Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Paging Joss Whedon! Your Next Archetype Is Ready!

Maybe you've seen it: the doctored photo with Sarah Palin's face above a bikini-clad, gun-toting body. It arrived in my email in-box forwarded down the line of provenance from--I am not making this up--my husband's mother's cousin's friend's friend who lives in Wasilla. Maybe, if the friend in Wasilla actually exists, she might have believed the doctored photo was legit. I don't know.

I actually like the photo. I like the idea of Sarah Palin. I'd like her even better if she were a fictional character. One might argue that her several public personae sort of are fictional characters, but that's not what I mean.

I mean I want her to be the heroine of a Joss Whedon movie, or maybe a Joss Whedon series on, say, HBO. One in which aliens attack the earth, or our civilization collapses in the face of climate change, or we travel some centuries forward in the Buffyverse to find that a born Slayer is serving as Governor of a state with a serious vampire problem.

In that Joss Whedon series, Palin's retrograde ideology would be a fatal flaw, something she'd have to struggle to overcome, something that would come around to bite her on the ass again and again until she'd paid painfully enough for her mistakes. And then she'd surprise us, grow in some new and weirdly inspiring direction, while keeping her entertainingly vicious sense of humor. You know how Joss Whedon loves to kill off characters and disrupt family structures--if he wrote a family with five kids, you'd know that not all of them would live to see the first season finale. We'd dread the fateful episode, we'd have to pass around the tissues as the credits rolled, and we'd root for Sarah Barracuda as she tried to pick up the pieces and give those space aliens/vampires/mutant moose what for.

I'm a big fan of the Chicks Kicking Ass Genre. Before I saw the abysmal John Carpenter film Ghosts of Mars, one of my mottoes was that I'd buy a ticket to any movie in which the women had weapons. The doctored Palin photo, captioned correctly and with the right director's name under it, would certainly have lured me out to the local cineplex. Alas, the work in Whedon's oeuvre that Palin's career most resembles would have to be the "Jaynestown" episode of Firefly. Anybody want to sing a few choruses of "The Hero of Canton" with me?

Sarah Palin's most telling act as Mayor of Wasilla was firing the town librarian for refusing to censor books. In Sarah Palin's world--the one she'd write and direct and star in--we wouldn't be able to find the works of Joss Whedon in a library, or perhaps anywhere else.
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