Bristol Palin: Did She or Didn’t She?

alg-bristol-palin-split-jpg

I’m on a news diet. News is bad for your mental sanity. It makes me depressed. Someone is always dying. There’s always misery and pain someplace. And its usually vicarious, like, “there but for the grace of god go I”, on every cover. Its not like the news is lies. Its reality, spread out like a pornography shoot.

Dan called me yesterday: Did you hear about Arnold? No, I didn’t.

Well, he has a kid and you should see the other woman.

Then he asked: Did you hear about the IMF guy?

Whats the IMF, I asked. I sort of know what the IMF is, after writing about finance for ten years. But not really. There’s nothing the IMF has ever done that has ever effected me in one way or the other. Ever. So I have no idea what the IMF really is. I know it’s an abbreviation. Something to do with Mexico? And now there’s an “IMF guy”?

Well, he was trying to have sex with someone.

Isn’t that where babies come from?

Maybe Dan was getting frustrated. You do know Osama Bin Laden was killed, right?

Vaguely.

And yet, now I’m guilty. Its such an easily addictive drug and its available everywhere. I had been so good. I’d pass the NY Post in the drug store and think, not this time Page Six! And, heck, I write for the NY Post! But I’m not buying it. I’d coolly breeze past Star Magazine, US, OK, People – we were all once such good friends.  But I don’t take drugs anymore. Except Percocet.

But the World Wide Web is seductive (and why don’t people call Her that any more: W. W. W.) She finally called me down her dark alley for a little bit of fun, a little bit of action, nobody would see… it would be cheap, fast, and easy once she pulled her nylon stockings down. It only takes one press of the finger to hit Her button.

So I did.

Bristol Palin gets plastic surgery”. Out of all the news items out there, why’d you have to walk into my joint?

So, a couple of points:

A)     Maybe Bristol is beautiful now. I don’t know. But she certainly was beautiful before her surgery. I loved her slightly plump face, her awkward smile, her hair that can’t decide which way it wants to go. Her eyes that look slightly dull and wide. Her teeth of different sizes and slightly different shades of off-white.  Slightly buck teeth. She was incredibly beautiful to me. The fact that she had a baby even made her sexier somehow. She’s human. And, on at least one occasion, slutty. She let her man take advantage of her without using protection. The passion was too much. Good for her!

Sex is great. And oddly 4-dimensional. Connected to sex is the agony of labor, buying schoolbooks and clothes for the new season, visiting countless doctors throughout the years, and eventually more kids, more generations, lots of dying. Lots of it. Many people dead at the end. But first: slutty, plentiful, and fun.

B)     There’s no arguing that in the “after” picture she looks different. Does she look prettier?  I could see why technically speaking a lot of people think she is prettier now. So she’s off my list of beautiful celebrities but she’s probably on some other lists. Is she on your list?

The article where I saw the picture already has over 100 comments. I’m sure on gawker and other places there are thousands of comments. Everyone has an opinion. There’s a lot of important questions to be answered once we take our little pitter-patter rat steps on the Bristol Palin Maze for the prize at the end while the scientists of the gods observe and take notes:

Did she or did she not have surgery for cosmetic reasons? Is it “correct” in some quantitative way of understanding the world, that a young girl like her should have surgery? Is she lying in her explanations? Is she prettier now? Did she do this for some new reality show? What does her mother think?

I succumbed to an addiction. I have nobody to blame. I clicked on the article. I said yes at the altar. Nobody else did. Perhaps reading this story on Bristol made me happy.

So while we’re at it:

I saw this beautiful photo. I don’t know where it’s from.  But I look at it a lot.

Apparently, the kick is, its a photo and not a drawing. But I don’t understand. If anyone can understand this, please explain it to me.

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  • Random

    James –

    As I understand it, the sun is shining (rising?) from behind and the trees are in a valley or depression and remain in shadow as with a valley below a peak lit by alpenglow. The sun is reflecting off a sand dune in the background, which is out of focus. This is how it was explained to me. It’s getting enough play that the photographer should release an uncropped image or bracket set and it will make sense.

    Personally, speaking as a photographer, I can only conclude it was taken in some magical kingdom run by elves and wizards. It hurts my brain to look at it.
     

