Dunno about you, but I’ve developed quite a crush on Margaret and Helen, two alleged old bats with strong sentiments about moronic politicians, about the state of the economy, and about life, the universe and all that. I especially enjoyed their pre-election characterization of Sarah Palin, which was somewhat less kind and distinctly more on-target than anything that ever appeared on SNL. Apparently I’m not alone: as of this evening they’ve scored more than a million hits.
The question is…are they real? Are these really two li’l ole ladies given to tooling around on electric scooters and, incidentally, regaling the planet with their trenchant opinions on the lunatics, nincompoops, and would-be dictators who have been in charge of this country lo! these many years? And if they’re not real, well then…who’s behind the blog, anyway?
I hope they are real. They’re my kinda women, if I had the guts to be their kinda woman. But I’ll admit to harboring some doubts. After umpty-gerjillion years teaching English and editing writing from all kinds of scribblers, I’d hazard a guess that they sound more like 28-year-olds than 80-year-olds. The syntax, the vocabulary, the rhythm of the language…none of it rings of 1928.
Right up until my generation (and beyond, really), women with the kind of education and wit reflected in the blog’s writing were powerfully socialized to refrain from vulgarity. Nice girls did not use coarse language. Neither, surprisingly, did many men—certainly not in mixed company. Not until Vietnam radicalized us and the women’s liberation movement oversensitized us to the restrictions that bound us to the pedestal did women begin to use the f-word, or even the s-word or the p-word or any other of those words. It just wasn’t done. You can be sure my mother would have thought all sorts of “words” about the incumbents, but even more surely, she wouldn’t have said them. And god forfend that she should put them in writing!
That kind of training is not easily overcome.
Hilariously typical, for example, is this passage, where the conversation turns to bail-outs:
So many of you kept wanting us to talk about Sarah Palin. Sorry, but I have tuned her out. If I want to hear an ass talk I can just ask Harold to pass gas. And speaking of gas, several of you asked about the Auto Industry Bailout. At first we thought “How Boring” but then Harold showed me his credit card bill from Exxon and that got us going…
But just when you’re thinking “naahhh! The grandson’s writing it. This is the language and the humor of a 28-year-old guy of the sort who sits in front of the computer a lot,” ZAP! Up pops something unmistakably produced by a female mind of a certain age:
Life is short. You realize that even more when you are old. I have said before that in dog years I am already dead. So each morning when I wake up there is a brief moment until I realize that I still need my glasses to see the clock before realizingI must still be in this old body of mine… Then I turn and put a mirror under Harold’s nose to determine ifI still need to put on my make-up and do my hair.
Even a passage or two in the Bitch Palin post can ring of the mature voice:
I’m old enough toremember the Republican party of Barry Goldwater – when the party stood for fiscal responsibility, small government and personal freedoms. I remember whenI couldtalk withfriends about politicsand just agree to disagree. And then religious nut cases decided that if you didn’t agree with them you were immoral.So they went and elected George Bush President so he couldtake the Republican Party from being a party full of respectable people to a party filled with asses, jackasses and yes – bitches like Sarah Palin.
Goldwater himself famously used the a** word in reference to the neocons, and if he were alive today I’m sure he’d be using it and other choice expressions…dare we say it?…liberally. And I do know one woman pushing 75 who has been heard using plenty of strong language about our soon-to-be former leadership. One. A wild one, she.
Here we have two wild hares. Is that credible? What do you think? Are they real or not?
My money’s on the grandson. But my heart is with Margaret and Helen.