Sunday, June 05, 2011

Listen, And You Shall Hear

Sarah Palin's summer vacation continues: "He who warned the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and, um, making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that, uh, we were going to be secure and we were going to be free." This is how she chose to describe Paul Revere's ride during her stop in Boston. Perhaps Longfellow was not required reading at any of the five universities she attended. Perhaps reading was not required at any of the five universities she attended.
This could be part of the reason her vision of American history is so skewed, or it could be that she hadn't looked into the truth of the matter: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" nearly one hundred years after the event. It was written as the United States stood on the brink of civil war. It doesn't have anything to say about the midnight ride of William Dawes, who made the ride to Lexington as well, taking a slightly different route. And there was Samuel Prescott, who managed to complete his ride without being captured by the British, as Mister Revere was. Alas, both Prescott and Dawes lacked the necessary meter and scansion.
Now here we are, a hundred and fifty years after the publication of Longfellow's myth, and Silly Sarah is still unclear about both fact and fiction. How is it that she continues to be considered anything but a font of comedic straight lines? Her grasp of our national and international scene continues to be tenuous at best, and she continues to string us all along about whether or not we should take her seriously as a candidate. If she's running for President of the Historical Society, she'll have to work a little harder to get my vote. In the meantime, brace yourselves for another flurry of blaming the "lame-stream" media for twisting her words and making her appear foolish. I don't thing even Longfellow could save this one.

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