    • ubernaut

       yeah what he said :P

  • https://jarvisapp.com/ Jay Shirley

    From National Geographic, the explanation is a bit lacking:

    “Tinted orange by the morning sun, a soaring dune is the backdrop for the hulks of camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Park.”

    A friend of mine is a photographer and talks about getting these effects. I don’t truly understand it since it’s art. I do know that he’s walked for several miles (in snow), stood in the snow for an hour, takes photos for 5 minutes, walks several miles back (still in the snow). It’s nuts. (Specific photo for that: http://photos.coscorrosa.com/Landscapes/Mt-Rainier/3435158_EjhW4#1284991622_7Xk6FXB-A-LB)

    He camps out for days for single photos. I would expect this to be a similar one. The photographer knew the location, adjusted the exposure accordingly and then just waited.

    The sun does amazing things if you have the patience to wait for it. Living in the desert I see amazing sunsets and sunrises frequently. More importantly I see how quickly they disappear. I’ll run inside and grab my wife to come look only for it to be over. Fortunately she’s seen enough to not think I’m crazy. Well, about sunsets anyway.

  • Guest
  • http://www.eagleeyesdesign.com –Christina

     The photo is from a National Geographic blog:  http://ngphoto.livejournal.com/129711.html
    I spent a while staring at it, fascinated!
    There is a caption that explains the photo that looks like artwork.

  • http://twitter.com/PMBenfield PRISCILLA BENFIELD

    I like the photo even though it is a photo and not a painting. As for Bristol Palin…well…allegedly she needed corrective surgery for her jaw (that is her story) but I think she should have left her face alone. Just my opinion.  

  • Andrew

    “I’m on a news diet. News is bad for your mental sanity. It makes me depressed.”

    Amen. I’m long overdue for one and this seems like a good time to start one.

    Turning of the computer in 3… 2…

  • Topher Townsend

     Hi James,

    Good stuff. 

    The picture is from national geographic, taken in a park in Namibia. 

  • ringlis44

    Totally agree with your take on Bristol, James.  Before she was human – full of possibilities and frailties – and her imperfections are what made her perfect.

    Now she’s just another made up B-list celeb who’s chasing fame.  It’s sad.

    • Kevin M

       Sad is the way I was going to describe it too. Thanks for sucking us in James….oh wait. It’s my fault.

  • Rich

     I understand technically its a photo and not a painting that looks like it should be a painting. And its a photo you dont see everyday.
    What struck me immediately was it mimicked Van Gogh paintings where he would contrast happy and depression in one painting. This one has it too, ecstatic sunlight background and dead trees and muted colored ground. 
    Van Gogh was disturbed that way and eventually did drastic things including cutting off his ear in order to please a girl. Perhaps similar to Palin cutting up her face to please someone or everyone?

  • murali

     James,

    ‘If the  news  is really important, then someone will inform us’ is one of the quotes from a yoga teacher. Also, this steady diet of negative news (negativity sells) is not good for meditation. 

    • Joaquin

      Or we can just wait no more than 24 hours and come-up with it on our own. Right? 

    • Joaquin

      Or we can just wait no more than 24 hours and come-up with it on our own. Right? 

      • murali

        I did not get it. You mean to say that , after 24 hours, we will get to know the news?  

        • Joaquin

          No, we know ahead of time things will happen or what others will say. Happens all the time. 

      • murali

        I did not get it. You mean to say that , after 24 hours, we will get to know the news?  

    • Joaquin

      Or we can just wait no more than 24 hours and come-up with it on our own. Right? 

  • Jquick99

    i used to read and watch everything possible [pre www] re politics.  i was VERY serious and “angry/pissed off”.  fast forward 15 years, and now i barely know the headlines.  i am the happiest woman you could meet [well, there are other positive things going on…].  ignorance IS bliss! 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       You’re totally write. Except I would say “silence IS bliss”. Not ignorance. You’re probably more knowledgeable now than ever before. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000228699838 Michael Morse

      i use to be ignorant and extremely happy. since i learned you can make money from paying attention to what are government officials are up to i am pissed off all the time but  also know that that is only an emotional feeling, the other feeling is to embrace that i have an idea of where i should put my money to work. which then brings part of me to peace even though i’m still pissed off….lol.

