—except the Christian celebrations are the best because DUH—and to top it all off, we get to hear about President-Elect Romney and his great hair! The Half-Gov Grammy thinks, “I guess sixth time’s the charm.” By the time I got to the “Joe the Student” scenario, I laughed out loud and thought, “Oh boy, another scenario!” Poor Joe the Student feels persecuted by the anti-Christian policies of his public school, and his parents are too busy with work to push back against the persecution. She didn’t specify if Joe’s dad was also a Joe, but it sure seems like there are a lot of Joes in the Half-Gov’s imaginary world! Personally, I was hoping for a story about Joe the Proctologist or Joe the Male Prostitute, but I was disappointed.

Atheists hate Christmas, the Baby Jeebus, America, and they have no morals. Here we get to the crux of this “book,” which is that “...the ‘war on Christmas’ is the tip of the spear in the larger battle to secularize our culture and make true religious freedom a thing of America’s past.” I call bullshit, Half-Gov. She seems unable to grasp the difference between religious displays on private property and those on public property, as well as the difference between atheists taking offense at the latter as opposed to the former. The vast majority of atheists I know are of the “live and let live” variety. If you want to put up a nativity on your front lawn, knock yourself out. But keep it out of our government offices, okay? She writes, “The atheists are trying to make Nativity scenes such a pain for cities to maintain that the public officials will simply remove all religious displays entirely.” Bingo! Give that Half-Gov a kewpie doll! Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and she got this one right. Until we stop seeing all religious displays in government facilities, I say keep pushing for those Festivus poles. For the record, I don’t know of anyone who sees a Christmas tree (or holiday tree...I don’t care what you want to call it) as a strictly Christian display. The Christians stole it from the Druids, after all. A nativity scene is obviously Christian, however, and if you allow that to be displayed in your county courthouse, you’d better be prepared to allow a Menorah, a Festivus pole, or a pagan display, or any other display that any religious group wants to put up.

As for the “amoral atheists” stuff, I’m going to go into depth here and provide several quotes.
Without God as an objective standard, who’s to say what’s wrong and what’s right? Morality becomes a matter of the human will, as each person decides what’s right and what’s wrong for himself. 
Without faith, I doubt we’d have the love in our hearts that compels one to give, to volunteer, to be kind and loving to our neighbors, and to aspire to live the Golden Rule.
Without faith, we’d be, well, the secular Left—a group that data shows to be notoriously stingy with their time, money, and pleasant attitudes, and that believes ‘compassion’ is best represented by a failed welfare state that traps millions in lifelong poverty and despair.
Left to our own devices, without God in our lives, we drift toward evil.
I call bullshit—again. You DO know that the Golden Rule appears nowhere in the bible, right, Half-Gov? I also find it interesting that you provided no footnote as to your “data” that shows that atheists don’t give their time or money, or that they don’t have pleasant attitudes, or that they have no compassion. You know why? Because that data doesn’t exist. Liar. It strikes me as almost sad that so many people feel that without religion telling them what NOT to do, they would become “evil.” That doesn’t speak very well for you and your pals, does it? So you need to be told not to get all rapey and murdery and junk? Personally, I find that I’m not that way because it’s the right thing to do, both because I value my fellow human beings and because I value a civil society, and want to always try to do what is best for both. I may not always succeed, but I do try, and I somehow manage to keep my vile and amoral impulses in check.
Here are a few more fun quotes and my commentary:
...if you can’t handle protests, then it’s hard to handle other challenges of the job.
Oh, that’s rich! This would be the job that you QUIT halfway through, right? That job? I thought so. friends bobbed their feather-banged heads to “Jessie’s Girl” and “9 to 5” on their headphones (I was more of a Van Halen and Joan Jett-type girl, and to get into a game-day mindset I’d listen to “Back In Black”).
If she listened to Van Halen, Joan Jett, and AC/DC in high school, I’ll eat my hat. I bet she was listening to Debby Boone wailing her way through “You Light Up My Life.”

She mentions her publisher, HarperCollins,
...the same publisher smart enough to publish this book.
That made me laugh.

She writes about the French Revolution and the Jacobins (“radical atheists”) changing street names to remove references to the saints:
We wouldn’t want any Frenchman to be offended and have a totally rotten, ruined day after glancing up at road signs to find his favorite baguette shop.
She really seems to dislike the French. Who can forget the fruit fly research in Paris, France??
I decided to run against good ol’ boy incumbents for mayor, then governor, because I knew the public deserved new energy to get the job done. [Emphasis mine]
Get the job done! That’s a hoot! But you DIDN’T get the job done, did you, HALF-Gov?

Palin empty headTo sum up, this was yet another rendering of how the Half-Gov was persecuted and maligned and just plain bullied, gosh darn it. Not only in her brief political life, but those mean ol’ atheists are picking on her and her religion, too. She cherry-picks the words of the founders concerning a religious society, because taking the time to read more about how they felt is just too hard. Check out what Thomas Jefferson had to say about it sometime, Half-Gov, if you can tear yourself away from eating moose chili. Oh, and she includes a few recipes at the end of the book, including one for moose chili, and another recipe for something that I found rather exotic and experimental. Has anyone ever heard of these things called “Rice Krispie Treats”? Sounds really strange to me, but the Half-Gov swears by ‘em. Thank science she included the recipe, because I’m sure I never would have heard about this treat otherwise.

I’m not sure when I’ve read such a steaming pile of literary malfeasance. The Half-Gov is self-serving, self-centered, and completely narcissistic. Her portrayal of her magical, idyllic life (except for that bad spell where her teenage daughter somehow found herself preggers and her and Todd had a fight about it, and then all that losing and quitting and ethics charges junk) reminded me very much of someone we dealt with for quite a while, but no longer have to, thank science. When I was describing some of this to Ken and asked him who it made him think of, he knew exactly who I was talking about, and some of you will, too. There was definitely a feel of the “cozy country cottage” and “little cottage kitchen” (which was actually a small house in a suburb of a small city) in this “book.”

I’ll leave you with one final quote from the “book”:
And yet I’m pegged the idiot by the LSM?