Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Cheat Sheet and a Belated AOTW

As I detailed on my personal blog, I've been a little busy and out of it. And then I got a bitch headache yesterday. Thus, the lateness of this post.

In a way, it's good, because I had no clue who to crack with the AOTW until after lunch. But then for words penetrated into my consciousness that I hadn't heard (because of the whole "out of it" thing (although it appears to be a new story): Sarah Palin's cheat sheet. This has let loose the fires of the left, although I'm not exactly sure why. So here's a vid with the requisite non-seriousness that explains the whole ruckus:

(never mind, the Fox News site is acting up and giving out shit code again.  And before you start saying everything on Fox is non-serious, the clip I found really was, by any standard)

Now obviously, the reason she's being jumped on is because President Obama has been getting shit, and been the butt of endless jokes about his near-slavish reliance on the teleprompter, and the night-and-uh-um-uh-day difference in his speaking style. And while there is comparison between Obama's need to read every word he emotes or stammer like a drunken frat boy with a cop shining a light in his face and Sarah's high school note taking skills, it's only because somebody wants really badly to bitch about something other than how bad a job Washington is doing.

Now to clarify, I do have some issues with Sarah Palin. All of them are substantive issues, not stylistic issues. And other than being sweet joke material, the hand note thing is simply extending the memory. I'd probably suggest writing the notes on a 'prompter next time.  And look into endorsing a hand soap brand or two.

A side note:  I still write notes on my hand, but I'm just a dirty (and lazy) bastard.  Although it could be a green thing, saving paper and all.  So by that standard, Sara's speeches are greener than any by the president, because the POTUS sucks power.  Action over words?

Finally, there's a big difference between a crude note to keep you on topic and having to drag the TOTUS out for speeches to schoolchildren, off-the-cuff comments, and family dinners.  So if you're taking it beyond mockery, you're an asshat.  Just not asshat of the week.

And because every inanimate object should have its day:

The Teleprompter of the United States is Asshat of the Week!

*pausing for requisite groan*

Really, I don't have much more to say here.  The TOTUS has been in use by presidents since it was invented, because it was a whole lot better than reading off of paper (or their hands like little kids).  And it allows those who are less eloquent than others (Bush) to have command of the speech and be able to gaze out on the adoring masses.

But with the arrival of Barack Obama, the TOTUS has become a character, a crutch, a running joke, and an icon all at once.  Maybe it has gotten too big.  Thus the need to apply asshattery.

And Sarah Palin's abandonment of 'prompter tech in favor of a hand job brief, hand-written reminder is a further slap at this venerated technology that lets speakers fire soaring rhetoric without much more that literacy and good reading cadence.  The reintroduction of spontaneity means that we have to wait for the politicians to speak before we get to see their speech.

No self-respecting TOTUS can ever let this happen.

So anyone pushing for Sarah Palin to run for president hates teleprompters, and wants us to descend into the dark ages of waiting for the speech.  After all, imagine how much better the Gettysburg Address would sound if it could be delivered on a teleprompter.

But the lack of spontaneity, killed by that dirty-handed Sarah, is also a weakness of the prompter, and that glaring weakness is what gets it the AOTW this week.

Seriously, how could the 'prompter have saved Obama here?


Shaw Kenawe said...

Sarah Palin in an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News opined that President Barack Obama won’t be re-elected in 2012 unless he can “toughen up” on national security. The former half-time Governor of Alaska believes that declaring war on Iran could help the president get re-elected.

“Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decided really to come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do,” Palin told Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday. “That changes the dynamics in what we can assume is going to happen between now and three years.”

The governor who quit apparently doesn't know that the Executive Branch doesn't "declare war" on countries. A majority vote of both houses "declares war."

If she doesn't know that basic fact, how can we expect her to know anything?

Oh. Wait. She doesn't. She is a great little prettied-up performer with no basic undertanding of how our Constitution works.

Milton said...

Palin's hand job just shows all of us what kind of dullard we are up against. WOW and some call her a leader....please.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Patrick: Aw! TOTUS has its OWN award! That IS good news! Maybe the White House can make little TOTUS statues and sell them in their gift shop, although with all the unemployed people no one can afford to buy them. But wait! Obama is going to create jobs—- let’s not all hold our breath though.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I think there's a difference between reading a speech, which is written, essentially, to be read, and Sarah writing basic concepts (that she ought to be living, breathing, eating and sleeping 24/7) on her hand.

What WAS on her hand, anyway?

"Energy, Budget cuts (with "budget" crossed out), Tax, Lift American Spirits."

She needs reminders of these things?

She can't remember four things?

She can't remember to 'lift American Spirits' without writing it on her HAND???

Come on. This is like finding me at work with 'Airway, Breathing, Circulation' written on my hand. If I need reminders on my hand about these most basic of concepts, after all the years I've been doing it, maybe I ought to look at another line of work.

If Sarah Palin needs to write things like Energy, the Budget, Taxes and 'Lifting American Spirits' on her hand, after all the "experience" it's claimed she has, maybe she's the one who needs a different line of work.

These were prescreened questions. She knew what was going to be asked. There were no surprises here.

Still, she requires reminders of basic concepts that she supposedly stands for. That's just pitiful.

And I do mean pitiful.

rockync said...

All good orators have pre written speeches which they or their speech writers have put together.
In days of old, sheets of paper were used, then index cards.
These days we have powerpoint, blackberries and teleprompters.
The worst thing Palin did is not read her crib notes, but to actually READ off her hand. Several times. And this after she made such an issue about Obama and his teleprompter.
It was disrespectful and snarkey and hardly becoming of a former national candidate. But it isn't something I care to devote much time to.
We have more serious issues that require our attention.
The only issue here is people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
This schoolyard silly season, like the long winter, is wearing pretty thin.

Pamela D. Hart said...

I was just trying to be "funny". I'm beyond the Obama telepromter jokes and could really care less what Palin had scrawled on her hand. Like Rocky mentioned, note cards are my preference when giving a speech, although it's been awhile since I've had to use them.

I will agree that "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" and we have much more important things to worry about than teleprompters and crib notes.

Patrick M said...

Pamela: I think you and I are the only ones who found all this funny.

The rest of you: lighten up. You spend way too much energy getting all worked up over someone who isn't even in office, giving them a whole lot more power than they'd have if you weren't getting all torqued off.

dmarks said...

Patrick: True. And it backfires sometimes. I can only imagine the recent bashing of Sarah Palin over her handicapped child can easily backfire. I've seen some of the blogs even make fun of her over it. Like, imagine if conservatives made fun of Ted Kennedy's cancer.