  • Sarapmanela

    Wow. You don’t know what the IMF is.

    I suppose that makes sense, given that your investment career was about making more money for already wealthy white people, and the IMF is about expanding colonialism through capitalism in the third world. In other words, it’s another way to keep transferring wealth from poor brown people to wealthy white people.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Its funny, I just asked Jason Roberts and Justin Vincent from Tech Zing (we’re doing a cliip right now on their site) about what they thought of your comment and their immediate thought was, ‘that guy sounds pretty racist. is that guy presuming that wealthy people are just white people’?). 

      See Sara, everyone has a viewpoint. How much has the IMF helped you in your daily life? 

      • Joaquin

        They have helped to pick my pockets! 

      • Joaquin

        They have helped to pick my pockets! 

      • Joaquin

        They have helped to pick my pockets! 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Its funny, I just asked Jason Roberts and Justin Vincent from Tech Zing (we’re doing a cliip right now on their site) about what they thought of your comment and their immediate thought was, ‘that guy sounds pretty racist. is that guy presuming that wealthy people are just white people’?). 

      See Sara, everyone has a viewpoint. How much has the IMF helped you in your daily life? 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Its funny, I just asked Jason Roberts and Justin Vincent from Tech Zing (we’re doing a cliip right now on their site) about what they thought of your comment and their immediate thought was, ‘that guy sounds pretty racist. is that guy presuming that wealthy people are just white people’?). 

      See Sara, everyone has a viewpoint. How much has the IMF helped you in your daily life? 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Its funny, I just asked Jason Roberts and Justin Vincent from Tech Zing (we’re doing a cliip right now on their site) about what they thought of your comment and their immediate thought was, ‘that guy sounds pretty racist. is that guy presuming that wealthy people are just white people’?). 

      See Sara, everyone has a viewpoint. How much has the IMF helped you in your daily life? 

  • Sarapmanela

    Wow. You don’t know what the IMF is.

    I suppose that makes sense, given that your investment career was about making more money for already wealthy white people, and the IMF is about expanding colonialism through capitalism in the third world. In other words, it’s another way to keep transferring wealth from poor brown people to wealthy white people.

  • Sarapmanela

    Wow. You don’t know what the IMF is.

    I suppose that makes sense, given that your investment career was about making more money for already wealthy white people, and the IMF is about expanding colonialism through capitalism in the third world. In other words, it’s another way to keep transferring wealth from poor brown people to wealthy white people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000228699838 Michael Morse

    good point of pointless news.
    /I
    /I
    /I
    /I
    .I
    .I
    do you like my drawing of a tree?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000228699838 Michael Morse

    good point of pointless news.
    /I
    /I
    /I
    /I
    .I
    .I
    do you like my drawing of a tree?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000228699838 Michael Morse

    good point of pointless news.
    /I
    /I
    /I
    /I
    .I
    .I
    do you like my drawing of a tree?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L6IS3V5F3E62UDMKZZLIAFJTNE John

     I wonder if stone-throwing mommy grizzle had Bristol in the back of her mind when last night she called Pelosi a “tight-faced” liar? Be careful when you live in a glass house……

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L6IS3V5F3E62UDMKZZLIAFJTNE John

     I wonder if stone-throwing mommy grizzle had Bristol in the back of her mind when last night she called Pelosi a “tight-faced” liar? Be careful when you live in a glass house……

  • http://twitter.com/tinyreal Michael tiny Saul

    I like her better in the before picture as well, she looks more human, less machine.  

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

     Love the zen-type ending.  I’m going along, reading, nodding my head, saying, “yup, you’re right, yup,” then, poof, a photo/drawing of bare trees, stars, snow.  My mind went poof.  Nice haiku, James.

    • Sooz

       Happy..happy Birthday, Kamal!!
      I hope your day is very special.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

     I could not possibly care any less than I do about whether or not Bristol had plastic surgery. Or whether or not Arnold has an illegitimate child. I don’t mind real news, but to me this isn’t it. It’s just a bunch of people who aren’t living life in the spotlight getting all judgy on those who do live their lives out publicly. 

