So, let’s say that you – you, the reader! – are involved in some nasty business right now. Possibly you are involved with a clan of oddly-named, politically ambitious, cartoonishly terrible Alaskans! Let’s say, furthermore, that the nasty business you are involved in attracts national and international media attention, due to how insanely terrible and nasty all of it is! And let’s say, also – because we are saying a lot of things right now – that you, somehow, manage to come out of it smelling like roses. Because you talk smack about everyone else involved.
Oh, and also, you got someone pregnant? Which makes you a sex symbol, somehow, as opposed to the pregnant lady in question, who is a symbol of Terrible Choices One Must Inevitably Repent, Preferably In Public? Because – we might as well drop the conceit now, don’t you think? – you happen to be Levi Johnston, teen impregnator, sheep-hunter, and Vanity-Fair-tell-aller. Whose reputation I have grown steadily to resent over the past year.
I invite you to join the fabulous Amanda Hess of The Sexist and I, therefore, as we discuss the ethics of the tell-all, why Levi hates basically every famous lady he has ever come into contact with, Sarah Palin’s anti-mullet and pro-spray-tan policies, Sarah Palin’s REALLY QUITE OFFENSIVE statements re: her “retarded baby,” and why Levi is a little bit like Luke Skywalker, should young Skywalker have a future in porn.
We talk a lot about porn in this one, actually. Sorry.
ILLUSTRATION: It’s like this, but without the jersey, and with more depressing connotations about the nature of celebrity.
SADY: WHY HELLO. are you ready to discuss THE TERRIBLE REVELATIONS OF LEVI JOHNSTON???? because there are a few, apparently.
AMANDA: Yeah. Apparently Sarah Palin attempted to engineer the EXACT SAME LEFT-WING BABY-SWITCHING CONSPIRACY that liberal bloggers speculated about after photos of pregnant Bristol surfaced during the campaign.
SADY: ha ha, yes. but the version of Sarah Palin in this article is capable of all trickery.
AMANDA: but not of cooking.
SADY: yes. it’s the intimate revelations of terribleness that are really special. she apparently often walked in on Levi and Tripp (?) and tried to trade him for Trig (??) saying, “I don’t want the retarded baby — I want the other one.” did you get a chance to read the full article?
AMANDA: No! That’s fucking insane! I just watched a video of Levi Johnston posing in men’s formalwear. I think I missed the good stuff.
SADY: well: one gets the sense that mr. johnston may be, let us say, playing up the anti-palinry a bit. it is a really, really anti-palin article. also, there’s some thing in there with meghan mccain throwing a fit because no-one will do her hair, which her rep calls a “naive mischaracterization.” NO-ONE COMES OFF WELL, i am telling you. only LEVI JOHNSTON, sole bastion of integrity among the corrupt palin clan. which: i kind of doubt it. but speaking of poses, you may soon have the opportunity to see levi himself in his underthings!
AMANDA: Yes, but at the same time, I think that Levi Johnston may be the only person who really gets it. First of all, Levi Johnston is hot. Like Sarah Palin
SADY: Ah, true. They have so much in common! Like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, really. But with more snowmobiling involved.
AMANDA: yeah, but Levi Johnston is willing to settle for that. By which I mean hot photo-shoots and tabloid-y tell alls, and a personal handler named Tank. And from my perspective, that’s a pretty good life!
SADY: Right? There was Trip and Trig and Tank… lots of T-names. I’m surprised he can keep them all straight. I can’t, really.
AMANDA: yeah. but the point is, he’s not trying to ruin the lives of a whole country of humans! i know: low standard
SADY: it’s true, it’s true! Sarah Palin does set an imposing standard for any young douchebucket. like, i guess i’m fine with the whole self-serving tabloid expose thingy as long as he’s not trying to make Jurassic Park illegal for promoting evolution. or something.
AMANDA: yeah. Also, if he keeps along this path, my election season prediction of him becoming a porn performer may come true!
SADY: ah, so now we see what this is about. your GAMBLING ADDICTION. i plan to tell all to vanity fair.
AMANDA: yeah. I wonder how easy it is, though, just to make up an absurd lie about sarah palin’s home life? Because at this point, i think people will really believe anything, they hate her so much. still, I wonder: could any mind have invented the “I don’t want the retarded baby” story?
SADY: it’s true! that is kind of unmatchable, all things considered. i automatically distrust anyone who tells these kinds of “and then I stood around and was awesome and watched everyone else in the world suck” stories. but, on the other hand, the idea that sarah palin, at home, “would literally say things that did not make any sense.” that is sensical.
AMANDA: I don’t know. I can’t hate him. he doesn’t seem like a liar to me, and any overblown statements i just have to attribute to him enduring media scrutiny for having the grandson of a famous crazy lady while in high school. i didn’t have to endure any of that shit in high school, and i was still kinda bratty
SADY: yeah, exactly. he does, all things told, come across as a regular dumb dude that you’d maybe make out with in high school. who is maybe still a little bitter that sarah palin made him cut off his mullet (the mullet plays a crucial role!) and threatened to spray-tan him.
AMANDA: dude, NO
SADY: i don’t MIND levi johnston so much as i mind the media creation of “Levi Johnston: Totally Admirable Guy! Who is Cute! And Also Sexy!” like, one thing i have learned from the levi johnston thing, as a whole, is that if you accidentally get someone pregnant in high school you can end up a sex symbol. and if you accidentally GET pregnant in high school, you end up a tragedy.
AMANDA: bummer. you’re totally right. imagine a bristol palin interview treatment that was super fun and sexy like this one!
SADY: I KNOWWWWWWWW.
AMANDA: i think the closest bristol could get to that would be doing an US Weekly How I Got My Body Back.
SADY: and yet? i think if one could give bristol a year or two and get her away from the whole family dynamic? she would be a far better storyteller. SHE WAS FORCED TO MARRY THE GENTLEMAN WHO STOLE HER VIRTUE. AS IN YE OLDEN DAYS. if you want dirt, that lady is the one to get dirt from. should she ever be in a position to reveal it.
AMANDA: and her options were: have the baby, or have the baby and have your mom steal your baby. although i would bet that bristol and levi’s porn performance options are roughly equal.
SADY: um, yeah. i’m kind of surprised that there’s no bristol “paylin” porn on the market already. maybe they’re waiting until they can get levi?
AMANDA: oh man—mind went slightly insane imagining all the creepy options available. “trig palin isn’t the only thing sarah wanted to trade”
SADY: you know. every now and again i realize what life would be like if i had no scruples. and i imagine myself rolling around on a bed of pure gold with a mattress stuffed with $1,000 bills.
AMANDA: and a handler named Tank!
SADY: and all i would have to do is to invent some scenario whereby levi “johnson” and todd “paylin” bond – WITH TANK, TANK’S NAME COULD STAY – over snowmobiles and enthusiastic outdoor sexual escapades.
AMANDA: what does it say about society that one political family’s story translates so easily to pornographic storylines?
SADY: power corrupts. and power within a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere where the kids have nothing to do but make out to conserve their bodily heat and their mom is better suited to image-making than rational thought corrupts absolutely. or something.