I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with Forrest Gump, that beloved ode to the wisdom of simpletons and the ability of Baby Boomers to be lured by the wanna-party temptations of shameless nostalgia whores — anything to remind them that, yes, they were the most important generation in the history of the world.
And don’t even get me started on the ham-handed way director Robert Zemeckis uses archival footage of dearly departed icons to further his goal to be a fluffer for the Boomers. The John Lennon bit, where the former Beatle takes Forrest’s observations on life in Red China — they have no possessions, they have no religion — as the inspiration for his greatest song is particularly clumsy and saccharine. It’s like Zemeckis had seven minutes in heaven with Adobe Photoshop, and he fumbled his way to a first-time boob-touch. Goo-goo-ga-jerk.
Of course, when it comes to Forrest Gump, nothing quite bugs me more than the central theme of the movie: women are dirty whores. Forrest’s mom? Whore. Forrest’s beloved Jenny? Slut. And do you know what happens to dirty whores? They get sick and die.
And yet despite all of this, the film successfully manages to be both funny and heartfelt. In fact, the first time I saw it, I shed a tear or two. It touched me deeply. That said, I remain conflicted.
Which pretty much sums up how I feel about Sarah Palin. And after this weekend’s Tea Party Convention, my confusion has become even worse.
For every plus — the sexy librarian look, the predilection to add “y” to the end of words, her penchant for giving her kids strange names, her voracious appetite for reading newspapers — there’s something about Palin that irks me to no end.
Like her beef with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Now, it doesn’t bother me that she has criticized Emanuel for calling some liberals “fucking retarded.” That’s cool. Heck, I don’t even mind that Palin, whose son Trig has Down syndrome, called for his resignation. What irks me is that she then defended Rush Limbaugh for more or less doing the same thing.
In Sarah’s world, when Rahm uses the word “retarded,” it’s hate speech, but when Rush does it, it’s satire. Her hypocrisy knows no bounds.
And then there’s the matter of her appearance over the weekend at the National Tea Party Convention. During a speech in which she criticized President Obama for using a teleprompter, it was noticed that Palin had scribbled a few notes on her hand, notes which she consulted during a later Q&A. She’d written “energy,” “tax cuts,” and “lift American spirits” on the inside of her palm.
Another example of hypocrisy? Sure. But that’s not what troubles me. Nope.
And neither is the fact that Palin needed to consult notes. What speaker doesn’t? The problem is what the scribbles indicate about the potential presidential candidate: Sarah Palin can’t even remember her own core talking points. She has to be reminded. Even Forrest Gump remembered each and every one of his mother’s aphorisms.
With that in mind, how can I possibly continue to waver when it comes to Palin? Well, I can’t. Finally, tragically, I have come to a conclusion. When it comes to Sarah Palin, I’ve got a message for her. Scroll back to the top of the page to see it.