Sunday, October 26, 2008

mediocrity rules

well, it looks increasingly like mediocrity will not in fact rule, which is quite a relief, but of course, it's never over 'til it's over.  judith warner has a very interesting piece in today's NYT on that ever-worrying topic of sarah palin as the ultimate feminist. she suggests that palin and not hillary clinton offered the political breakthrough moment for women in this year--because "mediocrity is the privilege of those who have arrived." hillary is and always was the consummate over-achiever--sarah palin, a person who happened to be in the right place at the right time and now apparently even has the right wardrobe. (because if you have a look at this, you'll see she definitely DIDN'T have the right wardrobe before.)

and there ARE just people who you shake your head at and wonder how they've attained the position they've attained. i worked with one in my previous job. the boy was nice enough, but quite simply rubbish at his job. he's still in that job and i just heard that he's getting another promotion. it's a fact that everyone around him--his employees, his peers, his customers--everyone but his boss--sees him for what he is--an utter and complete mediocrity. but, because he's mostly harmless, he ends up rising. if you're a weak manager, it's easy to promote other weaklings and fun to hold down the strong and those weak sucks totally benefit from that.

but, i do have faith and i think that sarah palin is evidence, that those mediocrities eventually rise too far and then they crash and crash hard. it's really quite nice of sarah palin to take down mccain, who likely would have continued along the bush trajectory. because i've said for years that mccain was the one republican i could think of who i could vote for. thanks to her, that is no longer true.

perhaps this whole thing will give the republicans pause. they'll have to think about whether the direction they've gone in over the past 8 years is the right one. they'll have to think about whether it's ok that those right of the right loonies who used to be their fringe have now become their center. and that introspection can no doubt only be good for everyone (assuming republicans are capable of introspection--which is currently taking the form of the "blame game," big and bad and the election isn't even over). because regardless of which answer they come up with--we are a bunch of religious, right-wing, shoot-to-kill lunatics or we are fiscal conservatives who believe government should stay out of the people's way (a lot of good that did recently)--the democrats can only look good these days.

but now, i'm going back to my sewing projects, because i have to do something constructive in these times that feel so full of destructive rhetoric.

hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

p.s. i have a new political blogsite to add to my list of regular visits which include the huffington post and andrew sullivan's daily dish, it's called the daily beast and you all probably knew about it, but i didn't until today (thanks sis!).


will said...

He was mad because the gov, to him, was grossly unfair and run by incompetents.

None the less, Willhelm Reich's book,"Listen Little Man", published in 1948 is a nifty read about how small, weak people get into power and once there they pull down individuals who are better, smarter and stronger.

mo said...

Sadly unlike the boy at your last job, Palin is anything but harmless. I keep telling my husband that the Mcain Palin signs that are popping up in the neighborhood are the scariest halloween decorations out there. Luckily I live in an Obama state so I don't take those signs too much to heart.

tangobaby said...

I have to disagree with Judith Miller. I think Palin has given us a new model of a possible version of a feminist, although an imperfect one.

Although she clearly has taken vendetta politics to a new level, she's also shown that a relatively young, fertile woman can achieve a high office. She was not born into wealth or status. That in itself is a good thing.

But it's up to us, as voters, and the media to help us decide if the positions any candidate stands for, male or female, are what we can relate to. That will help us decide whether or not we wish to support mediocrity, extremism or corruption. Without the media being fair, yes, we'll receive mediocrity because we aren't given the facts. Not because we want that but because the truth is not presented to us to make wise decisions.

I think this election shows very clearly that even without full disclosure and accountability in the media that people still care more about the issues than the packaging. Had Palin been more moderate on her positions, I think that many more women would have supported her.

I also blame our third-rate educational system on this pandering to the mediocre. If children were imbued with a passion and a desire to learn not just from their teachers and schools but by the parents that raise them, if children were encouraged to excel and develop important skills in critical thinking, then we would not be in this boat in the first place.

End 'o rant. xoxo

ps. I've been reading andrew sullivan for a while, but only discovered the daily beast when Christopher Buckley "jumped ship." I need to get back and pay another visit. Thanks for the reminder.

julochka said...

bill--i must find the reich book. i forget sometimes that these times we live in aren't unique in the least.

mo--you're absolutely right, she's far from harmless, but it looks like the good guys are winning!

TB--this is why you will be president in 2012.