Politics

I Am America (And So Can You!)

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I really liked this book. I was slow to become a fan of Stephen Colbert even after I started watching his show. I thought him too crude and annoyingly stupid and preferred the more serious Jon Stewart’s straight-man portrayal of current events.

I still prefer Jon Stewart’s style, but I absolutely fell in love with Colbert when he really started his own Super PAC to show the public how completely screwed up the system is when it comes to political funding.

I Am America reads exactly like the Colbert Report segment “The Word”, including the handy notes in the margins and footnotes. This is definitely the book you hand without introduction to your slightly clueless ultra-conservative relatives and coworkers and see if their mind gets blown.

I thought the epilogue chapter that included his Press Association Dinner speech was interesting for a few different reasons. For one, I didn’t know much about the content of that speech except that when it ended the pundits didn’t know what the hell had just happened because no one knew that he was doing satire (they just thought him completely batshit crazy). Secondly, after reading the speech, I could conclude that half of it did indeed come across as completely batshit crazy, haha. For me, it read like a really awkward speech. There were moments of brilliance when Colbert shined with a well placed joke that was fully in character. There were moments when he seemed to fall out of character in order to do the standard shoutouts to folks in the crowd (the ones where he didn’t include a good joke). And then there were moments when what he was saying might have been in character, but was so completely in left field it just came across as stupid and not even remotely funny (actually, these moments weren’t presented the same way as the jokes, so maybe this was an attempt to stay in character while not saying something that’s supposed to be funny…I’m not sure). But then, I reminded myself that this speech was given in 2006. While the character of Stephen Colbert had been used on the Daily Show, he’d only had his own show for one season as of April 2006. In other words, at the time he was still working out the kinks in the character.

America is Number 1 Mouse Pad
America is Number 1 Mouse Pad by PunchDrunk
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I Don'T See Color T-shirt
I Don’T See Color T-shirt by worldsfair
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Sarah Palin, Going Rogue

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From Booklist: “No good deed goes unpunished. Just ask Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s campaign manager and the guy who pushed Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. Now, in Palin’s much-hyped book, he’s just a fat, smoking bullet-head who told her to “stick to the script.” The feeling running through Going Rogue is that Palin has been bursting to take a whack at those she believes didn’t do right by her during the campaign. (Katie Couric, we’re looking at you!) Before readers get to that, however, there’s personal biography. We’re introduced to Sarah the reader—loved to read—the basketball player, hunter, wife, mother. Then lots and lots of Alaska politics, which will probably be a little hard even for people from Alaska to plow through. (Scores are settled here, too.) Once Palin gets into the 2008 campaign, the tone is folksy, but the knives are out. Much has been made of her criticisms of Schmidt and another McCain staffer, Nicolle Wallace. But less has been said about Palin’s comments about Barack Obama. For instance, she notes that when she and husband Todd first heard Obama speak, they saw the wow factor but worried that his “smooth” talk would hide his radical ideas. She also implies that Obama wanted to shield only his own children from the press, though, in fact, in September 2008, he told CNN that Palin’s children must be off limits as well. Ronald Reagan’s name is mentioned by page 3 and invoked regularly throughout. There’s no doubt Palin sees herself as heir to his legacy. But many readers will see the Sarah Palin revealed in these pages as much closer to George Bush, someone you’d like to have a beer with. Or perhaps dinner: “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals—right next to the mashed potatoes.” –Ilene Cooper

I read this because she’s just one of those figures that I needed to read her own words to figure out if she’s just misunderstood or really just nuts. Turns out she’s simply delusional. Here’s the short version for my reasoning: to “go rogue” one must be fighting against “the man”, but this book is filled with “here’s how ‘the man’ wanted to hold me down and see how I let him do that, but I’m a-gonna ‘go rogue’ now by tellin’ ya’ll that when I was letting the man hold me down, I was totally thinking “when I’m vice president, I’ll show you who’s boss”. She gives example after example after example of how she kept getting walked all over in politics while she apparently was thinking how moronic these guys all were. Like I’m going to vote for someone who is man-handled into clothes she didn’t want to wear because internally she’s thinking that it’s stupid and not her fault.

The other reason big why I don’t like Sarah Palin? Because if a vegan came to her house she’d hand them half a head of iceberg and call that dinner while her family eats moose stew. I’ll let you insert all the negative names I’m mentally calling her. I don’t care if she thinks being vegan or vegetarian is stupid, there are a half dozen equally easy ways to not be rude to a dinner guest.

Here’s some gifts that hopefully won’t offend anyone while still catering to a fan of this book. If you’re looking for something a bit more right-wing I’ll leave you to search on your own.

Divide and Conquer 2016 Bumper Sticker

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US Flag 1776 Courier Bags

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