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Monday, October 03, 2011

The politics of first graders


When you hear your child scream like that, you come running.

Emerson was fine. But she was staring at the computer screen, horrified.

"Dis lady! She juss shooted a woof!"

Emerson had been watching videos of Annoying Orange. Let's just say there was a good reason I wasn't in the room. "Annoying" doesn't even begin to describe this crap. But somehow a video clip from "Sarah Palin's Alaska" came up in the suggestions sidebar, and she clicked it. Now she's really upset.

"She was flying ober da woofs, and she just shoot dem! Why did she do dat?!"

(Disclaimer: I can't find the video she watched, and I have no idea why it was in the Annoying Orange sidebar.)

I don't really have an explanation for her. I would like to give her a reasonable story about predators in the wild and how overpopulation reduces the food supply and makes them more aggressive and dangerous to humans. I would like to explain to her that even in our own refrigerator is a trove of meats from animals who have died - and never even saw the wild.

But this was wealthy former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a known incompetent, flying far from human settlement over the tundra in a helicopter, certainly not meeting the wolves on a level playing field, firing from the air and taking down wolves regardless of gender or the presence of offspring... and on a hunting trip that may have cost more than $40,000, an amount that could have stocked the freezers of hundreds of her fellow Alaskans.

Sigh... politics. There should be a prescription to cure that particular affliction.

"Yeah, that's Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska. She lives in a state with a lot of wild natural areas and dangerous animals, and hunting is an important source of food for a lot of people," I explain. "Plus, she's running for president and that's a television show that she hoped would help get her elected."

Emmie stares at me with her mouth wide open.

"Dat lady gonna be da president?!"

"Well, I don't think so, but I think she plans on running in the next election."

"But... she's coocoo-crazy! We gonna hab a crazy president?!"

I don't think she understands the electoral process.

"Well, just because she says she wants to be president, doesn't mean she gets to be. She has to get the most votes," I say. Sort of. Electoral College. Whatever. I digress. "Honestly, I don't think she'll win, honey. Anyway, I'm certainly not voting for her."

"Good!" Emmie said. "Cause I don't want dat lady to be president. Who would wanna shoot a woof?"

... Caribou?


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