There was a time when the violence in Hip Hop lyrics drew condemnation from, actually, a lot of the outraged moralists who seem drawn to Sarah Palin's hypocritical spell. Perhaps because she similarly mangles language with malevolence in such a visceral way.
On Saturday, Sarah Palin urged her supporters to "stop" cars with Obama stickers and confront them with her sarcastic cutsey catchphrase, "How's that hopey-changey thing working out for you?" (Road rage encouraged at 3:30)
Sarah Palin has already defended her violent rhetoric lately accompanying the crosshairs on her Facebook page "targeting" Democratic Congressional candidates, and now she is basically telling her followers to self-righteously stop traffic and confront drivers of cars with Obama stickers on them--particularly a 'Subaru' for some reason? Not VWs or Toyotas? What an easy hipster target missed by the debutante demagogue. And who can go by old bumper stickers on cars for accountability for anything? I still see those sad Kerry/Edwards stickers on cars around town, and I think, "Why?" (Although, admittedly, all those "W" stickers I used to see on the highways did go away fast.)
All that potentially dangerous road rage advocacy aside, I'm oddly struck by the Palinism itself: What kind of stupid question is this? One can't really expect an answer, it's just some mindless taunt that doesn't convey anything except cynicism and hostility. Ultimately, it just shows an eagerness to repeat whatever catchphrase Sarah Palin spews out, however unoriginal.
The irony is, Sarah Palin actually has sent me in to road rage--that weekend after her Republican National Convention catwalk, when she at once seemed like a Dubya with a spunky hairdo, but had yet to humiliate herself and McCain's staff. Many on the Left were losing their collective shit that grim week when McCain led in the polls for the first time against Obama. That old dread people had been suppressing with hope since 2005 was coming up. And there I was, driving down Wilshire listening to Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name of" on the radio, when a van cut me off going into the turning lane I was driving in, without signaling. I honked, annoyed. The driver jabbed out his arm and gave me the finger. Simultaneously, I noticed that the van was from Diebold. I snapped.
Without going into details, it was one of those things in LA when everyone at the intersection stops to watch what will unfold, curious to behold one of their own losing it, however briefly. In the end, you feel like an idiot, even if you flexed your bad-ass quotient over some other idiot's carelessness. (And that's if there are no guns involved, hopefully.) I made my point and freaked out the Diebold guy, but really: so what? Remember, as road rage tempts you--as it does everybody--just focus on getting to your destination. Safely. Moreover, if you stop to confront someone, it will only hold you up from your destination even longer.
But, if you do want to flush out tea baggers, you can slap a played-out Obama sticker on your car, like the plagiarized Shepard Fairey sticker or his "Yes We Did" mess that MoveOn sent out. If someone actually asks you how the 'hopey-changey thing' is working out, you can respond: "Why, I love the Hopey AND the Changey, it's great, thanks! So glad Sarah Palin is doing Reality TV with Jon & Kate Gosselin and not in the White House!" However, this may not diffuse the situation, speaking as an Angelino.
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