On Sarah Palin and Keeping Sane

JULY 5, 2009
I have spent the weekend tending to my gardens as much as possible, trying to ignore the nightmare that is the resurgence of Sarah Palin.  I knew immediately after the dense one gave her resignation speech (which is not the same as retirement- see Brett Favre), with all her incoherent ramblings, that Drawger would become a gallery for Palin images.  Nevertheless I pursued weeding, tilling, and harvesting broccoli and currants.  Having checked the postings, it seemed only right to include a Palin image of my own till I can create a new, fresh, one. 

As first seen in ROLLING STONE. To quote from Matt Taibbi who wrote the piece: "She totally reminds me of my cousin!" the delegate screeched. "She's a real woman! The real thing!" I stared at her open-mouthed. In that moment, the rank cynicism of the whole sorry deal was laid bare. Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore. And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin' Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning. Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation
Sometimes you just have to shut out the politics. Hermann Hesse was an important writer to me growing up. I was impressed that he found great solace and peace from the relentless troubles of the world, in his garden. It certainly is the place where my best opportunities for reflection and meditation through work occur. My middle son, Alex, however put it best when he observed after we moved up here, that the garden was my way of connecting spiritually with my German grandfather (on my mom's side) who farmed a hundred acres in the old country. On our first (and only) family trip to Germany the summer before I entered 1st grade, I was able to spend a lot of time with Max Strifler. He left a considerable impression on me and I felt very close to him during those couple months. I know that no matter what I get accomplished here it can never compare to the jaw dropping gardens my relatives have over there.
Some of you might already have seen the documentary, FOOD INC. that just opened, and are probably shaking your heads in despair over the quality of the foods we eat, thanks to the horrific ag-industrial complex. Well, here's a solution, and it seems to be something more Americans are recognizing as an alternative to the stuff that's offered in the supermarket (also check out Alex Nabaum's posting from June 30th). That is, if you have the space, and equally important, time to pursue it. The original garden that I started once we moved up here. Took four years and many setbacks (not the same as having a vegetable garden in Jersey), to get it to this point. The light white covers in the background are used to keep the birds and critters from getting to the berries and currants. The stone wall that encircles the garden was already here when we first saw the place.
Over 5 lbs of currants and haven't even started in earnest with the pickings.
Garden number 2. 2nd year in the works. Fence (to keep deer and most critters out) not finished yet. Over 70 yards (a yard = 2 plus tons) of buffalo compost and top soil tilled into a very uncooperative, rock filled, soil. The excavated rocks and mini boulders will eventually be used to encircle the fence once it's completed. The view is from the studio balcony.
Garden #2 view from a couple months back. One side stone wall completed.