Wednesday, January 20, 2016

PALIN PLAYS NOTHING BUT THE HITS

I know, I know -- I'm supposed to think Sarah Palin's Trump endorsement speech was an incoherent hot mess. But while she probably should never apply for a copyediting job at The New Yorker, she delivers precisely what her fans want, in a way that's clumsy, maybe, but not incomprehensible.

Ever watch an aging Top 40 group run through a medley of decades-old chart-toppers? No song gets played to the end. The lead vocalist asks the audience to sing half the words. The band just has to go through the motions.

That's Palin. She knows her audience spends every waking moment watching Fox, listening to talk radio, or watching the latest Trump interview on Morning Joe -- so she doesn't have to finish any of her thoughts. I know she has the attention span of a hyperactive seven-year-old and probably couldn't finish any of her thoughts, but she knows it's not necessary. The audience remembers all the words. In the fans' heads, Bill O'Reilly and Mark Levin are singing the choruses.

Here's the formula: Take half a dozen ten-minute Fox or talk radio segments. Boil each one down to the takeaway bullet point. String these multiple bullet points together. Now you've made one Sarah Palin sentence:
Tell me, is this conservative? GOP majorities handing over a blank check to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood and illegal immigration that competes for your jobs, and turning safety nets into hammocks, and all these new Democrat voters that are going to be coming on over border as we keep the borders open, and bequeathing our children millions in new debt, and refusing to fight back for our solvency, and our sovereignty, even though that’s why we elected them and sent them as a majority to DC.
So few words, so many grievances! In a way, it's artful. Except for the awful draftsmanship, it's compressed like a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song, or a Bosch canvas.

Palin's audience doesn't need any of this explained. Palin's audience lives on these grievances, wallows in them, has them burned into memory via endless repetition in the right-wing media. The audience doesn't care if Palin plays any of the hits all the way through -- just play the chorus! just play that one riff!



Or maybe it's wrong to compare her to a band at all. She's more like a DJ -- she's not playing music, she's sampling. She doesn't have to take any song from start to finish -- her set just has to flow.



She may not have chops, but she invented the wingnut remix.

11 comments:

Victor said...

ROFLMAO!

"...Wingnut remix!"

Beautiful!

Can't top that, so I won't even try...

Ten Bears said...

I'm taking early wagers on tRump's VP pick. Cash only please, in small bills.

On National Popcorn Day, priceless.

Jason Tondro said...

Yeah, "She invented the wingnut remix" is a keeper.

Aunt Snow said...

Great! I will remember this.

Curt Purcell said...

I'm afraid there was an unintended record-scratch at the end of her "right wingin' bitter clingin' proud clinging' to our, etc." riff. Then again, she did it all while wearing the Iron Throne.

Greg said...

I suppose some ancient philosophers had stern warnings about what can happen to a democratic process, that it can end up encouraging this sort of ugly pandering. But when quantity is valued more than quality...

Yastreblyansky said...

Yes, I think that's exactly right, it's all affect. What she does isn't that different from Limbaugh, or Trump, or Rubio for that matter, it just looks funnier written down. I think it's important to note that you can't in fact coherently narrate the story of whatever the audience is so made about, because you can't really make it add up to a story, as has been the case with all these things since Whitewater. You just utter the words--BENGHAZI! Lead from behind! Free stuff! to make them shake with rage. And I hate to say it, but you know who else gave rambling, incoherent speeches full of dark accusations that didn't really make any logical sense.

Yastreblyansky said...

Also agree that "wingnut remix" is priceless.

Steve M. said...

Thanks...

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

Don't know if Colbert or his writers read this blog, but his bit on Palin's speech made funny light of her playin' the hits: http://tinyurl.com/gnlqvdj