NINETY-FIVE

On p. 95 of GR, Sarah continues her discussion of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Governor Frank Murkowski appointed Randy Ruedrich along with Sarah to the AOGCC. She writes, "It was Murkowski's third eyebrow-raising appointment in his short tenure. But this one was especially troublesome because Ruedrich was the state Republican Party chairman and would remain so during his tenure. He was also a member of the Republican National Committee.

"Ruedrich was jovial …"

I would like to focus my reflections this morning on this little word "jovial."

SARAH THE JOYFUL; RUEDRICH THE JOVIAL

What does "jovial" mean; what are its connotations; what is its etymology?

I think that this word is one of those that, while it does not have a univocally and unambiguously negative signification, is nevertheless tinged and tainted with bad and unsavory connotations.

In terms of its roots, it is derived from the Roman god Jupiter/JOVE, the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, the king of the pagan gods. I will return to its derivation shortly.

When I think of joviality, I think of a manner that is somewhat false, that is assumed as a mask to hide something. It is like someone who "bluffs" by being "bluff" and hearty in manner.

I think we may contrast the word and concept forcefully and pointedly with the word JOYFUL.

Joviality does not come at a price.

Joy, by contrast, veritable joy, the true steel of joy and happiness is forged only on the adamantine anvil of pain and suffering. It comes only under the dolorous but delivering blows of the hammer of fate and circumstances that the good Lord sends our way. It is the fruit and harvest of the tears that we sow when we elect, in spite of all inconvenience, all difficulties, all dangers to ourselves, when we elect the True and the Good.

Joviality, by contrast, has no roots; has no lofty heights of exultation, has no valleys and depths of dolors and sorrows.

At its root, it is often a LIE, not necessarily an assumed affectation (though it can be this), but rather SELF-DECEPTION. What is that old line from a song, "I could conjure up a constant state of happiness." I think that we human beings often do this: Conjure and contrive false "joy" for ourselves.

Joviality is like the iron pyrite, the Fool's Gold that poor souls often forge and fictitiously contrive and purchase for themselves when they cannot achieve the golden guerdon of genuine and real joy.

This royal JOY, on the other hand, is born and grows to marvelous maturity in the palaces of our hearts when, in spite of any grievous outward circumstances, we are at peace with the two Great Commandments, Love of God and Love of Neighbor.

I noted above that "jovial" is derived from the god Jove (Jupiter/Zeus), king of the Olympian gods.

A characteristic of these "gods" is that, in contrast to the "vale of tears" in which MORTAL MEN AND WOMEN dwell and pass away their limited hours, days, and years, they are FREE FROM TEARS. The existence of the "happy gods" is freed from all the ennobling but painful constraints and pains and sorrows to which mortal flesh is subject.

The "gods" are not subject to DEATH.

MEN and WOMEN ARE subject to DEATH.

The Olympian gods cannot be deemed "joyful" in the sense that was defined above.

We, on the contrary, can achieve the paradoxical and majestic heights of joy in the very midst and depths of the most exquisite sufferings … IF we are suffering for the sake of the Lord, for the sake of our neighbor, for the sake of Justice and Freedom!!

Hence, an individual who assumes the mask of joviality is often trying to ESCAPE from the grim but glorious earthly struggle for our souls that is our fate, and that will be our eternal glory or our eternal ruination.

This brings me back to Sarah Palin and Randy Ruedrich.

The "jovial" Ruedrich, the compromised Ruedrich, the corrupt Ruedrich could not even begin to move and stir the hearts and the spirits of tens of millions of American patriots the way that the Governor has, ever since our first golden glimpse of her on the deathless Sarah Palin Day, 29 August, 2008--THE JOYFUL SARAH, THE JOY-FULL SARAH; THE JOY-FILLED SARAH!!!

Why?

I think that joviality is essentially a dead and lifeless entity, one that cannot generate spiritual "offspring."

On the contrary, JOY is a living and vital and effulgent presence and puissance that communicates itself rapidly and …JOYFULLY …from heart to heart to heart, and lifts us up to the Heavens in veritable happiness … to the "Heavens" of the TRUE NORTH STAR, to the "Heavens" of our loftiest and noblest and highest aspirations!!!

In this decisive hour of peril and of opportunity for the Res Publica Americana, it is not jovial frauds like Randy Ruedrich that America, blessed America, the American Eagle cries out for.

NO, NO, NO!!!

