Friday, October 03, 2008


I couldn't watch. For some reason, I was able to watch the debates in 2004, but now, I don't know, I'm just scared of something going wrong at this point.

But I did read some transcripts and watch some clips.

It's truly astounding to me the way Palin talks. I don't think we should be languagist (is that a word?) or sexist, and I think some pundits have been a little with her. It's hard to keep your cool when confronted with a candidate that is really an insult. Not as a person, necessarily, but as a Vice Presidential Candidate.

Her stumbling verbal style keeps reminding me of something, and I think I figured out what it is. It's a northern Alaskan/Canadian version of valley girl speak - or like the girls from Long Island with the big hair that I went to college with. Not that there's anything so bad about it - it's just shocking to hear a candidate for Vice President speaking this way.

Of all the strange, unique things about this election, and there have been many, Palin's speaking voice, I think, is the strangest. It's not so much the Alaskan accent (though that is strange to me), but the hyperactive delivery featuring the prolific use of such words as 'like', 'wow', 'also', 'there', 'betcha', 'y'know', et cetera.

But enough about that. From what I saw and read, I instantly identified what she was doing. I did this in college. Not all the time, but a lot. I'd find myself having to write an essay, not having done the reading. I would only have general recollections of things the professor had said in class. So I would take these very thin ideas and write an essay, stretching it out with a bunch of flowery language, taking care to mimic the cadence of the professor as best I could. I often got decent grades this way, despite having little command of the material. Occasionally, a professor would see right through it. I passed a lot of classes this way- mostly the ones that didn't interest me that much.

I would not have had the balls to try using this technique to get a graduate degree or a doctorate.


Blogger Andy said...

It's that folkiness that worked for Bush that, I think, they were hoping would work again. She says nothing, but tries to connect with people like her. At first that scared me, because although I see through it, I know that many people are looking for that in a candidate, but I wonder now whether it works for a man - to show a laid back serious side, but for a woman, maybe people really expect her to act more "like a man." A man has to prove he cares, to show his human side, a woman has to prove she's more than just a soccer mom. Maybe. I'm just encouraged by the poles. I hope nothing changes. I'm a little scared of this news regarding an Obama critic in Kenya being deported because Obama is crazy popular there. I could see the realization of his popularity in another country pissing off and energizing certain groups, but hopefully McCain Palin is just too much for excitement.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

1) strike "serious."
2) "polls"

10:39 AM  

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