Nov 042008
 

Today’s media moves at a blistering pace. News blooms, gets analyzed and in most cases, are thoroughly dissected within 24 hours. We exist in a culture that as it tries harder to move faster, it resorts to cliches, stereotypes and summarizing of facts as a form of shorthand. I feel sometimes that everyone, from movies to news channels are reducing the complex issues of the day to short stories.

I noticed this most with Sarah Palin. When the national media first noticed her, they described her as a sexual archetype. She was sassy. She had glasses so she must be smart. She was a hot mom. She was tough and she was a fighter. In short, she was the Strict Librarian. Did I mention that they found her hot?

As man who writes erotica, I was fascinated to see a sexual archetype running for office. Tina Fey was already a niche sex object but now Tina Fey 2.0 was hitting the nation’s libido. She was winking right at us, talking like she was scolding us for not returning a book to the Mayberry Library. Republicans stressed her sex appeal. Comedians stressed her sex appeal. Political blogs talked about how she was going revive McCain and make a new man out of him. She wasn’t a politician, she was a sexual myth.

If Sarah Palin didn’t exist, sex blogs would have invented her.

As a liberal, there is so much to be offended by Sarah Palin but as a sex writer, I am a bit worried for the long term erotic impact she may have. Stiffler’s Mom from ‘American Pie’ didn’t invent the MILF but she set the mold for the next 20 years. Sarah Palin is doing the same thing and man, what a mess it is going to be.

I first became worried when I saw Palin bomb her first interview. Now the smart chick was the dumb chick with glasses. Then her creationist views came out, followed by her succession affiliations followed by her inverse-elitism when it comes to Americans who don’t come from small towns. With each passing news cycle, Sarah Palin creates her own sexual archetype. She moved away from the Sexy Librarian and now she’s crazy church lady redneck femme fatale.

Which is fine. I gladly welcome any new archetypes. I am just a wee bit concerned that she is fucking up the Sexy Librarian. Tina Fey’s wink within a wink portrayal of Sarah helps separate the two but our media has a short attention span. Every day I see new images of Palin being Palin. As her image increases, it absorbs the old with the new. I hope it turns into a new archetype and not rewrite the expectations of the Sexy Librarian.

Or maybe not. I am really curious. If Palin loses, odds are she’s vanish for another four years until she tries to run on her own. Republicans hate a loser and I have a hard time believing she can do a comeback. If Palin wins, holy fuck will we be plastered with her archetype.

What I am counting on is that the exhaustive speed of the media cycle will burn her appeal out. Joe the Plumber went from media darling to “hey did you know he doesn’t pay taxes when he should?’ in record time. I saw that some Halloween parties banned Sarah Palin as a costume because it was considered too easy and lame. I think burnout is already settling in and if there is one thing the media can not stand is a has been. Maybe even if she wins the media will try to find a new archetype to pigeonhole her into.

I think the Sexy Librarian archetype will survive Palin. I just hope we don’t get a Crazy Hot Redneck Lady archetype to stick around.

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