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The Sarah Palin Chronicles (1)

September 6, 2008

This is the beginning of a series.

What is true is that most of us – in the USA and beyond – don’t know much about the Republican vice presidential candidate and hopeful, Sarah Palin, currently the governor of Alaska. It seems she was chosen to try to win the working class vote away from Barack Obama for John McCain. Although she gave what I thought was a vapid speech (no economic policy, just alot of one-liners) I have to admit it was a strong, assertive delivery, a classic example of what I call the MacDonald Phenomenon: the ability of the American economy to very efficiently package garbage. And here in Palin is the political version of a big mac. Attractive, well packaged but if you taste enough, it’s liable to kill you.

I also admit a certain modest degree of contrition. I confess having sent an email with a picture of Palin dressed in a red, white and blue bikini holding a sniper’s rifle. Turns out that picture is probably a cut and paste job and the characterization of Palin it suggests, while true, not formally accurate.

With that in mind I’ve decided do a bit of research, to share what I learn of Palin’s wisdom, her contribution to the common good in Alaska. I’ve already gotten a fair amount of help on this project from a number of friends from Steamboat Springs to Rockland County NY that have started the research project. So, together let’s see if we can look into the eyes of Sarah Palin and see her soul.

For starters, I include an email from an old friend, Michael Myerson, writing about Palin’s literary tastes, or lack there of.

This from Myerson:

“Let’s spend a few moments browsing the list of books Mayor Sarah Palin tried to get town librarian Mary Ellen Baker to ban in the lovely, all-American town of Wasilla, Alaska. When Baker refused to remove the books from the shelves, Palin tried to fire her. The story was reported in Time Magazine and the list comes from the librarian.net website.”

“I’m sure you’ll find your own personal favorites among the classics Palin wanted to protect the good people of Wasilla from, but the ones that jumped out at me were the four Stephen King novels (way to go Stephen, John Steinbeck only got three titles on the list), that notorious piece of communist pornography “My Friend Flicka,” the usual assortment of Harry Potter books, works by Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain (always fun to see those two names together), Arthur Miller, and Aristophanes, as well as “Our Bodies, Ourselves” (insert your own Bristol Palin joke here), and the infamous one-two punch of depravity: “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Little Red Riding Hood.” But the cherry on the sundae, the topper, is Sarah Palin’s passionate, religious mission to clear the shelves of the Wasilia Public Library of that ultimate evil tome: “Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.” That’s the one with “equality,” “free speech” and “justice” in it.”

“Go over to your book case and take down one of the books you’ll find on the list (I know you’ve got a couple) and give it a read in honor of the founding fathers. Then tell me I’m not the only voter who doesn’t want this woman within thirty feet of the United States Constitution.”

Sarah Palin’s Book Club

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter20and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
M y Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughte rhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John20Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth

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