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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

watch it: that Tina Fey-does-Sarah Palin SNL sketch

I swear, everywhere I went yesterday, the only thing everyone was talking about was Tina Fey’s postironic smackdown of Sarah Palin. (I call it postironic because it’s virtually indistinguishable from Sarah Palin simply being Sarah Palin, which in itself would be laughable if she weren’t on the verge of being President Palin, which is simply terrifying.) And almost everyone I overheard talking about it said something like, “Yeah, I finally caught up with it online.” Cuz who watches Saturday Night Live anymore? Since when did it stop sucking? But you don’t have to watch it anymore, because any bits of it worth seeing instantly go viral on the Net.

So score one for online video. Score another if the proliferation of online-only ads, video documentation of flip-flips and outright lies, and embarrassing clips from the past are actually a factor in influencing this presidential election.

In case you, like me, didn’t see Tina Fey live from New York on Saturday night:



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  • Doa766

    I wonder how many people suddenly became aware of the term MILF because of this

    and that she is, even if she’s evil, she reminds me of the queen of the Borg

  • amanohyo

    I kinda like Palin (for non-milf reasons) and I thought Fey’s performance was hilarious and spot on. Palin’s speaking style reminds me of Francis McDormand’s characer in Fargo.

    However, I can’t believe that an election between two self-proclaimed agents of change is shaping up to be so run of the mill. Democrat makes wild promises about new programs without specifying how they will be paid for, Republican tries to scare people by telling them the Democrat will raise their taxes. Don’t Americans ever get tired of this stuff?

    And I know this is an ancient question, but why is SNL still on the air? Is most of their audience stoned by the time it comes on? Or do they tune in week after week praying for a sketch like this just so they can brag later about how they saw it “live?” Or does that Lorne guy simply wield awesome clout?

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Apparently people on the McCain campaign have complained that this sketch is “sexist”. How do people write satire in an environment this ridiculous?

  • PaulW

    Somehow this performance comforts me. Because, in the horrific chance that McCain/Palin steals this election, and in the even more horrific chance that McCain dies in office, we can pull an Iron Mask scenario, kidnap Palin, replace her with Fey, and no one will notice. Well, until Fey-as-Palin saves the world from the neocons and the greedheads… ;)

  • JoshDM

    Just in case you were wondering:

    FLIRG – First Lady Is Really a Guy.
    FLURGE – A combination flush and purge.
    FLIRJ – First Lady I’d Rim Job

  • MaryAnn

    Yeah, thanks, JoshDM. We were *so* wondering what latest garbage idiot men could come up with.

    I kinda like Palin (for non-milf reasons)

    Oh, please *do* explain, amanohyo…

  • I wonder how many people suddenly became aware of the term MILF because of this.
    –Doa766

    Because it’s not like there has been any hit movies which used that term within the last decade…

  • amanohyo

    I’m not sure if that was a sarcastic request or not, but in case it wasn’t:
    (Protip: skip to the last paragraph if you hate to read)

    1) Both Obama and Palin are political opportunists. Both spout the party line and are actually more moderate than they claim to be. Neither has much in the way of experience, although Palin has a slight edge.

    2) As a former teacher and shift manager, I observed that people fall into two basic categories when they’re “on the clock,” talkers and doers. Obama is a talker, Palin is a doer. Some will argue that getting excellent grades at a prestigious law school requires more “doing” than running a small business (to say nothing of a state), but I disagree. It’s true that most politicians are talkers and have some legal training. I don’t like most politicians.

    3) “But Bush was a doer too!” one might exclaim. Yes, but Bush was an idealist with a terrible work ethic and a string of failures early in his life who let himself be pushed around by his extreme advisors, and eventually started to believe the BS he was being fed. Palin is an independent pragmatist who has a history of hard work, success, and compromise. Obama is pretty much Bizarro Bush which sounds great in theory, but swinging from one dangerous extreme to the other frankly scares me much more than the off chance of a Palin presidency (sorry, Matt Damon).

    4) Even if she was to become president, and even if she was somehow able to get ultra conservative justices approved by a Democratic congress (two big ifs), I don’t think Roe v. Wade would be completely overturned. Call me an optimist, but it seems like fearmongering. Ditto for forcing creationism and abstinence only education in every public school. Only the government of a truly authoritarian country like Saudi Arabia could possibly force the hands of the scientific clock back that far across an entire country.

