Discussion Board

Topic: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Peter Yorke
Location: Camano Island, WA
Date: 02/08/2010

After watching the Palin Tea Party speech, it occurred to me that she would make a good character as the instigator of the secession of Idaho.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/11/2010

She's fun, but for now, she's simply building up a big profit from speeches and book and Fox without laying down real political connections. Downside: she has to rap with Glenn Beck. For a beauty queen like her, that's got to be scary. Like being stuck in study hall, alone with the strangest kid in school.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 04/15/2010

Have a look at this article:
http://www.northjersey.com/news/national/90811954_Tea_Party_pushes_for_Oklahoma_militia.html

The fact that elected officials are participating in this craziness puts an exclamation point on Mr Yorke's idea.

The degree of extremism coming from supposedly reputable sources is edging towards disturbing.

It also hints that Mr. Bear's Green Idaho idea was more than a little prescient.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/07/2010

Not so much prescient as observant, I think. These forces have been with us for centuries, and they're remarkably consistent in both outlook and behavior.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 05/07/2010

That's either reassuring or disheartening. I suspect a shot of strong scotch will clear things up nicely.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/07/2010

Ah, but then there's the Whiskey Rebellion--where the rugged individualists were protesting taxes not on tea, but on spiritous liquors. George Washington himself had to violently roust those ancestors of the White Lightning Crowd! In act, I suspect there's more truth in calling themselves the tax-free Boozer Party. And of course the fast, fast hopped-up stock cars required to escape the revenooers and prohibition cops became both hot rod culture and Nascar...

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Joy Mott
Location: WV
Date: 05/23/2010

I'm surprised by your use of this word: "revenooers" - a word which engenders the ignorance, poverty and meager lives of the Appalachian people. Would you have used a comparable word in describing other parts of America?

And yes, I know you're talking about how the Whiskey Rebellion influenced later and smaller populist rebellions. (Even though I grew up in Appalachia, I did receive quite a good education.) And, I'm certainly not trying to be the politically correct police.

I just wonder why you would use such a word with such heavy stereotypical connotations.

I never thought of your writing as that which would stereotype people geographically. In actuality, I don't care about Sarah Palin or her frenzied financial tour, but why use this word so clearly related to the outsider's view of the people of Appalachia? Especially when the Whiskey Rebellion took place in Pittsburgh and during prohibition, more alcohol crossed the Canadian border than was ever created in Appalachia.

Yes, some of the people of Appalachia are poor, ill educated and have been abused, used and poisoned by outside corporations for generations - and they certainly are easy targets because of that. But I just happened to think of one man who actually became the sort of man you write about - a real rocket scientist by the name of Homer Hickam who grew up in the coal fields. And he wasn't alone. He just happened to write a book about it.

We are easy targets and I'm sure I'll be flamed for even bringing this up, but why use this word and this particularly meaningful spelling of it? I just didn't expect it of you.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/28/2010

No disrespect meant. It's a part of American fable, and history, and I never suspected anyone would consider it a slur. I hope we haven't reached the point where we can no longer spell out regional dialect and accents! As a fellow of partly Okie heritage, I often have a hard time not saying "warsh" for wash. ("There is no R in Washington.") So maybe I actually talk that way myself, Joy, and you're the one making fun of *me*? Actually, when I'm in a region or country with a rich dialect, I have a hard time NOT trying to learn the speech patterns and pick up the lingo. I love this sort of diversity. It isn't mocking--it's appreciation of the local music.

Homer Hickam is terrific, by the way--as is MATEWAN. But Hickam idolized Werner von Braun, and he's hardly politically correct in some circles. Where does it all end?

And what ARE we going to do about books and films like DELIVERANCE and GRAPES OF WRATH and heaven forbid, HUCKLEBERRY FINN...

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Joy Mott
Location: WV
Date: 05/30/2010

Ok, I understand what you were going for and I definitely was not making fun of you. Although the stereotype remains, the hill country accent and way of life dies a little more each day with the 24/7 news onslaught, the internet, and 900 channels of middle American accented television.

But even with this sea change, PBS did a special on the English language several years ago and they actually used subtitles for those Americans speaking who were from the coal fields. So I suppose I may be a bit touchy about the type of comment that comes close to Rob Reiner's quote of "fly-over" America - an attitude that sometimes comes from both coasts. (Especially in a state that many people think is part of Virginia.) If I had a dime for every time someone has asked me if I lived near Richmond, well, I'd have a lot of dimes.

As for Matewan, I loved it, not just because of John Sayles's fabulous work, but also he nailed it, without condescension to the people, time or place. And, because Matewan is part of my family history. (But that's another story entirely.)

Now, Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath - I could have a really long discussion with you about that book. I'm guessing that by saying that you were partly Okie in heritage, that you have your own thoughts on that novel.

Either way, this thread has veered far, far away from the original topic, but I do appreciate and thank you for your response.

Re: Sarah Palin as genesis of Green Idaho

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/01/2010

My pleasure, Joy!

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