Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Sarah Palin, her millions and missed opportunities

When Sarah Palin talks about Alaska, it's always about the great outdoors, hunting, fishing and racing around on snowmobiles or quad bikes.

Sarah Palin's Alaska showed her doing everything: Mountain climbing, kayaking, logging, shooting, panning for gold, clubbing fish, hunting. You name it, she did it.

When she wasn't busy doing all these things and saying "wow!" as if she had just arrived in Alaska for the first time, she took the opportunity to say nasty things about a neighbour, the President's wife and the media, all in that familiar grating voice of hers.

Hospitality consisted of frightening the daylights out of her guests, then taking them camping in miserable cold weather, pulling faces and making her female guest feel uncomfortable.

We caught some glimpses of the scenery, accompanied by several "wows!"

The state would have been beautiful with or without Sarah Palin. It's not beautiful because of her. A landscape is a landscape, Mother Nature made the landscape.

She left out the most important feature of any place: The people and their culture.

Alaska has around 700,000 inhabitants who lead very diverse lives. They do a different kind of fishing and hunting. They also produce beautiful music, sculptures, paintings, dancing and acting. They live in harmony with the beauty she worked so hard to destroy in her home town of Wasilla. They live in harmony with the wild creatures Sarah Palin doesn't consider important, unless they come with mashed potatoes.

We didn't see the beauty of the people of Alaska. All we saw was her family bickering and smashing people's faces into cakes.

All her tales of Alaska and the emphasis she puts on outdoor, sporty pursuits made me realize that she doesn't have much of a life. She doesn't really do any of the things she pretended to do on her show. Many Alaskans who know better left numerous comments on various blogs and websites saying so.

What does she do? What does her family do? Do they go to the theatre to see a play or a ballet, do they attend concerts, visit museums and libraries? Do they have a life outside sports, cosmetic surgery, shopping and bickering? Are they interested in any cultural activities at all?

I'm sure she saw the inside of an opera house for the very first time when she went to Pella. Alas, no Tosca, La Boheme, The Marriage of Figaro or La Traviatta for her... No, she went to see the very "artistic" propaganda film The Undefeated, starring her very own self.

Sarah Palin's very poor attempt at an educational, historical vacation was a disaster. She looks at stuff but doesn't see anything. She hears the stories about the people and the places but she doesn't really listen to any of them.

As far as she's concerned, books are for signing, conveyor belt style.

It's a very poor life. Her children have opportunities for a cultural life not many people have. In Alaska there's a very vibrant arts scene, and now that they're travelling all over the country, these opportunities have multiplied, but we don't see them enjoying any of it. They could travel the world, but to them, any visit to another country has to be paid by somebody else and it's a mere photo-op.

A small sample of the arts scene in Alaska

I find it very sad that people with so much money make so little of their lives. In Hong Kong, Sarah and Todd saw the airport, their hotel room and the venue of her speech. Their visit to India was pathetic. The richness of that country was completely wasted on them. In Israel, they only visited places that fitted her skewed religious agenda.

Sarah Palin has a great opportunity to enrich her own life and her children's lives. There are so many wonderful things her money could buy... Things the majority of people can see only in their dreams and travel brochures.

She's against funding the arts. Fair enough, she's a fiscal conservative, blah blah blah. But she HAS money and can afford to patronize the arts without touching government money. And yet...

Well, if she took an interest in learning, in the achievements of artists that made the world a richer place, she would no longer be just a housewife from Wasilla, just as ignorant (and proud of it) as her followers. If Sarah Palin used her money to grow as a person, she would stop being the Sarah Palin these people love and they would no longer send those juicy dollars to her.

Yes, she's just like them. The only things that separate Sarah Palin from her followers are a few million dollars.

A few million dollars amassed for the sake of it, that don't buy anything of any real value.