Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Forgiving Sarah Palin (I've Been Wrong)

The process involved a lot of reflection, reading, rest, cleansing, and grapefruit but, I can finally state that a portion of my 'life's journey' is complete; I learned how to truly forgive.

Despite a legitimate desire to remain open-minded, accept the differences that exist between myself and others, and truly embrace and tout America's First Amendment, I often realize that my glowing attributes are merely held in vain. Often times, an impulsive desire to shred any piece of an opposing view along with the individual who holds it enters my threshold of destruction and is surrounded by a shield of an impenetrable stubbornness.

Because of my adamant disagreement with her politics and method of presenting them, one individual, who has no idea who I am or what I've said, has still been the target for countless insults, claims, and ridicule from my unrestrained musings, and I feel bad.

Consider for a moment, that every ideal you hold close and strive to espouse (essentially, your true being) was one day recognized by someone in power. Your heart and soul are validated by a candidate for the most powerful office on Earth.

Finally, you are in a position to offer your core beliefs to the masses. You can now bring the change that molded your spirit and family into the hearts and minds of Americans, if not the rest of the world.

I truly believe that Sarah Palin's foundation is formed from roots that sincerely intend to offer only greatness and prosperity. However, the superficial puppet-masters that thrust her into the world's spotlight were not doing so with her, or America's best interests in mind.

The 2008 Presidential Election contained a surge of enthusiasm and energy not experienced since, at least, John F. Kennedy's bid in 1960. Barack Obama created a tidal wave of support that could not be matched by John McCain alone. His campaign needed a spark plug, someone who's zest, attractiveness, youth, and 'freshness' could match the Illinois Senator.

This is not intended as an insult (though I am sure some will take it that way) but, Gov. Palin was not chosen to run as Vice President because of her grasp on domestic and international relations, a vision for a balanced economy, or a reputation for enacting social reform. She attained her status on the ticket because very few had ever heard of her (including John McCain, he met her once) and she possesed a knack for firing-up a crowd that McCain sorely lacked. She was merely a pawn in a grand political scheme.

Obviously, the McCain/Palin ticket failed to overtake the machine that was, Obama. Sen. McCain had a cozy political office to retreat into where his fervor for the national spotlight could still be achieved. He would remain a force in the institutions that form the bedrock of American Government; his appetite could be fed.

But, what about Sarah?

Gov. Palin had a taste of the sensational popularity and attention that is normally reserved for Hollywood starlets. She had a venue that allowed her, hell- it begged her- to shout her principles aloud and spread them among every American.

Would you want to retreat back into the nether-regions of Alaska?


Our nation's media remains fixated on Gov. Palin. A lust for her image, voice, and thoughts is sought at every turn. It is not her fault that the 24 hour news stations clamor for her image and crave her opinions. Sarah positions herself in a way that keeps the news gremlins fed but still leaves them hungry for more.

Sarah Palin was/is merely attempting to create and achieve her own "American Dream." Similar to the miners who headed West, the small town choir singer performing for 3 Judges, or the man with a tool forged in his garage, that will change the world, Palin is an undeterred entrepreneur striving to maintain her brand. Unfortunately for her, it is starting to die.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin's strongest supporter, Bill Kristol expressed his malcontent with her recent positioning (video below). What may seem trivial, is actually a very big deal in the political arena. To this point, Mr. Kristol (viewed by many as a very strong conservative pundit) has hailed Sarah as a wunderkind who could do no wrong. He emerged as the latest conservative voice (joining Karl Rove, Charles Krauthammer, and others) teamed with polls expressing doubt that Sarah can be a true political contender/player in the future.

The rise and fall of Sarah Palin is not complete, and has yet to be solidified as her destiny. However, her stardom has taken the course of many American luminaries. The sadistic nature of our being, loves to witness the assumed Greek Tragedy in everyone. Sarah Palin could be our Agamemnon and, if the case, I couldn't feel more sorry for her.

It's starting to warm up a bit... I hope that the day treats you well... Matt Larson and Anne Plaisted, you two have a fantastic day...

William Kristol Video...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Britney Spears, Will You... Me?

A portion of a new book by, Allison Pearson, details the phenomenon of teenage girls, their relationship with, and fantasies relating to celebrity crushes.

I Think I Love You, tells the story of 13 year old Petra who, along with her best friend, is head over heels infatuated with David Cassidy (from the "Partridge Family;" c'mon...). The two girls not only venture away to David's concert but they also remain steadfast in their conquest to attain every detail of David's life. They know his likes and dislikes, his astrological sign, the names of his parents and stepmother, that his favorite drink is 7-up, that he had a squint and was forced to wear an eye patch and corrective glasses ("...which must have been hard. Harder than for a girl even."), and, well, you get it.

The two die-hards, along with millions of other young ladies in the 1970's were destined to meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after with David Cassidy (or, their ONE adorned celebrity husband). However, like most chic cravings, their dream fizzled and reality sank its cruddy, dank teeth into the hearts of the young glazed-eyed lovers.

