Sunday, November 22, 2009


From today's New York Times:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- When tickets to see Sarah Palin in Michigan ran out, people drove to her appearance here, three hours away.

Thousands had lined up overnight, starting nearly 24 hours before she was to begin signing books, camping out in 39-degree weather for a moment with the woman many see as the great conservative hope, a role model, "one of us."

They brought their sleeping bags, their children, homemade chocolate Cheerios bars, and balloons to twist into animal shapes and hats for the crowd....

Remind you of anything? Especially the spontaneous hours-long car ride across state lines, just for the opportunity to be in the crowd?

Maybe we need a new name for these people: Palinheads. To be sure, the drugs are different (make all the crystal meth jokes you want, but I bet white sugar and hugh-fructose corn syrup were the pricipal substances of abuse; I bet the "homemade chocolate Cheerios bars" weren't the most caloric items being abused in the queues, and weren't the only ones cooked up from a recipe on the back of a box). But maybe Palin really is the Grateful Dead of the 21st century -- not just someone to whom certain people want to devote a few hours of their time every so often, but a way of life, a central organizing principle of their existence.

Maybe Palin will just travel around the country making appearances (beats going back to Alaska), and fans will go on months-long pilgrimages to follow her. Maybe they'll avidly trade cellphone videos of her, endlessly debating which were her best shows. Maybe, a few years from now, they'll sneer at the newbies who weren't at Fort Wayne in '09, maaaan.

It could be a long, stra-- no, I'm not going to say it.

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