Absurdity Level Rising
I do not follow the non-stop drama surrounding alleged 2012 presidential contender Sarah Palin. Personally I blame Palin for the defeat of John McCain last year, if he had chosen former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as his running mate instead, I believe he would have won. I don't think John McCain would have had it in him to be a great president, but we would still be better off than we are now.
The expulsion of Palin-types from the Republican Party is essential to its revitalization as a serious political force. Until religious conservatives like Palin are purged from the party and the leadership of the party is taken over by libertarians, big government Democrats will continue to win by default.
So I'm amused to see this flap developing over the almost-son-in-law of Palin, Levi Johnston, agreeing (allegedly for $25,000) to pose nude for Playgirl, a former print magazine now exclusively online. Playgirl presents itself as offering erotic images for women, but rumors persist that marketing surveys show that its readership has always been mostly homosexual. Here's the lowdown on the whole weird story as chronicled in the Wikipedia:
Levi Keith Johnston (born May 3, 1990) is an American teenager who was the subject of extensive media scrutiny during and after the 2008 United States presidential election. He fathered a child with and was then the fiancé of Bristol Palin, whose mother is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who was the Republican vice-presidential nominee. A few months following the election and the birth of his son, Johnston and Palin ended their engagement, and Johnston has publicly feuded with the Palin family.
In October of 2009, Johnston appeared in a television commercial for the Wonderful Pistachios company, as part of their "Get Crackin" advertising campaign. The commercial features Johnston opening a pistachio as a voice-over states, "Now Levi Johnston does it with protection", a reference to claims made by Johnston that he and Bristol Palin had engaged in unprotected sex. Johnston will also be featured in a nude photo shoot for Playgirl, an online pornographic magazine.
Johnston and Bristol Palin are the parents of Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, who was born in December 2008. According to Johnston, he and Bristol began dating during their freshman year of high school. After losing a promise ring during a caribou hunt, Johnston had Bristol's name tattooed on his finger. On September 1, 2008, Sarah Palin announced that her daughter Bristol was pregnant by Johnston, and that the two would be married. The two broke off their engagement in March 2009. Johnston thereafter said in a nationally televised interview that he was "pretty sure" Governor Palin had known that he and Bristol were having sex. The Palin family denounced Johnston's statements as "lies". In August 2009, Levi publicly speculated that Sarah Palin's early resignation from office was due in part to marital difficulties that had existed since "day one," along with new monetary possibilites.
In a September 2009 Vanity Fair interview, Johnston stated that Sarah Palin wanted the couple to keep Bristol's pregnancy a secret, and later, when the baby was born, she and Todd would adopt the child; the young couple, however, refused the plan.
How do you prepare for a nude photo shoot? Well if you're from Alaska you choose a special native diet. The L.A. Times explains:
Word is that Levi Johnston is on a strict high-protein diet to prep for his alleged Playgirl photo shoot. And naturally, he's eating a lot of moose. Moose that he's personally hunted and killed.
No soy protein for this boy.
"Moose meat is very good for you, high in protein and very lean," his trainer, Marvin Jones, tells People. "He's an avid hunter, so he has his own." In addition to eating mucho moose, Johnston works out three hours a day -- six days a week -- in an Alaska gym.
Johnston seems like a likeable guy and there's nothing necessarily wrong with posing nude. But in the uptight world of the Sarah Palins of this world, where phoney morality reigns, it is a major scandal that may tarnish Palin's stature with the holier than thou crowd and cause her to be ridiculed by everyone else. I once feared that Palin would have to be driven from presidential contention by bitter primary fights. Now it appears increasingly likely that she will be simply laughed out of contention.
I don't know what annoys me more about this bumpersticker - the arrogance or the stupidity.
America has nothing to apologize to the world for; if anything the world should apologize to us.
This morning I came upon these students drilling holes in the lawn in front of the Old Chapel.
It turns out they were planting daffodils to honor the 10th anniversary of the Honors College program.
Nearby these hardy flowers were blooming alongside the library.
Bill Dusty has a great video showing the insides of Springfield's historic Paramount Theater which is currently undergoing a restoration.
Hey what are you doing on Halloween? A good night to see the ol' good time band Max Creek at Pearl Street in Northampton. Only fifteen bucks!
The small Valley town of Wilbraham is not known for its music scene, but native son T.J. Courtney is a fast rising talent. (historic photos by Wilbur Barnes and Rocket Roberts)