I took five minutes out of my day to read Dan Savage's review of Sarah Palin's Christmas book, and I'm so glad I did. I haven't laughed this hard in days:
I've been carting Sarah Palin's new book around with me for weeks. My copy of Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas has accompanied me to work and to the gym and back home again. This book has been to bars in four states, it's been stuffed in the lockers of three gyms, it's been stowed under the seat in front of me on six flights—it's even been to a kink-world-famous dungeon in San Francisco that I recently toured for professional reasons. (You know how Jen Graves visits artists' studios and Bethany Jean Clement eats in nice restaurants? It was like that, just with hooks in the ceiling.)
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more.
And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote.
Palin dedicates the book to her mother and father. "It's fun to watch you live like every day is Christmas," Palin writes on the dedication page. "Our world needs more of that."
Ma and Pa Palin don't "keep Christmas in their hearts" all year long, à la Dickens, they live every day like it's Christmas. And the world needs more of that? Really? Does it? I like Christmas—I love Christmas (my Christmas cookies are in the oven right now!)—but wouldn't it drain December 25 of all its specialness if you left the tree up 365 days a year? And every morning began with presents? And are Christmas-like levels of mass consumption sustainable on a daily basis?
Jesus. Look at me. I'm being ridiculous. I'm nitpicking. I haven't even gotten to the first page of the actual book and I'm arguing with Sarah Palin. And I just took the Lord's name in vain. This is the effect Palin has on liberals. She's the ultimate right-wing troll. And that's why Palin will never have to do an honest day's work again in her life.
Turning the page...
Here's a picture of Sarah Palin's grandson—who for a time was the most famous fetus on the planet (2008, Republican National Convention)—and a quote:
"'All this for me? And I wasn't even very good!'
—My grandson, Tripp Easton Mitchell [Johnston], upon seeing the presents beneath the Christmas tree, 2012"
All this for me—and I wasn't even that good. Translate that into Latin and it could be on the Palin family's coat of arms.
Okay... I'm diving into the actual book. God help me.
Hey, it turns out that Sarah Palin and I have something in common: Sarah bakes for her family at Christmas. Me too! Sarah bakes cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day; I bake apple cakes. That's nice. Humanizing even. I have to say that, here on page 2, Palin is coming across as very nearly warm-blooded.
That didn't last.