    5) The main thing that’s stopping me from voting for McCain/Palin is their reliance on the stale Reaganomics that has strangled the middle class and has placed us in this horrible financial mess. Sure, Obama isn’t going to balance the budget anytime soon and I’m sure he’ll erect some fabulous new beaurocracies, but at least he can see that things are broken (the healthcare industry in particular) and his administration will fumble around throwing money at programs in an effort to fix them. McCain doesn’t seem to understand that lowering taxes on “small business owners” (and surprise surprise, extremely tremendously huge business owners too) won’t do diddly to save the middle class from extinction. Our “free” market is severely screwed up as is our public education system (for non-religious reasons… but that’s another rant).

    Long story short, I like Palin’s personality, but hate almost everything she stands for. However, I think McCain/Palin would accomplish some needed reform on a bipartisan basis in office. I hate Obama’s personality and don’t think he’ll use our money efficiently or accomplish much, but I like most of what he stands for, particularly when it comes to the economy, healthcare, and public education.

  • MaryAnn

    If you hate everything a candidate stands for, how can you possibly believe that any “reforms” he or she might enact while in office would be something that you wouldn’t hate?

    Palin may well be a “doer.” I’d rather her not do anymore of the terrifying things she’s been doing, and certainly not on a national scale.

  • amanohyo

    Well, since McCain is pretty pragmatic and has a record of working with Democrats (and has even promised to put several in his administration), I think his reforms will include some things I like, and some things I don’t like. I don’t see how he or Palin could push an ultraconservative agenda that I would completely hate through a Democratic congress.

    What terrifying things do you think she’ll do? Do you seriously believe she’ll have the political capital (even as president) to ban books or make abortion a criminal offence? It’s just fearmongering. If Bush couldn’t pull it off with a conservative congress backing him, it sure as heck isn’t going to happen now with a Democratic congress, especially when we’ve got so many other more serious problems to deal with.

    I hate to say it, but this economic downturn is great for Obama’s campaign since it highlights McCain’s glaring weakness: his nonexistant economic policy and record of supporting market deregulation. That’s where the Democrats should focus their attack. I think trying to sell a possible Palin presidency as terrifying only serves to keep her in the spotlight, where she doesn’t come across as terrifying at all. But again, I’m going on very little evidence. Maybe she’ll stick her foot in her mouth in the next few weeks; we’ll see.

    I still can’t see myself voting for either one at this point.

  • MaryAnn

    I don’t see how he or Palin could push an ultraconservative agenda that I would completely hate through a Democratic congress.

    The Bush Administration has gotten away with a hell of a lot of majorly scary shit even with Democrats controlling Congress. Why would that change with a new administration bent on continuing his policies?

    What terrifying things do you think she’ll do?

    With these weak-assed Democrats in the Congress, whatever the hell she wants.

    Do you seriously believe she’ll have the political capital (even as president) to ban books or make abortion a criminal offence?

    Who would have believed the Bush administration would get away with spying on Americans, privatizing corporate profit while making taxpayers responsible for corporate loss, declaring torture legal, immunizing all sorts of wrongdoing, invading a sovereign nation on trumped-up charges… Shall I go on?

    Do *you* want someone in the White House, representing this nation and setting the tone, who doesn’t accept basic scientific facts, who is clueless about human nature (see: her attitudes on sex and birth control), and who thinks ignorance is better than knowledge? Could you really be fine with that?

    It’s just fearmongering.

    No, it isn’t. She’s done some scary shit, she continues to lie about stuff that has been clearly refuted, and she continues to demonstrate that she doesn’t know the first thing about national politics, never mind international. She (and McCain) clearly think Americans are morons. I fear that she may be right.

    If Bush couldn’t pull it off with a conservative congress backing him

    But he *has* pulled off a lot of stuff that is blatantly unconstitutional and completely contrary to American ideals.

    especially when we’ve got so many other more serious problems to deal with.

    What problems? McCain thinks we should be in Iraq for a century, and he thinks the fundamentals of our economy are sound. Among his advisors are people who created many of the fiascos we’re in today. They don’t SEE that we have ANY problems to be dealt with, except some things concerning sex and giving rich people even more tax breaks.

  • JoshDM

    “Yeah, thanks, JoshDM. We were *so* wondering what latest garbage idiot men could come up with.”