Unfortunate? Yes.
Sad? Maybe.
A glaring difference between girls and guys? Without question.

I still remember the MULTIPLE crushes that I held growing-up (hell, with Perez, TheSuperficial, and countless other gossip sites exploiting the near-naked features of Hollywood elite, I still form them today).

I had the spunky and innocent Stephanie from "Full House," the mystically, mesmerizing gaze of Anna Chlumsky in "My Girl," quasi-bitchy, yet fashionably astute Alicia Silverstone in "Clueless" AND those Aerosmith Videos, and, because I don't discriminate against animation, you can toss-in Jasmine ("Aladdin") and Ariel ("The Little Mermaid) to create a one-of-a-kind mental brothel.

However, the key difference between the crushes of pre-pubescent and teenage guys compared to their opposite-of-sex counterparts is not a fantasy of a life spent growing and loving together, it's a longing to see that gorgeous celebrity butt-naked.

A young guy may lack a true understanding of what 'sex' actually is and would, in all likelihood, cower in embarrassment and fear if ever ACTUALLY confronted by his nude starlet. However, he can still confidently infer that an inherent biological puzzle has been solved with the stirring in his groin region and the neurological electrons shooting throughout his brain, affirming his X-rated thoughts.

See, guys don't dwell on the inner-soul of their crushes because they recognize early on that any sort of connection, other than a one night romp, is purely a figment of the imagination.

That is why, to this very day, I preserve my grasp of reality and possess an open invitation to the one celebrity that I have kept sealed in the depths of my mind since I first laid eyes on her. Despite a few breakdowns, children, poor choices in men, and crummy national television performances, I maintain my acute male perspective and refuse to care, or judge.

While the excitement may act as a catalyst for an incredibly "early exit" or, the shock of the event actually occurring, renders me into a mode typically experienced after whiskey and beer; I will state clearly, emphatically, and without hesitation, "Britney Spears (or, Jessica Alba... ok... or, Mila Kunis... January Jones?... yes, Anna Faris, too), my door is ALWAYS open for you."

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Genius of Groupon

While partaking in the tradition that solidifies my standing as a 'true' American, the liberal in me was committed to ignoring the hype surrounding the always painful "National Anthem" rendition, the eternally irritating half-time show, and the multi-million dollar war waged by gluttonous marketers.

I held my ground throughout. I refused to budge when Aguilera completely flubbed our patriotic tune, when Darth Vader discovered the dark side, when the BEP left my mouth agape with epic confusion, and even when the ever adorable Etrade baby was fitted for custom garb by Enzo the Tailor. Yes, despite my subconscious powers screaming for me to offer a comment, I held back. I held back until the proverbial straw broke this camel's back.

Groupon unleashed a commercial that had me so flustered and upset that I wanted to take to this forum immediately with the intent of forming some vast coalition (mainly my Facebook network, I guess) against the company that brings us discounted manicures, half-price restaurant bills, and ridiculously cheap Minnesota Opera tickets. Immediately, I was committed to retracting my email address from their database and shunning the man by paying full-price at each and every one of Groupon's advertising venues. That would teach 'em...

However, the new, rational Adam paused for a bit, slept on his surge of opinions and awoke with a new set of beliefs. Groupon and its marketers shouldn't be chastised, they should be congratulated.

Despite the turmoil surrounding many areas of our World's growth, from a completely pragmatic marketing point, Groupon played its cards perfectly.

The onset of the advertisement, featuring the Tibetan mountainside coupled with a slow pan towards the region's people offered an immediate break from the fast paced, flashy commercials to which we are accustomed. Timothy Hutton's voice-over placed us into a mode that is typically reserved for Sally Struthers' "Save the Children" and Sarah McLachlan's "Help the Animals" pleas. It drew us in, only to have our compassion shattered by a discounted meal in Chicago.

Today's Internet and radio backlash has remained massive. How could Groupon capitalize off the hardships of humans?! I still wrestle with this argument. Featuring a group of tormented people is a stretch, unlike the rain forest or whales, for instance. However, the fact that the discussion is soaring today bodes well for the cultural recognition of these political and moral problems.

Since the rumored take-over by Google, Groupon has become a massive force. Investors have made the company beyond economically stable and an onslaught of members have ensured stable marketing efforts for years to come. The company is a boon to small business and has the means to create change through contributions to the very efforts that it publicized (or exploited, depends on your stance).

The marketing campaign launched yesterday by Groupon may have caused a moral stir among viewers however, I can't remember the last time that I heard Tibet discussed in the mainstream. If the backlash towards the company becomes so severe that it threatens it's viability in the on-line marketplace, well it's nothing that an apology and donation can't fix- thus, keeping the business in our spotlight. Yet another reason why the commercial should be heralded as a success.
Sorry... Busy morning. No in-depth post for a bit... Attempting an update via text message for the first time; hope it works... Still upset with the Gophers...