Inspection- Why Does Sarah Remind Me of Diane?

I have been thinking lately about Sarah Palin and, no, it’s not fantasy, has nothing to do with whips, chains or sex toys. God help me, Hell, no: I learned a long time ago I didn’t care for people like Sarah… and it had nothing to do with politics. Well, nothing to do with adult politics, but maybe whatever “politics” go on in a third grade classroom.

Third grade: Ms. Simon who got married morphed into Mrs. Kagan, 1963. She was a horrible teacher, mostly because of what she went through that year, I suspect. She was a screamer, a hitter and an abuser. But I’d rather get as little into that as possible because this is about Sarah, Diane and Claire Adams.

I was the crier in the class. I was never spanked, and almost every other boy got it at least once. Probably because if you said “boo” to me tears would flow and damn near never, ever, stopped. It wasn’t intentional, but it sure was a great defensive weapon. I just wish I had been smart enough to use it intentionally and more effectively. That’s just the way I was.

I remember Jeff Middleman and I talking about Diane. I guess that must be the age when some boys start to notice girls, ever so slightly. Some go, “ewe,” some have a just a smidge of the first stirring that grows, gets stronger; more irresistible. We pay dearly for years later with horrible rejection, smashed hearts and shattered egos; as they slam down their razor sharp boot heels all over our deepest, most tender, feelings. Other than that, dating is just mah-veh-lous.

Well, anyways, Jeff was going on and on about Diane… don’t remember the last name. I said, “You’ve got to be kidding. She’s spoiled. She snubs us and acts as if she’s better than anyone else.”

“She’s so smart.”

“She thinks she’s smart, Jeff.”

(If you’re reading this Jeff, you once commented when we met at SUNY Oswego while I was visiting a friend about me saying something like that in sixth grade to Mr. Bob. Actually, shortly after that conversation, I remember I had said something like that to you once before.)

For some reason, thinking back, Diane back then reminds me of Sarah Palin. Yeah, she’d wink and bounce her stuff… what little stuff third grade girls have… in front of the boys. The boys, who also had very little “stuff” to bounce themselves, would follow her around, pickup or give her pencils, take the blame and spankings for her snootiness and snotty comments. (“No, Mrs. Kramer, I said that! I did! I did!) That amazed me even back then. Who the hell would want someone like that?

Apparently, Neo Cons.

When I see Sarah toss Trig around as if he were a prop, or snap off one of those snotty “I’ll get back to ya” answers… when she strings standard, empty answers together, I’m reminded of Diane. Diane sounded smart only if you didn’t listen closely and realize that her answers were vague and a bit empty. Kind of like the answers some boys tried to give but the teacher wouldn’t let them get away with. She was one of those girls that could have been a bug zapper as the boys and even the teacher swarmed around the glare of her “wonderfulness” until you hear the sudden, snotty, frying sound of electrical rejection. The bugs have it better: they die. The boys get to come back and have their hopes murdered brutally over and over again and, damn, they always do, and did despite Diane’s loaded 12 gauge gun: her mouth.

My “love” wannabe was Claire Adams; great whatever, whatever granddaughter to President Adams. Both, if I remember right, since they were father and son. She was amazingly soft spoken and wise for her age, and kinder than her grand relatives, one who threw a pub quaff-er in prison for calling him “toothless.” The guy didn’t get out until Jefferson was voted in.

So while I stared across a library table into the eyes of a girl I never actually spoke to, the boys got slapped around by Diane and came back for more. This dynamic exists on all sides of the sexual aisle. And every time they came back for more you can almost see the slobber drooling down their chins.

That’s what I hear and see when I listen and watch those who admire Sarah Palin. They will make any excuse for what she says and does. The glow in their eyes and the fire in their loins does their thinking for them: in other words, when it comes to in-depth thought, little to none.

One has to ask…

Being asked what publications you read is a “gotcha” question? Huh? What? I’ll bet every single damn one of you can at least pop off with Newsweek or Time, or some local paper if asked that question.

I think Forrest Gump might ask for the camera feed to be cut, or at least for a second take, if while pardoning a turkey someone was grinding another one up behind him.

I’m sure even Diane knew enough about geography in third grade to know Sarah can’t see Russia from her house.

While slapping around the boys with her words, I don’t recall Diane ever demanding to see their birth certificate: the original, to see if they had a right to be there.

Diane left third grade with the rest of us, headed for fourth grade. So quitting half way through a terms (Sarah has quit damn near every time she ever gotten a position) is a sign Sarah’s “gone rogue:” brilliant, brave and potential presidential material? I don’t think we who knew better needed a printer: the damn thing printed itself; the all too funny bumper sticker; Palin for President: 2012 to 2014 1/2.

Comparing Sarah to a third grader is so unfair… for Diane. I’m sure she’s grown out of most of this by now; at least one can hope so. But I suppose what cements the comparison is that Diane had that over the top, nasal, ear shredding tone that young kids often have in third grade and Sarah Palin apparently never lost. They both had/have what to a nine year old would be snotty, biting, running commentary, but any adult would recognize as the spoiled brat-ism.

Diane had an excuse. She was 9. Sarah has none.

I wish to thank Claire Adams for helping me through a tough time with a teacher who had issues that prevented her from being anything but a terror by the end of the school year. The next year she moved and I moped through the rest of Mrs. Heinlein’s class.

And I hope Diane has grown out of that. I suspect she has and has become a wife; maybe a mother, or someone’s caring lover/partner no matter what her preferences. But if not, Diane, a word of advice from an old classmate. Please don’t run for office.

One Sarah Palin is way the hell too much, thank you.

-30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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