It Pays To Be Stupid

I’ve worked as a freelance writer and I’ve hired freelancers. I remember when I worked as an editor, I was interviewing a writer that said “I get a dollar a word” both my co-editor and I muted the phone because we couldn’t help but laugh—a dollar a word? That’s insane! Normally, when freelancing you’ll get a flat rate sometimes it’s as little as $10.00 an article or as high as $400. Now, if you’re getting $400 you are at the top of your game for a freelancer, you have demonstrated that you can get top interviews—I’m talking Tom Hanks not some new actor off the plane starring in local theater. You’ve also probably had positions as a staff writer somewhere like the New York Times or have written a book … basically you’re independently famous and can cash in on your name.

Last Sunday on the latest episode of ‘Girls’, the character of Hannah* got offered $200.00 for her first published article ever. I rolled my eyes at this because it’s complete bullshit. It reminded me of the time on ‘Sex and the City’ where Carrie Bradshaw proudly proclaimed “I’ve been offered four dollars a word at Vogue.” I laughed at that too. Carrie Bradshaw, who writes a small sex column for a no-name paper, would not get four freaking dollars a word at Vogue. Nonsense! I laughed and laughed at these fictional characters with their amazing apartments and designer clothes in New York working as freelancers…hahahah! Fake people on T.V are so silly. Then I got a hard dose of reality.

Sarah Palin is out at Fox. They dumped her. The first smart thing Fox has done in decades. Naturally, Smart Politics decided to calculate how much it cost Fox to have Palin. They looked at her three-year contract in which she made one million dollars a year and broke it down with how many words she spoke for the network. We heard 189,221 words from Sarah Palin. She appeared about once a week. That mean she was paid about $15.81 per word spoken. Sarah Palin was paid almost $16.00 per word. I’m sorry…but that airhead with absolutely no credibility as a journalist, politician, or even human being at this point is not worth five cents a word let alone $16.00!

Want to feel even sicker? Palin said,  “You betcha” twice, “Amen” 111 times, “God” 57 times, “Moses” three times, and “Jesus” just once—that’s almost three grand right there. Go back to busting your ass at your nine to five where you pay up to 15% in taxes per pay check and try not to scream over the fact that if you just could’ve been the one chosen to ruin a Presidential campaign –you too could’ve been paid one million dollars a year to be a moron.

*Hannah’s character is entitled and self centered and that’s the point. Lena Dunham wrote this character and is someone who has had her career handed to her on her parents good name so I understand why she wouldn’t know that you actually have to work for things in order to make a lot of money instead of just saying “gimme”.

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Surprisingly, Team Obama

photo of obama pictures
I was in eighth grade when George W. Bush and Al Gore ran against each other in the race for the US Presidency. Bush became President and I was quite disappointed. That was around the time that I first began watching The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. That was also when I was first becoming strict about rules of language and grammar. I was a freshman in high school when 9/11 happened (taking a Biology quiz when all of the televisions flicked from the silent PowerPoint slideshow of reminders that followed the televised morning announcements to a scene of the World Trade Center with smoke billowing out of one of the towers—we all thought that it was a movie at first). Shock for those first few days swiftly became greater alarm as I saw the Bush Administration take advantage of the national and international goodwill and turn it in what I saw to be disturbing directions.

My high school was not a “political battleground.” In a survey my senior year, when incumbent President Bush ran against John Kerry, I was not yet old enough to vote—few of us were—but a survey of students (conducted by one of the notably conservative members of the faculty) found that 71% of the student body supported John Kerry, and 26% supported George W. Bush. And I live, by the way, in the Southeastern United States. In the Bible Belt. And while I was not, personally, a Kerry-supporter, I was a huge supporter of not-Bush (which seemed to be the general sentiment in the Democratic Party). Thanks to the overwhelmingly similar view of my peers, I was very optimistic about the 2004 Presidential Election.

I was, of course, disappointed. This time, Bush actually won the popular vote, and was reelected.

In 2008, I was so #TeamHillary (and I still am, really). I saw President Bill Clinton speak at my university (and though universities are supposedly “liberal-factories,” my college peers were much more evenly split politically than had been my high school experience). I was disappointed when she lost the primary to Barack Obama, who was, at the time, a relatively unaccomplished politician who seemed to be supporting himself through charisma alone.

As someone who too often relies upon charm to get what he wants, I am very suspicious of other …

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Unreasonably Awesome: Michael D. Higgins

photo of michael d higgins pictures
Irish President Michael D Higgins is outrageously awesome.

Specifically, his argument against a Tea Party-loving man on the radio back in 2010 (before he became President) has recently gone viral. And it is amazing. Amazing. I ripped the audio from YouTube so that I could play this on iTunes whenever I like. It’s on loop while I write this. You absolutely must listen, and not just because he’s an adorable old man who speaks fluent English with an Irish accent.

President Higgins talks about how he lived and worked in the United States, and he has no shortage of compliments about the United States. He praises President Obama (while noting that he does not agree with some aspects of Obama’s foreign policy), and talks about how the international image of the United States is being restored, in part because of young American tourists and backpackers traveling across Europe, so that Europeans see first-hand that Americans are not represented by people like Sarah Palin.

On a personal note, the last time that I was outside of the US was in spring break 2003, and so I was on a ten-day high school trip (just with those art history and Italian students who elected and could afford to go) in Florence, Italy when the War in Iraq started. There was a lot of protesting (not against us, and rest assured that suburban high schoolers from Raleigh, North Carolina do not easily pass for anything other than Americans). On our parts, there was a lot of shame and embarrassment. It didn’t overshadow our entire trip (I definitely recommend spending a couple of weeks in Italy, by the way, and I am not typically a person who likes to so much as step out onto the porch), but it was certainly memorable. And I was definitely self-conscious the entire time of how international feelings towards the US had shifted from post-9/11 sympathy to become understandably negative.

So it is really wonderful to hear this wonderful man make these wonderful points. He also talks about standard of living (a “floor, below which people wouldn’t fall”), which is just about exactly my argument for health care. The first obligation of a government is to protect its citizens, but the second is to promote the nation’s standard of living (or “promote the general welfare,” as it says in US Constitution’s preamble).

Oh, and Higgins makes fun of Sarah Palin’s fear-mongering, the Tea Party in general, and uses the word “wanker.”


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Romney Taking Vaginas Into Consideration Regarding Running Mate

Word Search of Potential Romney VP Candidates
The names being tossed around as possibilities for Mitt Romney’s running mate are many and varied.

Actually, they’re really not … everyone under consideration holds pretty hard-core right wing views, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering that Romney himself has a past history of being fairly liberal on social issues, and the Republican machine obviously wants to keep that under the radar.

But what does Romney’s potential veep have to do with feminism?

There is this impression, see, that Romney needs to strongly consider a female running mate because he is woefully behind Barack Obama in the vagina-sporting demographic (unlike the House floor, we at Zelda Lily are very comfortable with the word “vagina”).  In other words, if they want to pump up Romney’s support among women, let’s get a woman up there with him.

Because, you know, that worked out so well for John McCain last election

Anyway, The Fiscal Times created a list of fourteen potential running mates for Romney, and three of those names are women: Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), former Secretary of State …

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