Progressives spotted in the wilds!
So I went to the governor's picnic yesterday. It was about what I expected though not nearly as much wailing and gnashing of teeth from Palinistas and Palinbots. Darn. There were some obvious displays of support such as these folks... that's Rebecca Palsha, a reporter from KTUU on the left. I don't think she was working though.
KTUU's ass-kissing story of the day was filed by future political media lapdog, Jason Lamb. Make sure and watch the video at their sight. Especially if you feel like throwing up in your mouth a little bit. His story was glowing, mentioned no problems about her administration and was already framing this as the second to the last day "before she bursts onto the national scene...". Okie dokey Jason, thanks for your objective and unbiased attempt at ACTUAL journalism. (WHIFF! So close! NOT.) I'm sure you were just sent to the scene by your evil overlords to cover the picnic itself but there were no interviews with the "loyal (to Alaska) opposition" included in the story as aired, even though some were interviewed. So atta-boy Jason! You can take your lips off Sarah's ass now.
Anyhow, there weren't many overt displays of Palin support... small signs, Alaska flags, the usual -- but no rabid foaming at the mouth supporters. The lady in the flag shirt above also carried the Alaska flag (not pictured). Also, too -- nice touch of "flair" on her part with the kool aid packet pinned to her shirt pocket. Polite golf claps all around. Negative points though for not realizing the irony of such a personal statement. The gentleman in black in the middle attended with his wife and kids. Nothing much to say about him other than to note that a little earlier he had been wearing a HUGE gold cross (not pictured). Don't know where it went or what he did with it. Doesn't really matter. It's America so he is as free to express his opinion as any of us. It's just that I personally, as an ex-Christian have always felt a cross -- any cross -- as being an ironic symbol of Christianity. Wearing the symbol of the torture device with which their savior was murdered. Brilliant! It would seem to me akin to Tupac Shakur fans wearing a 9mm Glock on a chain around their necks to express their love and remembrance of him, no? Not that I'm saying Tupac was anyone's savior or comparing him to Jesus. It's just that it seems creepy to me that people would venerate as a religious icon something that was used to kill the object of their worship, be it Tupac or Jesus. Yeah... I like my irony with a steamy hot mug of hyperbole, too.
I did manage to snap a distant picture of Palin and Parnell during their brief speeches. That's her in a regal purple pile jacket with gold brocade around the collar at stage left. Her buddy and unconfirmed Lt. Governor appointee General Campbell is next to her. At far right is Parnell in a grey or dusky green pile jacket, blending into the background as he is so adept at doing, and his wife. If you squint really, really hard, I believe "you can see Russia and Putin rearing his ugly head..." in the background. Nobody said much that was memorable in speeches that seemed to only last a mere thirty seconds each. Sarah would perhaps disagree since I'm sure she probably felt she touched upon her important issues of God and country, patriotism and supporting our troops. I agree with that last "supporting our troops" part. The rest from her, at least to my ears, were platitudes that seemed like burnt ashes upon lips. Only dust and smoke.
I particularly enjoyed the shot of the gentleman in the foreground wearing his "thinking cap" though I would have enjoyed it more if it had a picture of Sarah on the front with "What Were We Thinking Cap" on the back. But I digress. Who am I, a guy dressed in cargo shorts, black pile vest and Teva sandals with socks to talk fashion choices? I was surprised at how convoluted the lines going to the BBQs were, one cutting diagonally across the field, blocking access to the stage itself and had to spend a little bit of time trying to figure out how to get closer for better pictures. This is, believe it or not, the result of that effort. Less than stellar but I never claimed to be a stunning photojournalist in spite of my roots as one. I was however fairly impressed with the quality on the 5 megapixel camera built into my phone (and no it's NOT an iPhone). I should have gotten some video with it as well, but the world is filled with low resolution shaky-cam video, my adding to the sum total of same was unnecessary since Dennis Zaki was there.
