Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Former Anchorage Boy Blogs in NY About Vanity Fair's Palin Story

Marty Beckerman grew up in Anchorage and now lives and works in New York.  Among other things he blogs.  His short piece on The Awl  begins with comments on the Michael Joseph Gross piece in the new VF, then goes on to talk about what it's like to be from Alaska.  [Disclosure:  I knew Marty when he was a kid here in Anchorage, but haven't seen him for a long while. He had a bizarre sense of humor back then and even wrote a book in college and seems to have found someone to pay him to keep writing. The bio says he's written two more books and he's the online features editor at Esquire.]
The new Vanity Fair Sarah Palin profile is enthralling: rage-fueled breakdowns, domestic violence (is there a battered spouse center for First Dudes?) and Madoff-worthy financial manipulation. Equally fascinating is the climate of fear and confusion that Michael Joseph Gross discovered in Wasilla, where townspeople are terrified of discussing their former mayor/governor, and deeply uncomfortable with the world-famous media creation that she has become. "To appreciate how alien Palin has become in Wasilla, how inscrutable to her own people, you have to wrap your mind around the fact that Sarah Palin is more famous than any other Alaskan, ever," Gross writes. "It still does not quite seem real to most Alaskans that there are all these thousands of people in the Lower 48 turning out for … Sarah."
Echoing the fear theme, someone mentioned that Joe McGuiness said that he was surprised at the level of Palinphobia in Wasilla.  Fear seems to be a characteristic of the Republican party in Alaska.  Someone else mentioned good friends who wouldn't contribute to non-partisan candidates because the party would punish them for straying from the fold. 

Below is a paragraph from the actual Vanity Fair article about Palin's tipping habits. 
Palin does not always treat those ordinary people well, however—it depends on who is watching. Of the many famous people who have stayed at the Hyatt in Wichita (Cher, Reba McEntire, Neil Young), Sarah Palin ranks as the all-time worst tipper: $5 for seven bags. But the bellhops had it good in Kansas, compared with the bellman at another midwestern hotel who waited up until past midnight for Palin and her entourage to check in—and then got no tip at all for 10 bags. He was stiffed again at checkout time. The same went for the maids who cleaned Palin’s rooms in both places—no tip whatsoever. The only time I heard of Palin giving a generous tip was in St. Joseph, Michigan, after the owner of Kilwin’s chocolate shop, on State Street, sent a CARE package to Palin’s suite, and Palin walked to the store to say thank you. She also wanted to buy more boxes of candy to take home. When the owner would not accept her money, Palin, encircled by the crowd that had jammed the store to get a glimpse of her, pressed a hundred-dollar bill into the woman’s hand, saying, “This is for the staff.” That Ben Franklin was the talk of State Street the whole rest of the day. 

The whole VF article is here.

1 comment:

  1. Bad tippers are really the lowest of the low to me, I don't need to know anything else about a person, especially a person with lots of money.


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