Sarah Palin, Big Gulp, and Freedom in America
Apparently Sarah Palin showed up at CPAC today and talked guns and gun racks, and took swipes at both Mitt Romney and Pres. Obama, and then, for the coup de grace, and displaying all of her wit, brought out a Big Gulp and took a sip.
The use of right-wing food props immediately reminded me of Greg Stillson, the politician on a road to the presidency (and nuclear destruction) in Stephen King's 1979 novel, “The Dead Zone,” who, with a U.S. decal on his hard hat, threw hot dogs to the enthusastic crowds at his rallies:
“Hot dogs for every man, woman and child in America! And when you put Greg Stillson in the House of Representatives, you gonna say HOT DOG! SOMEONE GIVES A RIP AT LAST!”
I'm not the first to make the Palin/Stillson connection, either. “Around my house,” Mr. King toldSalon.com in 2008, “we kinda laugh when Sarah Palin comes on TV, and we say, 'That's Greg Stillson as a woman.'”
The 32-oz. Big Gulp, in case you missed it, is a swipe at NYC's Mayor Bloomberg, who has attempted to limit, in restaurants and theaters, and for health reasons, the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces or less. Jon Stewart among others has objected. I believe Stewart used the same prop as Palin. Is this the first thing the two have ever agreed on? Expect a mash-up.
Besides, didn't a judge strike down the Mayor's initiative earlier this week? But Palin wasn't going to give up a good prop when she had one.
Here's the bigger point. Yesterday, before a movie at Regal Cinemas in downtown Seattle, I got unaccountably thirsty and went to the refreshment stand to buy a soda. I just wanted a little, not much.
Me: What's the smallest soda you have?
Underpaid Regal employee: 32 ounces.
That's the small. But the employee was nice enough to sell me the kids' size, which is a mere 16 ounces. Which is still about twice what I wanted.
But that's freedom in America. You have the freedom to buy whatever the corporation is selling—for whatever reason it wants to sell it that way—without interference from the government.