Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beyond the Palin

Here's a little something every parent learns about their kids before they finally leave the nest: they want to be known as more than the son or daughter of their mother or father. I think Paul would bear me out on this. (He probably had other considerations when he started wearing a nose ring, but never mind that.) If every parent is fortunate (albeit not without a sense of the bittersweet), the child approaches young adulthood with the culmination of a process known as "individuation." This is what the dictionary calls "the process by which social individuals become differentiated one from the other." Or, as it is known in Jungian psychology, "the gradual integration and unification of the self through the resolution of successive layers of psychological conflict." The latter is a fancy-pants way of saying the former.

So, when Bristol Palin is interviewed by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News about her (Bristol's) pregnancy, and Bristol says that "everyone should be abstinent, but it’s not realistic at all... because it’s more and more accepted," only an idiot -- or the average contributor to The Huffington Post -- would consider this a political liability for her mother, Alaska Governor and former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

For those who listen closely, it becomes clear that Bristol doesn't think much of them either. I mean, as long as you're going to schlepp north to Alaska just to hang on every word this girl says....

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