Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears have been behaving themselves recently, so Vanity Fair, a magazine named for the foremost representation of social ambition in the English language, has just published excerpts of Levi Johnston's forthcoming book-length account of what? Himself, I suppose; how he became marginally involved, albeit briefly, in national level politics after impregnating and then deserting the impressionable daughter of Alaska's former governor and the GOP's current looby*-in-chief.
Despite whatever large amount Vanity Fair paid him, Mr. Johnston's short-lived delay en route to his unavoidable obscurity has already cost him big time. Mother Sheryl L. Johnston was busted in Wasilla last December for selling a prescription painkiller (oxycontin-sometimes called 'hillbilly heroin') to an undercover Alaska State Trooper. "Sherry" Johnston was then sentenced to a fiver in the state pen. Without any prompting the Troopers assured everyone that their investigation, which resulted in only one conviction, had nothing to do with Levi's disastrous relationship to the gubernatorial family. -- OK.
Mrs. Johnston was also very forthcoming. She told the court that she had become addicted to oxycontin during a series of unsuccessful operations that began with a hysterectomy. There's a missing step, of course, in her transition from addict to dealer, but no doubt this will be the topic of a future Vanity Fair piece entitled 'Painkillers and the Change of Life: Levi's Mom Tells All.'
Like Sarah Palin, Levi has a forthcoming book entirely about his peripheral (and somewhat sordid or depressing) relationship with the Palin family. If I was Sarah Palin, I would be rejoicing today in the knowledge that the current Vanity Fair piece will no doubt kill any further interest in Mr. Johnston's book. Mr. Johnston wants to begin a career as a male model and/or actor. I'm not sure he'll be successful, but I think he avoid any further effort involving the written word.
It's pretty dull crud. If my 19 year old had written it, I'd imagine I'd failed him somewhere. But I'd be very unhappy if he impregnated and then deserted a young woman. However, then turning on her parents -- yes, even the Palins -- seems to worsen the creepiness of this narcissistic child. I wonder if he was brought up by wolves, but -- of course -- this would give beautiful Alaskan gray wolves a bad name. They're extremely loyal animals.
Obviously, Sheryl L. Johnston is not the person to imbue her offspring with literary or moral standards (creating this impression may actually be the very reason she was arrested), but where's Levi's dad? This again, is the topic for a future Vanity Fair piece entitled: "Wasilla Deadbeat: Levi's Dad's Secret Pain.'
Well, this is a very short phlegm-ball, and I apologize. I've already wasted too much time on Sarah Palin in other posts. When next she and I meet in print, it will be to give serious attention to her memoir, which, I'm sure, ghostwriters and editors in New York are laboring over even as you read these final words:
What the hell has happened to Vanity Fair? They used to have standards.
Gail Collins writes about "Levi's Revenge" in the New York Times here.
Marcus of the Washington Post has a nice take on "Levi's Johnston's Smarmy Tale" here.
and Levi's VF piece "Me And Mrs. Palin" in can be retrieved here.
* gloss for "looby": a clumsy lout, a foolish person. Palinesque.