The Palin Rite
An electric hum suffuses the air, a televised feeling as if the anxiously swaying crowd stuffed in this arena were not quite real, as if the pinkish bulk they each dragged from their beds this morning to make it here were suddenly revealed to have been, even before they woke up, a mere pixellated byproduct of the airwaves now embracing the podium, the bleachers, the exits and lights, enfolding they themselves.
The crowd knows fulfillment is near: their tedious everyday bodies will soon be sloughed off in the redemption of the virtual.
And look: The congressman at the podium has turned his body toward the ramp leading down to him. He is saying the candidate's name to wild cheers. And now the candidate herself appears at the top of the ramp.
Upright, clothed in perfectly tailored monochrome garments, she waves to the raucus expanse, smiles graciously, begins her stride down the ramp. As she descends, the crowd breaks into a rhythmic mantra of the two syllables of her first name. Her smile only widens as she gets closer to the center and puts her hand on the congressman's shoulder.
The crowd knows she will not disappoint: already in her facial expression is the whole of her speech. The complicit twinkle in her eye says it clearly to anyone who cares to look:
I am here to feed you, her look says, a romping rodeo of fresh bullshit, lies upon steaming pies of lies and exaggerations, all spiced with soundbites guaranteed not to flop.
And you are here, dear compatriots, to eat up every last ounce of this shit. Because it has been cooked just for you. Chopped and boiled down from the complicated realities you refused to swallow, dished up in the form of easily digested morsels of bigotry and militant smugness.
Because you know what my words really mean, friends. You know you are right because you are you and do not like to look into how you might not be right. Because, friends, not to be right would not be you, who is always already the rightest person on the planet.
And as there's no question about this on the level of pure excremental reasoning and steaming pies of bull dung, as there can be no question about this against all the city people, the over-educated, the snobs and homos and all the other races who do not recognize that we are the rightest of all, as all this is just as self-evident as the steaming pie I hold before you, so you, friends, are here to join me in this banquet of self-congratulation.
You will find no surprises here. No, I will feed you the same shit you feed each other day in and day out. You and I will partake of it together, and it will be transformed from the shit it is into the most savory meal, transformed by the very power of our agreeing together that it is so transformed. I will do it before your very eyes, friends, consecrate it through these tailored garments and this electric buzz we now feel about us, raise it to the level of Truth by a collective act of sheer joyful chicanery.
All this is already there in the candidate's face as she leans toward the microphone. And now she is about to open her mouth. The crowd knows they will not be disappointed. No, what follows will lift them out of themselves: they will be fulfilled in the verification of their own rightness. Their suppressed hatreds will be justified here before all through this televised endorsement.
The candidate's words will be veiled, yes, they will be in code, but the meaning will be clear. By her very use of this code the candidate will establish the permanent justness of the crowd's desire to avoid any untoward future discomforts: to avoid the unpleasantness of the pressing existence of others who would muddy their untroubled dreams of perpetual superiority.
The crowd knows it will get what it came for. They know there will be moments of humor; the candidate will make smug digs at their opponent's difference from their own perfect Americanness. There will be confident fist jabs in the air, avowals of dedication to Country First. And the crowd will know it all really means: Us first; Us first. And the crowd will be comforted. They will go home fulfilled, hoping to make the whole of reality into this televised avowal, hoping to make all the countries of the world into a ringing endorsement of their own very own bestness and always betterness, their own superiority over any people not quite like them in their God-given rightness and superiority.
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