    I got all those definitions from Google; no origin sources. Therefore, there’s really no evidence as to who “defined” the backronyms (which I’m pretty sure those are).

  • MaryAnn

    I think I can virtually guarantee that no woman was inspired to invent such terms.

  • John

    Women are just as capable of coming up with such terms as men, Mary Ann. See the link: http://www.heartlessdoll.com/2008/09/top_10_dilfs.php

  • MBI

    Despite everything, I like McCain. He’s earned his maverick label. A lot of the things said about him aren’t true, and the bullshit he’s pulled during the campaign season is him pandering to the base, which is unfortunate, but I believe that there’s a big difference between McCain the presidential campaigner and McCain should he be elected president.

    Hardly matters, since I’m not voting for him. What you do during the campaign counts. If a guy’s going to pander, I’d rather him pander to me. But it was Palin that made me definite about who I was voting for. Palin is a nightmare, and it’s who he chose. Because of this, I simply don’t trust him, his intentions or his judgment. Yes — yes, Palin is that fucking scary. No, maybe Palin couldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade or enforce creationist theory, but I’m certainly don’t fucking want to find out for sure.

  • MaryAnn

    Women are just as capable of coming up with such terms as men, Mary Ann.

    Ah, I see. You believe the term “DILF” would have been invented independent of men having created “MILF”?

    I believe that there’s a big difference between McCain the presidential campaigner and McCain should he be elected president.

    But obviously you’re comfortable picking and choosing which things to take at face value from McCain-the-campaigner, and which things not to…

  • Ryan

    “Ah, I see. You believe the term “DILF” would have been invented independent of men having created “MILF””

    You’re right, women are incapable of coming up with offensive terms…as a matter of fact, all women still generally converse in Victorian dialectics…I thought you were a feminist?

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, come on. I know you know I’m not saying that women are incapable of being offensive.

  • MBI

    “But obviously you’re comfortable picking and choosing which things to take at face value from McCain-the-campaigner, and which things not to…”

    I only said that I believe he’ll be a different person from Campaign-McCain should he win; I’m not saying I can pick and choose what will change when he’s in office. I don’t understand your comment. And like I said, it hardly matters, since I’m not voting for him.

  • MaryAnn

    I meant, why don’t you believe that Palin isn’t McCain simply pandering to his base? You take the choice of her at face value, but some of the other crazy shit McCain is pulling is just for show?

  • amanohyo

    Palin isn’t just McCain pandering to his base, she’s also McCain pandering to conservative/independent women. I don’t think MBI or anyone else here takes the choice of her at face value just as I hope no one takes the choice of Biden at face value.

    Both sides are doing whatever they can to win. Both sides are pandering to their bases. It’s just that in one case they are trying to pander to us instead of the other team. There also seems to be a lot more contradiction and hypocrisy inherent in pandering to conservatives, but I’m biased. They’d probably claim that the opposite is true.

    Everyone is terrified that Palin (or even McCain) will be another Bush, but McCain’s record shows he’s clearly not Bush and I don’t think Palin is either. Bush is a statistical anomaly at the bottom of the bell curve of humanity. In the words of Barry White, “there’s no way they could have made two.” However I understand that people wouldn’t want to risk another Bush, no matter how slim the odds.

    Anyway, as I said before my state (MD) is totally in the bag for Obama and I’m not actively campaigning for anyone, so my opinion/vote doesn’t mean much this election. I’ll probably go with Nader this time around (before you pull out the flamethrower, I voted for Gore and that doofus Kerry the last two times). I think McCain will take Missouri, Virginia, and Florida. However, Obama will get Ohio and Michigan and come out on top overall. It’s hard to imagine McCain winning enough tossups to clinch it, but that’s what I said four years ago about Bush. The media will certainly do their best to make sure everything appears to come down to the wire, I just hope there aren’t any riots if it actually turns out to be really close.

  • MaryAnn

    Both sides are doing whatever they can to win.

    Of course they are. That’s always the case. What I don’t understand is why MBI — or anyone — would dismiss one instance of doing-what-it-takes-to-win, apparently in the belief that how that candidate would act once actually in the White House isn’t necessarily represented by that act of doing-what-it-takes-to-win, but be terrified by another act of doing-what-it-takes-to-win and take that as an face-value indication of the candidate’s actual beliefs and positions.

    Maybe I need to be simpler: If you can dismiss one lie, why not all of them? Or, conversely, why accept any lie at all?

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