Sunday, October 12, 2008

Newsflash: Self-proclaimed hockey mom decidedly unpopular at actual hockey game (by Skylanda)

That Sarah "Pitbull with Lipstick" Palin would be booed on the Philadephia ice at the Flyers game on Saturday was entirely - almost boringly - predictable. It was predictable because Philadelphia is not exactly a Republican stronghold. It was predictable because booing anything on the ice is a de riguer part of any actual hockey game, the prelude to any actual hockey game, and - quite frequently - the post-victory festivities of any hockey game. One would think, as a, ya know, hockey mom and all, she would not have needed to be apprised of this phenomenon in advance.

Which makes it kinda weird that she brought her school-aged kid onto the ice with her. Now, far be it for me to criticize Sarah Palin's mad mommy skillz; I've railed against this bizarre brand of sexism here and elsewhere, and I stand by that. I am also fully in favor of exposing kids to the great wide world of wacky humanity from more or less whatever tender age won't traumatize them into nightmares that you don't want to have to comfort them through at three in the morning, so I don't hold it against Palin on principle that she brought a six-ish year-old to a hockey game, even if the last hockey game I went to (in the terribly tame venue of a semi-pro team in the Pacific northwest) had more bloody noses and broken jaws than a Steven Segal movie - and that was just in the stands. (Though I do have to ask: geez, are these the same people who were criticizing the Obamas for exploiting their two daughters with a controlled, pre-filmed TV spot?)

What is so jarring is that anyone at all was surprised by the jeers, the boos, the prevalence of middle fingers, the whole crazy drunken scene. Or that anyone is so outraged by it. Or that anyone buys that the kid was brought for any reason other than to try (unsuccessfully) to preempt the absolutely assinine specter of a self-proclaimed hockey mom showing up to a city in which she is rabidly unpopular and expecting the rowdiest crowds this side of a British soccer match on a national holiday to treat her daughter like a lady.
Moreover, that anyone is actually trying to compare jeering Palin at a pro sports venue to the frightening and reactionary display exhibited by McCain supporters last week. You remember - that was the rally where reporters openly filmed McCain supporters shouting that Obama is a terrorist (and if you don't remember, scroll down a few days to echidne's post for a five-minute few screen shot of the rally in question), and another in Florida where "Kill him!" was heard echoing in the crowd, though with some apparent ambiguity as to whom we should actually be lynching on behalf of the shouter of said threat. Racist, threatening epithets hurled by people in political venues does not equal being booed on the ice at a hockey game. There are some salient differences, in case one needs to hear these pointed out. One is that no one - at least by all reports, including those from Fox News - made threatening remarks toward Palin. Two is that no one equated her with terrorism due to the nature of her middle name (Obama's is Hussein, spoken of course with a sort of spit and acid meant to make clear that his sort is not welcome around these parts). The third is that if you choose to appear in a venue where booing is practically a rite of honor, fer chrissakes, suck it up and enjoy the show...although maybe not with the kid in tow.

It kinda makes you wonder if the "hockey mom" schtick isn't just about as hollow as the rest of the McCain/Palin schtick: one more attempt to connect with the down-home, real folks of America by pretending toward something that your actions prove you know surprisingly little about.

P.S. Another fun part of this story: watching the McCain-ite blogosphere trip all over themselves arguing simultaneous that a) she wasn't booed that loud - it's just the biased liberal media over-reporting a couple of jeers; and b) that hockey-going liberals are a bunch of boorish thugs for booing a woman and child so vilely. It's amusing, really.