The Pot and the Kettle…and Sarah Palin?




People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

So, what are they supposed to do with them?

Can they bust them? Break them? Pass them?

Sound painful?


I grew up in a (predominantly) brick home. I threw things all the time—but very few of those objects were stones. It took me many years to even get stoned, and I never even threw stones when I was in that state.

I’m not talking about New Jersey; I was usually stoned in PA.

Go figure.



As a blogger, I’m now tempted to throw stones. It’s so easy. But is it worth it? And which targets are acceptable, and not just accessible? And how accurate is my aim? It was very accurate, almost deadly, back in the days when I never threw them.



As a kid, I was always told that the pot should never call the kettle black. Even if he/she was.

Who? The pot? I think so.

Did the kettle have free reign to say whatever it wanted?

If so, how many people would have signed up to be a kettle? Any kettles out there? Just whistle.


So, growing up, I was always afraid to purchase anything black for my kitchen. Just in case these objects started talking to one another. Which was reasonable, as the kettles were always whistling and the pots were always clattering on about something.


I just couldn’t and wouldn’t take the chance of my pot calling my kettle black. Not on my watch, and not on my range. And this was all before Toy Story (One). I’m not even sure that my tea pot would qualify as a kettle, but I guess it did. I assumed so, and settled for safe colors like green and red.


How I dreamed about a land of colorblind kitchens. Or, did I really dream that my pots and my kettles couldn’t tell what colors they were. As I don’t really advocate ignorance, maybe I really, really dreamed that the pots and the kettles didn’t really give a damn about their respective colors. Hmmm, whistle if you agree.


So, what are all these deep, semi-poetic thoughts and quickly-hatched, real time reflections and observations all about?


Is it about race—literally (well, figuratively if you think about it) black and white? You decide, but I don’t think so. Well, maybe a little.


Is it about, you should excuse me, Joe McGiness’ new book about Sarah Palin, and any fallout from the excerpts? Well yes, somehow all these deep, ironic thoughts were sparked by a silly column excerpting the most salacious details from this book, although I’m not sure that I want to give his book, or even Ms. Palin, more ink.


Yes, I know that this Tip of the Goldberg blog is not the most-read blog on the planet. Yet, I do feel the responsibility to act as if it is, because one day it may be so. And, I don’t want to be accused of acting like a kettle.


I’ve only read some details of this surefire, soon-to-be-released bestseller—and it makes me wonder why I should care about any aspect of this. I’ll probably never read the book, and I’ve avoided all radio and tv discussions about this big tease. So far.


Should I care that Palin may have had sex with a college basketball star while a single, cub reporter? That she may have dabbled with drugs? Okay, sex and drugs…but where’s the rock and roll? Must be there somewhere.


Should I care, and celebrate, because after all, I can barely stomach Palin or her blind (most are not color-blind, however) supporters. And I guess to many, Palin’s past— however true or consequential—is all fair game because she espouses such narrow-minded, Puritanical views. Yes, she is often the pot calling the proverbial kettle black.


It would be too easy for me to write that she’s the crack pot calling the kettle—and isn’t the kettle appropriate for this darling of the Tea Party?—black. But there, I did it. Hey, it was just a stone’s throw away from me, which, of course, is quite a stone’s throw away from Russia.


But what about McGinness and his own responsibility to be somewhat fair-minded? Isn't he the ultimate kettle—and one made of Teflon thus far at that?


It’s often occurred to me that we live in exceedingly strange times. Many of us decry political correctness as if it’s some great evil, or as if it takes any talent to just be politically incorrect. Whatever that even means anymore.


I hate political correctness.

Good for you, dude. What do you offer in its stead?


This is not a defense of blind political correctness, as indeed, I am usually all about irreverence and pushing an envelope or two that I feel needs to be pushed. But at the same time that there is (supposedly) too much political correctness, the state of modern journalism is confused, broken, polarized and highly dysfunctional.


As an independent writer, I should applaud that there are so many avenues to get our words out. It’s great, it’s cool, it really is—potentially. But has this created a meritocracy, or just more avenues to reward the loudest, angriest, most polarizing, sensationalistic voices?


Where do we search for balance, perspective, even-handedness, thoughtfulness and fairness? These are all pretty boring nouns, I guess, but I’d like to think that they still have great value. Let me know where to find this stuff, okay? And if it’s mixed with irreverent wit, intelligence and some writing chops, I’m all in.


For now, it’s time to retreat to my basement home office, which may or not be crumbling. It is a huge mess, and after taking a respite from my thoughts to play with my three-year-old, I returned to find that an old Three Dog Night greatest hits cd had fallen off a book shelf. The music still sounded pretty fine all these years later—even if I was too young to get stoned when I first heard it, and too old to want to get stoned now.


Maybe, it’s just a silly coincidence that Three Dog Night fell on the floor, and I popped them in to hear songs with such earnest passion about Black and White, and Family of Man. Peace, love, understanding and brotherhood still mean a lot to me.


And maybe, I’m just an empty, rainbow-colored tea kettle whistling for no apparent reason.


Or quite possibly, I need Jeremiah the Bullfrog to come help me drink my wine.


With all the technology and promises of connectivity at our disposal, we continue to invent new ways to divide ourselves. We continue to take refuge in lowest common denominator thinking, in mindless idiots like Palin, and mindless books like this one (sight unseen, I know) by McGinness.


Yeah, I’m throwing some stones, and it doesn’t, admittedly, take a lot of stones to hit these easy targets. Does it make me feel any better? Not a whole lot., thank you.


Maybe, you’ll make sense out of my thoughts and find something worthy of discussion, or even celebration here. I don’t know.


I do know that I can’t be the only one that thinks this way.


After all, as Three Dog Night sang, One is the Loneliest Number…sure as I’m sitting here.


As always, thank you for reading. Please check out my other books, blogs and speaking information.



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