The image that surfaced yesterday was shocking. A celebrity walking across a Kmart parking lot in L.A. snapped by the paparazzi. She was wearing trendy layered T-shirts, tight jeans, and platforms higher than Lindsay Lohan at a glue-sniffing convention. Her hair was done, her lips were glossed, her sunglasses were on. All the tabloids were talking about her outfit and just how skinny she looks. Look at how much weight she's lost! Maybe there's an endorsement deal in her future? But this wasn't a pop star with a ridiculous YouTube video or a starlet with a new show coming out on the CW any minute now. This was Sarah Palin, a woman who just four years ago ran to be Vice President of the United States of America.
Sarah Palin is now nothing but a celebrity. With this picture, Sarah Palin transformed from a political figure to a popular one, and the move she made next only solidified that. Her next book wasn't going to be a follow up to Going Rogue, her political memoir about becoming the Governor of Alaska and running for the second biggest office in the country. No, she is writing a fitness and diet book. This is not what a politician does. She should be writing a policy tome or crusading for the causes she believes in. She should be stumping and fundraising and wearing conservative pant suits and Old Glory pins. Sarah Palin, meanwhile, goes to Dancing with the Stars to support her daughter, a celebrity in her own right. It appears as though the Palins are now closer to Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian than Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Palin even had a reality show of her own. She appears on Fox News to comment on political issues, but she doesn't do it as an elected official anymore. Her visits to cable news are the same as when Ben Affleck shows up on Real Time with Bill Maher to push his liberal agenda.
At this point, George Clooney and Sean Penn, who have been aggressively lobbying for relief in Darfur and Haiti respectively, have more of a political agenda than Palin. She didn't move to DC to be closer to the seat of power, she moved to L.A., the other two-lettered town that is full of power — but the power of the entertainment industry and the celebrity industrial complex. She isn't running for office and she wasn't invited to the Republican National Convention this year. She didn't even attend.
This is odd because she came into our lives purely as a political figure. It wasn't like Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzenegger who were famous first and then got into politics. Palin was plucked from obscurity up there in Alaska and thrust into the national consciousness. The immediate fascination with her had more to do with this narrative — the attractive female governor suddenly shoved into the spotlight — than anything of substance in her life. She brought with her a life like a reality show; her teenage daughter was pregnant out of wedlock to a no-good man who wanted to pose for Playgirl magazine and her husband was still trying to shake the specter of Troopergate. Then came Tina Fey and her impression that brought the candidate off of the convention stage and into the pop cultural arena.
Once Palin and John McCain lost the election, it seemed like she would still be famous in the political sphere, as governor of Alaska. Then she quit. Then she wrote a book. Then she got the reality show, and now she's dithering around L.A. shopping a fitness book the day after her "skinny shots" hit the tabloid press.
This is a first. Sarah Palin is truly unique for being the first to use legitimate political clout and presidential politics to make herself into a B-list celebrity rather than the other way around. Her involvement with politics is as tangential now as any other celebrity's; she doesn't hold office and is more interested in pursuing gigs that will cultivate her fame and popularity than getting the voters to back her. Al Gore, after he lost his campaign, also took to the movies, but that was An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary about climate change, which has more to do with politics than whether or not Bristol will survive doing the Paso Doble this week.
Welcome to the brave new world, Sarah Palin, because you are officially a celebrity and we're not quite sure what to do with you. Should we continue to pretend like what you say about issues matters any more than a Real Housewife? Should we give you a show or an acting role? Are you ready to be the next Bachelorette? One thing is for sure though. If you ever do run again, someone is going to have to remind you of when the McCain campaign smeared Obama for being a celebrity. He wasn't even the one emailing his diet book plans to People magazine.
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[Photo Credit: Miguel/Rocstar/FameFlynet]
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While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Heather Mills has been kicked off hit TV show Dancing with the Stars, despite winning over judges with her "great passion and fire" during a performance of the paso doble.
The estranged wife of Paul McCartney was voted off the program last night, after failing to impress viewers with her dancing alongside professional partner, Jonathan Roberts.
But in her farewell speech, Mills confessed she was "not surprised" by the result, before going on to thank her supporters for "raising a fortune" for her animal welfare charity and "saving hundreds of thousands of animals' lives" in the process.
Those still remaining in the celebrity contest include singers Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Fatone, and boxer Laila Ali.
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