Speaking of ashes, dust and smoke, once the politicians were done the volunteers fired up the grills in earnest, laying down a nice smoke screen so Sarah could make her way over to the ACS sponsored serving "pavillion" -- that little white pup tent affair on the right of the picture. As I said the line to the food was long and cut across the middle of the Park Strip diagonally. That ACS booth is where it terminated and was where you could get food. I didn't feel like standing in line with a couple thousand of my "new best friends" in order to get a hot dog and maybe some potato salad or pork and beans, so I skipped it and took this shot instead. Again, if you squint real hard I think you can see Putin and his evil devil horns hiding under the cover of smoke in the distant background behind the guy in the black and white stripped jacket. Or maybe that's just one of those kiddy bouncy carnival ride-y things. There were a lot of State Troopers present, Anchorage Police, Alaska National Guard/Air National Guard, FBI and tons of volunteers wearing little vests that said Police Volunteer or FBI Volunteer, &tc. The National Guard were easy to spot owing to their cammo outfits. You can see some of them in the background of the first picture. Most surprising to me was the presence of people who were probably unofficial volunteers. People who one assumes were there as supporters of Sarah. People like the man I mentally called "Mister Three Clips and a Glock".
Yep. That's him, "Mister Three Clips and a Glock", at right. Oh, and the third clip, for those of you who are counting, is IN the gun (hopefully with the safety set to the ON position), by the way. I blurred out the URL on his shirt not because I oppose their message nor that I particularly oppose gun ownership, because I don't... I did it because I choose not to use my blog to promote their website. I'm sure they'll be just fine without any additional promotion on my part. So the reason is as simple as that. I stood near them most of the time while at the picnic. They discussed their position with interested people and handed out business cards. As Robert Heinlein once said, "an armed society is a polite society..." and everyone at the picnic was at the very least civil, if not overtly "polite".
These gentlemen were a small cadre of around five rugged manly men dressed in matching blue t-shirts, but this one was the only one of the group who was openly packing his weapons and ammo. At a political event. With kids and senior citizens. And liberals and progressives standing less than ten feet away. Yeah, I know -- only in Alaska. Others were probably packing as well, I mean it IS Alaska after all, but thanks to Sarah, they could keep their weapons concealed instead of walking around in a group of thousands of people without feeling the need to have a figurative 2nd amendment "your fly is down" display moment. While I didn't feel the need to speak to any of them (I have my own defense methods, thanks) I did get to overhear something and perhaps catch a glimpse of the true nature of one of their members when he uttered an overly nationalistic/racist comment about Italians aloud. And no, I'm not Italian. I'm sure however that he probably meant it as a joke and within seconds of expressing his feelings in something other than his "inner voice", he realized he wasn't in the midst of a private meeting of his armed and potentially dangerous drinking buddies. He literally bit his lower lip and looked around sheepishly to see if anyone heard his smart-ass crack. Yeah buddy, I did. Self correcting in public but undoubtedly and unfortunately unfiltered in private is my educated guess. It's extremely sad that some people present two faces to the world as he did at that moment. His own look of personal embarrassment as our eyes met the moment he uttered it spoke volumes to me and I needed not say anything verbally to let him know that his comment made him both look and sound like an ass. Ask my son... I'm sure he'd agree that I've got the "chastising with my eyes alone" look down to an art form. Why waste words when you can look into and pierce through someone's true inner being with a single look, eh?
So I suppose I had fun. I got to meet several Alaskan progressive bloggers. Linda from "Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis" (an old friend) was there. Shannyn Moore from "Just a Girl from Homer", too. I was able to spot and introduce myself to Gryphen from "Immoral Minority" and (the lady whose REAL name I still don't know ;)) "Alaska Muckraker" from "The Mudflats". How did I spot the last two without ever having been introduced to them before? Cheetoes stains on their fingers, natch. All in all, good to see everybody and good to be seen and I'm thankful that it is the last time I'll ever see Sarah Palin in person with her as my governor. Lastly, my apologies for the misleading headline... I didn't actually get any pictures of my progressive blogging friends and I frolicking and cavorting in the "wilds" of the Anchorage Park Strip. At least not on camera. I have some wonderful pictures and experiences in my head however and I'll print them as 2D images to upload here as soon as some genius invents an interface. For now, hopefully this "word picture" of the event will suffice.