Art imitates life imitates art in politics.

Another quick note on the blurring of politics and pop culture, if I may — starting with the Saturday Night Live sketch below:

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Back when Sarah Palin was first nominated for the vice-presidency, many people noted her uncanny resemblance to Tina Fey — so it was perhaps inevitable that Fey would return to her old SNL stomping grounds for a cameo as Palin. But no sooner had the skit been aired than Palin’s spokesperson Tracey Schmitt began telling reporters that Palin had once dressed as Fey, too, for Halloween. So the impersonation, as it were, has gone both ways.

Schmitt also said that Palin had had a good laugh at the skit, which was interesting, given that the skit basically paints Palin as a bimbo — a point that prompted John McCain spokeswoman Carly Fiorina to complain that the skit was “disrespectful” and “sexist”. But last night, Palin told Sean Hannity that she had watched the skit “with the volume all the way down”. She still said the skit was “hilarious” because the visuals were “spot on”, but it was unclear whether she had any idea yet as to what the characters had actually said, or as to how, exactly, she had been portrayed.

Now, says the Associated Press, the big question weighing on fans’ minds is whether Fey will continue to make guest appearances as Palin, or whether SNL will give the job to one of their regular cast members. Personally, I’d try to persuade Fey to come back as needed between now and the election, which takes place less than seven weeks away, on November 4. And after that? If McCain and Palin win, then I guess the folks at SNL should probably get someone else to play her. And if they lose, it’ll be a moot point.

Interestingly, one of the jokes in the skit is that Hillary Clinton thought she was going to be speaking by herself, and that she is surprised to be sharing the stage with Palin. That scenario came true just a few days later, when Clinton, who was going to take part in a protest against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, cancelled her appearance upon learning that Palin had also been invited to the rally.

Finally, in the video below, Matt Damon makes a very funny point about Palin’s candidacy being like “a really bad Disney movie” — but he then goes on to undermine his credibility by spreading the notion that Palin believes dinosaurs existed 4,000 years ago. More on that after the video.

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Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

Unlike those bogus rumours about Palin’s children that were all the rage two weeks ago, the dinosaur rumour can’t even claim to be based on a sincerely held theory; instead, it comes from a parody of Palin created by a single blogger, which some anti-Palin types have bizarrely taken to be fact. Damon says he “needs to know” if this rumour is true, but dude, it took me all of five seconds to determine via Google that it isn’t.

So as far as I’m concerned, spreading this parody as if it were fact puts Damon and his ilk in the same category as those Christians who believed that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is a Satanist simply because The Onion said so, and because they wanted it to be so. Damon et al. can oppose Palin’s candidacy all they like, but they should really try not to confuse satire with reality.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17492591447246532970 jasdye

    thanks for reminding me of clinton’s gracelessness.

  • Rachelle

    I like to think that Sarah Palin can laugh at herself and find the humor in the fact that this is comedy and only loosely based in reality…. A bimbo she is not but it really pokes fun at all those who think you can’t be attractive and smart at the same time, huh? A good sense of humor is useful in politics.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17492591447246532970 jasdye

    i may disagree with you rachelle. in fact, her interviews (before they cut them off that is) lead me to believe that she is both arrogant and ignorant. i think that SNL was actually kind to her in that regard.

    but this is making me think of other SNL sketches of presidents or president-hopefuls. eight years later, every time i see bush (the younger) speak, i think “strategery”. or gore putting the environment in a special “lock box”. for that matter, bush the elder tried his own clumsy re-enactment of his “wouldn’t be prudent” dana carvey line.

    i think these little caricatures do carry a lot of weight and maybe palin’s handlers are right to worry about them. it would be just better to roll with the punches though, instead of being stupid and playing a stupid gender card on the cast.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17492591447246532970 jasdye

    speaking of imitations, every time i see damon i think of his character in Team America.

    “Matt Damon!”


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