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October 14, 2008


Dear Alaska, It's been a roller coaster of a fall...or should I say Autumn. Maybe it just feels like a fall. We've all been catapulted up to the stars, and now I wonder what the re-entry is going to feel like. Where will we land?

Remember how it used to be? You could get on a plane, lay by a pool, stand in line for a concert...pretty soon you would hear "Wow, really? Alaska? What's that like? Cold?" What I love about being born and raised here is now mocked on national TV. Growing up on a brown bear reserve; catching my first silver on a dolly rod, stranded in rural West Cook Inlet with life threatening appendicitis, and being flown through a raging storm for emergency surgery by a pilot who happened to be a real maverick; learning, first hand, the amazing adverse adventures of the great pioneers of this Great Land, have all mutated into a Jerry Springer meets Northern Exposure episode. Alaska had a mystique that inspired books and movies. It's over, "my friends." Now, all people will want to know is if you read newspapers, eat moose burgers and own a snowmachine. The truth for many of us is "yes." I'm making moose chili for a debate night gathering of my friends on Wednesday night. My mantra has been if you don't Ski-Doo, you Ski-Don't. If you don't live here, you're probably laughing. Our lives have been turned into a punch line. I want to scream, "I didn't vote for her! I read! I travel! I'm not that mean!"

Let's be honest. We have grown fat on pork. I haven't complained. I like bacon. But things on the horizon are looking a bit vegan. Ted Stevens has brought it home in buckets, but it looks like he's going to have a few eyes on him should he make it into the next session. Don Young secured money for a bridge or two to nowhere, and wanted to name one of them after himself. After his Coconut Road fiasco, still being investigated by Congress, I think they are going to make sure he doesn't even get a coconut, much less a road. So where does that get us? John McPalin is looking rather flaccid in the polls. His big display of "Maverickness" is his promise to make America "pork free." Wow, how's that gonna work for Alaska? Other option: O'Bama, O'Berkowitz and O'Begich! How much help do you think the returning Governor Palin is going to get from a Democrat President, House and Senate?

Stop playing tiddlywinks and start playing chess. Where will Alaska stand with an Obama presidency? Where will we stand with a cranky Sarah Palin? After the nastiness of this election, how will those in power take care of Alaska's needs? What do we deserve as Alaskans? Do we have to wait for another 1964 Earthquake to get attention? Or another oil spill? We all know the truth about our Governor's abuse of power. We now know more about the Palins than we ever should know about any of our neighbors. Her reality deficit issues are becoming more apparent by the day. I'm asking you, what should we do? XO, Shannyn

PS. If you aren't an Alaskan, it's OK. We need to hear from you.