The EAGLE IS CALLING, CALLING , CALLING for the BRAVE AND NOBLE WARRIOR OF THE NORTH …

IT IS CALLING AND CRYING FOR HER WHO IS WREATHED ABOUT, INSIDE AND OUTSIDE,WITH THAT GOLDEN AND ETHEREAL AND ETERNAL JOY THAT HAS BEEN PURCAHSED AND WON ON THE GRIM BUT GLORIOUS BATTLEFIELDS OF HER SOUL!!!!

Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:

Credits:

All sidebar photos are from Wikimedia. I have tried to post all royalty-free images or to get permission, but in a few cases I could not locate the original source of a photograph or find a way to ask permission.


Contact info: bbrianus@gmail.com.

Other Great Going Rogue Reviews:

Jedediah Bila:

"Palin’s inviting first-person narration that is sometimes whimsical, often confident, and always patriotic...Going Rogue is truly one of those reads in which you put the book down after your eyes graze the final lines and you somehow feel like the writer is someone you’ve known all your life."
John Ziegler:

"I was simply blown away by Going Rogue on almost every level. For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime..."
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata:
"Her book washes away all doubts that any reader might have had about her readiness to be president. She comes across as exceptionally bright, dedicated, and passionate about public service. Her moral compass is strong, pointing true North in this case. And she has a wicked sense of humor."
Don Surber:
"Conservatives know why Palin is still standing — and standing taller today than those who tried to bring her down. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Thank you, Tina Fey."

Sarah Palin is Coming to Town

Review by Stanley Fish:

When I walked into the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan last week, I headed straight for the bright young thing who wore an “Ask Me” button, and asked her to point me to the section of the store where I might find Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” She looked at me as if I had requested a copy of “Mein Kampf” signed in blood by the author....


A few days later...I had begun reading Palin’s book, and while I wouldn’t count myself a fan in the sense of being a supporter, I found it compelling and very well done....

First, the art. The book has an architectonic structure that is built around a single moment, the moment when Palin receives a call from John McCain inviting her to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party. When we first hear about the call it is as much a surprise to us as it was (at least as reported) to her, because for six pages she has been recounting a wonderful family outing at the Alaska State Fair. When her phone rings, she hopes it might be a call from her son Track, a soldier soon to deploy to Iraq, but “it was Senator John McCain asking if I wanted to help him change history.”

And that’s the last we hear of it for 200 pages. In between we hear a lot about Wasilla, high school, basketball, college, marriage, children, Down syndrome, Alaska politics, the environment, a daughter’s pregnancy. The re-entry of John McCain into the narrative on page 208 introduces Palin’s account of the presidential campaign and its aftermath, especially her decision to resign the governorship before the end of her term....


Paradoxically, the effect of the neatly spaced references to the call is to de-emphasize it as a dramatic moment. It is presented not as a climax, but as an interruption of matters more central to Palin’s abiding concerns — her family, Alaska’s prosperity, energy policy. (She loves to rehearse the kind of wonkish details we associate with Hillary Clinton, whom she admires.)

Indeed, it is a feature of this narrative that events we might have expected to be foregrounded are elided or passed over. Palin introduced herself to the nation with a powerful, electrifying speech accepting McCain’s invitation to join the ticket. It gets half a sentence (“I gave my speech”)....


The only event that receives an extended discussion is her resignation. It is important to her because as an act it reflects on her integrity, and she has to be sure (as she eventually was) that she was doing it for the right reasons.

Resigning was a moral act for which she was responsible. The vice-presidential candidacy just happened to her; her account of it reads like an extended “what-I-did-on-my summer-and fall-vacation” essay.


For many politicians, family life is sandwiched in between long hours in public service. Palin wants us to know that for her it is the reverse. Political success is an accident that says nothing about you. Success as a wife, mother and citizen says everything...

I find the voice undeniably authentic...It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.

It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us?


And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

In the end, perseverance, the ability to absorb defeat without falling into defeatism, is the key to Palin’s character. It’s what makes her run in both senses of the word and it is no accident that the physical act of running is throughout the book the metaphor for joy and real life. Her handlers in the McCain campaign wouldn’t let her run (a mistake, I think, even at the level of photo-op), no doubt because they feared another opportunity to go “off script,” to “go rogue.”

But run she does (and falls, but so what?), and when it is all over and she has lost the vice presidency and resigned the governorship, she goes on a long run and rehearses in her mind the eventful year she has chronicled. And as she runs, she achieves equilibrium and hope: “We’ve been through amazing days, and really, there wasn’t one thing to complain about. I feel such freedom, such hope, such thankfulness for our country, a place where nothing is hopeless.”

The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.

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