My dad gave me the Sarah Palin book, Going Rogue for Christmas because he knows I have no use for her and he thought it would be funny. Despite my promise to return the book ‘on the way to the airport’, I have decided to keep the book and try and read it.
How’s it going?
It’s a slog.
I was going to hold off on a review until I finished the book. However, seeing as how I already know how the book ends and do not wish to be a ‘lame duck’ reader and that I believe God has better things for me to read in the future, I decided to quit reading the damn thing right about the two thirds of the way through.
And here’s my review:
Utter garbage. Don’t waste your time. And I say that even if you’re a fan of the woman.
I don’t usually stop reading a book midway through. I did in college, but the ‘Intellectual History of the Antebellum South: 1800-1860’ was genuinely unreadable, unless you were an insomniac, in which case it was the greatest drug ever. This book was that bad. Horribly written, transparently self-serving, and so devoid of depth it made nutritional labels seem Pulitzer worthy.
Yes, I’m biased. I’ve always thought the woman was an idiot.
And I just read a sizeable chunk of a book that did little to dissuade me.
Want to know when I knew I wasn’t going to finish the book? When she said the Iranians released the hostages when Ronald Reagan was sworn in because they knew the kind of man they were dealing with. A guy with a ‘steel spine’. BULLSHIT! How any person who purports to be a student of politics (and she does) can gloss over/ignore reality is beyond me. The Shah was dead. Iraq was coming over the border. Releasing the hostages the day after Carter leaves office was a beautiful ‘Fuck You’. Steel spines had nothing to do with it. Even Wikipedia, that growing cesspool of pop-knowledge, has most of the story right.
How can she be so fucking stupid?
From that point on I started reading the book like a Penthouse letter, which was a switch because I had been reading it like a comic novel to that point. I skipped past all the ‘…and I swear that everything that happened was real’ parts looking for keywords like ‘indictments’, ‘campaigns’, or ‘aching wet pussies in need of a fuck’. Sadly, there is no mention of the latter to be found.
No. What we’re treated to is a big ole Tom Sawyer-esque whitewash of her life. Everything was great, she just showed up, smiled and next thing you know, why, she’s gonna be the VP! Shucks, them there media disasters and controversies weren’t no big thing. Just that gotcha media trying to get her cause they’re all against Freedom and God and stuff. Shucks, if them there peoples would just listen to what she’s saying now, in hindsight, they’d realize that she wasn’t no deer in the headlights after all. She just didn’t understand why they were all concerned with things like issues and if she knew and understood them. Heck, back in Alaska, no one ever bothered asking why she did things, they were all there to be Free and Independent and Wilderness-y.
There’s nothing wrong with selling optimism, but skipping over the hard parts is just as damaging as promising to solve everybody’s problems with a program.
Shit doesn’t get done just because someone wants it to be done. Becoming Governor when you’ve pissed off the party bigwigs takes more than a ‘Gosh’ and a smile. Forcing the oil companies to develop their leases or bidding a pipeline? That shit takes work, not winks. I wanted to see that!! I wanted to know how she did it, goddammit! Where was that story in the fucking book! Impress me with a showing of depth and intelligence! You can be folksy and smart at the same time. To be taken seriously, you have to be serious.
And above all:
QUIT PANDERING TO THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR!
Fuck! Arrrgggh! Fuck!
I guess you could say I found the lack of detail annoying.
Let’s put it into perspective. My daughter is five. She describes her life in greater detail.
Personally, I blame the publishers. In an effort to cash in on the Governor’s ‘popularity’, they have put out a horrible, horrible, self-serving book. But then again, that’s pretty much what an autobiography is all about. Casting your story in a light that’s favorable… to you.
There should be rules for these kinds of books. A set of conditions that must be met prior to publication.
My first rule:
No autobiographies until you’re dead, or nearly so.
Rule Number Two:
There’s a five year waiting period between doing something famous and publishing a book about it.
Rule Number Three:
Who gets published is decided by a council of learned people, like the Baseball Hall of Fame. They look at your life, decide if it meets the lofty standards of my five year old, and vote you in.
Rule Number Four:
Like the Hall of Fame, only so many get published a year.
Let’s say you’re famous and you sober up after a falling out with your personal physician/Colombian drug mule. Okay, great life affirming story, but is it a book? Probably not, unless it involves guns, whores and whores with guns. As things are now, you and your agent can knock out a book in a couple of meth-fueled weekends, and get it on the market before they find the rest of the bodies buried in your back yard. Eventually (about a month or so) the public tires of your shit. Bookstores choke on all the unsold copies of your book, which required a couple hundred acres of rainforest to print. Without all those trees, CO2 levels rise, the ice caps melt, sea levels rise and Florida sinks into the ocean. Happy now, you self-centered prick?! I can’t take my kid to Disney World. Fuck you.
Under my system, you sit on the sidelines, relegated to People, Us and ‘Oprah’ for five years while the public moves on to other scandals. Disney World is saved. Hooray.
So, where was I?
Oh yeah. Going Rogue. Here’s the recap.
It’s not going to change your mind, your life, or your politics.
If you hate her, you’ll continue to do so.
If you love her, you’ll continue to do that, too.
And if you’re on the fence wondering if this Tea Party thing is going to work out with her hanging around…well…do yourself a favor and quit now while you’re ahead.
It’s what Sarah would do.