Yesterday the world discovered that Sarah Palin is her own biggest fan.1
This surprises exactly no one.
Here’s the skinny: One of Mrs. Palin’s former aides is circulating a manuscript, ostensibly about how she’s not exactly the best or the brightest person.2 In this manuscript someone had forgotten to take out a Gmail address and so someone else noticed it and did a bit of detective work. The address traced, surprisingly, to a Facebook account for someone named Lou Sarah.
Lou Sarah, it seemed, was a big Palin fan. He/she ‘liked’ pretty much everything Mrs. Palin posted. Lou was also friends with a few of the Palins, not to mention Bristol’s Dancing with the Stars partner.
By all reckoning, this is an account that Sarah Palin established for seemingly the sole purpose of ‘liking’ Sarah Palin’s actual Facebook posts.3
Now: I’m not going to get into the underhandedness of this whole thing. The fake account is curious and perhaps somewhat underhanded. Mrs. Palin has sort-of denied that it belonged to her:
On a side note, there’s always buzz about fake Sarah Palin Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please know that this is my only authentic Facebook account and SarahPalinUSA is my only authentic Twitter account. Pay no attention to the fake accounts and their fake messages.
Obviously this isn’t any type of real, viable denial. She’s in no way saying that Lou Sarah wasn’t her account. While lame and, again, underhanded, I don’t take issue with this either. Politicians don’t answer questions, at least not in America.4
What gets me about Mrs. Palin’s tactic is how wholly unnecessary it was.
We’ve live in a post-postmodern, post-deconstruction world in which everything is self-aware.
Think about it:
- A television show about a baby makes a joke about how shows about babies never last more than a year because everyone gets bored with babies.5
- Lady Gaga writes songs about being at the club that themselves are played at the club.
- Commercials, since at least the 80s, love to point out how constructed they are.
- Even award- and fashion-shows are broadcasting stage manager’s cues that normally are transmitted to stagehands through headsets.
It’s not just cool or hip. Being meta is a fact of our culture. Being self-aware has become as American as apple pie baked in the shape of the Greek letter pi. And it’s funny to point it out.
This is why Mrs. Palin’s fake account is so astoundingly unnecessary. She could have simply ‘liked’ her own posts.6 Yes, people would have caller her self-absorbed, narcissistic, and perhaps kitschy.
But they do that already anyway.
She could have tied it into her whole ‘folksy’ PR façade. If pressed by media outlets, she could simply have said, “You betcha! Why wouldn’t I like what I say?” She could have been up-front and honest without doing anything to her oh-so-carefully-constructed image.
But she chose a different route.
This concerns me greatly – not so much that someone who will likely vie for the office of the president chose the under-handed method over one that did no harm. What bothers me is that she’s not enough aware of American culture to know that ‘liking’ your own stuff is totally okay.7
- Source: The Huffington Post.
- The former aide, Mr. Frank Bailey, is having a bit of trouble getting the book picked up because he’s not really telling the world anything we don’t already know.
- I use the past tense here because Lou Sarah is no longer around. The account has been mysteriously deactivated.
- I was shocked Wednesday morning when, on The Today Show, the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, flat-out and unequivocally denied any plans to run for president in 2012. It’s a bit of a tragedy though. The ability to give an honest answer would have gotten my attention.
- Raising Hope, which I honestly enjoy quite a bit.
- I’m sorry. I don’t know how to denote the Facebook like other than to use quotes. Any advice here would be awesome.
- And I don’t mean just because I do it.