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Dear Sarah, You're not Alaska.

By       Message Zach Roberts       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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Special note: This is a message to Sarah, that I sent to her via Facebook. Alaskans will get all the places, some of the references and some of the names. If you don't get them, give it a Google, read TheMudFlats.net (why aren't you reading it already? What're you, a member of the Paliban?)

Or better yet, get your butt on the next flight up to Anchorage. Yes I know it's November and it's cold -- that means flights should be cheap. Go to Spenard Roadhouse get the Bacon Jam and tell them I sent you.

Recently in one of much commented on Facebook notes you quoted Italian "race car great" Mario Andretti as saying, "If everything's under control then you're going too slow."

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Well personally I always liked this quote from the great American race car driver Richard Petty -- "No one wants to quit when he's losing and no one wants to quit when he's winning."

I think that might be the more appropriate quote for you, and by that I mean, I wish you'd quit (again).

But that's beside the point. I just wanted to tell you, I'm sorry I missed your show. I'm sure that it will be great. But I'm busy working on my own little travelogue about Alaska. It's called The Rogue Candidate: A State in Denial.

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It used to have the subtitle "Sarah Palin's REAL Alaska," but I changed it because I'm starting to believe that -- like some creature in a horror film -- you gain power by people mentioning your name. So I've decided to take you out of it.

I'm finding that it's turning out to be a much more interesting story. Instead I'm talking about the story of the Alaskan people, people who have not only survived in harsh conditions but strived in them. Alaska is many things -- beautiful, extreme, complicated. But I'm sorry to say Sarah, Alaska is not you.

I looked around quite a bit but I didn't find you there. I did find some great people though. No one quite like you with the bumpet and the red suit jacket thing that you wore so often during the campaign.

You weren't in Anchorage where I stayed with Shannyn Moore and Kelly Walters, or looking down on the mudflats with Jeanne Devon. The people in Anchorage didn't seem to care for you much. I asked a young man at a gay pride march what he thought of you, and he said, "I'd [expletive deleted] cut her." He then stared at me for a long while. He was serious. Don't worry, he scared me too.

I flew over the Chuitna -- didn't see you there when I was talking to the Burnetts, whose home was threatened by a coal mine. Funny thing too, they're hunters just like you. I really expected to find you in those cool boots that you wore in Homer when you had that chat with a teacher; maybe you'd be wearing a brand new pair of Carhartts that your show's wardrobe picked up for you.

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I even went to Whittier -- through that long terrifying one-way tunnel. Mike Bender of Lazy Otter took Shannyn, Jeanne and me out to see Prince William Sound. I've never seen anything like it in my life, and I know I never will. The porpoises swam with our boat -- I still can't express that moment in proper words. It made me want to become a fisherman, like you are. I'd probably go the dip-net route though.

My friend Shannyn used to fish out there. She doesn't anymore because Exxon spilled some oil in that area. I'm not a praying man but I tried, hoping that we wouldn't still find any 21 years later. But it's still there. I've got some of it, I can show it to you if you like.

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Zach Roberts is an independent documentary producer and photographer. He has produced multiple pieces with Greg Palast for BBC, Democracy Now! and LinkTV including reports on Vulture Investors, the failed Evacuation of New Orleans and the stolen (more...)

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