And How About that Ethnic Cleansing in Freedonia?

From National Review Online comes this week’s smile-quietly-to-yourself schadenfreude moment. It’s obviously a set-up, but I have to admit, it’s a beaut:

Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:

“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

The ruse should have been allowed to fester longer, but the point was made nonetheless: Some people hate Palin first and ask questions later.

It isn’t until after the snip above that the forum’s commenters begin to defend the prose. However, several of them completely missed the reveal and continued to rail on the excerpt. The original poster commented on the next page:

The sentence really is from the first paragraph of President Obama’s book. When I posted it, I thought someone would quickly note that fact.

It’s funny how things haven’t changed that much for Obama. He still lives in an old building, and if you want to visit him, you still have to call ahead.

Yes, but the Doberman has morphed into a Portuguese Water Dog, and he has his own assistant to carry his beer bottle now.


Note: For those who don’t get the title reference: Back in the early ’90s, Spy Magazine did an expose in which members of Congress were asked what they thought about the ethnic cleansing happening in Freedonia. Since Freedonia is a fictional country from the Marx Brothers’ movie, Duck Soup, and since members of Congress seem congenitally unable to say “I don’t know about that,” you can just imagine the responses that were given.


One Response to And How About that Ethnic Cleansing in Freedonia?

  1. Gerry Ashley says:

    “Schadenfreude moment?”

    “convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance?”

    “that demonic succubus Sarah Palin?”

    I love it when you talk dirty!


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