I understand that Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, is a pig. I have seen pictures of her – both moving and still – and am not so sure.
This is a line of definition that Illinois Senator Barack Obama has drawn for me and for all of us. It is his mark. He has come to this line and come from it; had it written for him; spoken it himself. I have read it in the newspapers and on the internet, and I have heard it on the radio, and I have seen it on television and on YouTube. So it is.
And it is a dangerous line, drawn in lipstick.
Here’s how it seems to have gone down: Governor Palin, in speaking at the Republican National Convention and in accepting the Republican Vice Presidential nomination, portrayed herself in part as a hockey mom and said, “You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull, lipstick.”
This may be why American football is my sport of choice.
A couple of days later, Senator Obama snickered to a group of supporters and said, “You can put lipstick on a pig…it is still a pig.”
I would have let her be a dolled-up pitbull. I would not have let her become a pig. But I am not running for a government position. So this is somewhat fun for me and for my clan of nihilists.
Newsweek recently featured Governor Palin. In the cover photograph, she rests a thick-barreled firearm on her shoulder, her hair piled casually on the crown of her head, a Fargo-like smile playing on her lips. The issue was called Palintology.
Paleontology is the study of the fossil record and of long-ago life. Because of this branch of science, I am certain that we can find the ancestors of pigs and of pitbulls in certain stone collections. This might make for an important parallel. Then again, paleontology is a celebration of the dead.
I must admit that our common Alaskan pig holds my interest. She could make a fine Vice President. I have mentioned this interest to my wife and to a few friends of the family. They have expressed a variety of concerns. But we’re cool now.
I closed the deal with a quote from Winston Churchill. A long time ago, he said, “Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.” I am not sure if this is true in the slaughterhouse. Regardless of the truth, I am uncertain that anything is equal.
I have heard that pigs could consume anything. And what is equal to the desire for universal consumption? It is likely best to keep secrets among omnivores. It has been suggested that hungry pigs in a pen offer a good environment for the disposal of a body. They will devour the entire carcass, including teeth and bones.
Ruby Schrecengost, spokesperson for the National Hereford Hog Record Association, told me that a hog could eat nearly anything. “The environmentalists won’t let them. They frown on that now.”
This could be a campaign slogan – or possibly a full-on movement. Let omnivores be omnivores. Well, maybe not all of them. But there should be some degree of choice. Just don’t tell the environmentalists.
But the question of choice itself is a pig, so we likely need to dress it up. I asked Ruby Schrecengost to provide some advice on how one might best dress up a hog. “They have to be washed,” she said. “Some people oil them. They don’t like to be oiled.”