    I do agree with you though. The first picture shows a much prettier girl. If she did have plastic surgery, she got ripped off. 

  • http://www.thelightcavalry.com Mark Adams

     The photo is at Deadvlei in Sossussvlei Park in Namibia. The trees are silhouetted by sunrise or sunset hitting the giant sand dune behind. The red colour is iron oxide.

    cf: http://thelightcavalry.com/gallery/#num=content-3483477&id=album-193491

  • GrundleMan

    At the beginning of the article it should be “affected”, not “effected”.
    It sticks out like a sore thumb…

    • Sooz

       not to me..:))

      • Sooz

         Although, that new chin seems to stick out rather pointedly.

      • Sooz

         Although, that new chin seems to stick out rather pointedly.

    • Sooz

       not to me..:))

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

       Damn, I never get that right. I have to look this up now.

  • Marie

    Just last night I was wondering why www or Web didn’t catch on. Now I and almost everyone I know says the Internets or Interwebs or some convoluted thing “Interwebgooglytube.”

    Get out of my head, Mister!

  • Drippy

    I like “old” Bristol. It’s the whole “girl next door” thing which most women don’t really understand. Cosmetic surgery for women is like bodybuilding to men.

  • CB

    The picture you like to look at:  It’s a tint effect.  I bet there’s an iPhone app that can do this…  I’ll have to check.  Anyways, I like it too.  Is it the tree silhouettes or maybe its the colors?  I like the little tree on the right that’s small and curvier than the rest.  It reminds me of my youngest child when he’s trying to get my attention.

  • CB

    The picture you like to look at:  It’s a tint effect.  I bet there’s an iPhone app that can do this…  I’ll have to check.  Anyways, I like it too.  Is it the tree silhouettes or maybe its the colors?  I like the little tree on the right that’s small and curvier than the rest.  It reminds me of my youngest child when he’s trying to get my attention.

  • Guest

    In your last post, you said you don’t post an article unless it’s your favorite at the time.  I’m confused why you chose this one.  For one, it’s no longer a question whether she did or didn’t.  B. Palin has since admitted publicly that she had plastic surgery.  Oh, wait.  I take that back.  She admitted to having “corrective jaw surgery” that was necessary, yet she’s “thrilled” with her new look.  That’s how she explained the new chin at least.  The news-worthy thing, however, and what would have made her more beautiful would be to admit publicly that she hated her looks and didn’t like having a baby face, so yeah, she went under the knife to make herself feel better about herself.  But, of course, she didn’t. 

    So I come back to my original question, why did you post this?  As I read through it, I kept expecting you to link it to some information, tidbit, or worth-my-time insight… but I was disappointed.  Maybe I missed the point.  Was the point that you gave into reading the news?  First article of yours that disappointed, sorry. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

       I guess an ongoing theme for me is that I can be happier if I just avoid all news. But, at the same, traditional media often creates a gross injustice by leaving out the real news and highlighting the artificial (literally). Themes like “owning a home” , “going to college”  or “was Greece Just Nuked” are all part of the theme that news and often “the American Dream” are here not to help get information but to enslave us. Its a very broad theme.

  • Guest

    In your last post, you said you don’t post an article unless it’s your favorite at the time.  I’m confused why you chose this one.  For one, it’s no longer a question whether she did or didn’t.  B. Palin has since admitted publicly that she had plastic surgery.  Oh, wait.  I take that back.  She admitted to having “corrective jaw surgery” that was necessary, yet she’s “thrilled” with her new look.  That’s how she explained the new chin at least.  The news-worthy thing, however, and what would have made her more beautiful would be to admit publicly that she hated her looks and didn’t like having a baby face, so yeah, she went under the knife to make herself feel better about herself.  But, of course, she didn’t. 

    So I come back to my original question, why did you post this?  As I read through it, I kept expecting you to link it to some information, tidbit, or worth-my-time insight… but I was disappointed.  Maybe I missed the point.  Was the point that you gave into reading the news?  First article of yours that disappointed, sorry. 

  • Drrichjlaw

     Because of the angle and perspective of the photo the backdrop looks like it should be the sky, but it’s actually a rocky sand-dune which in the morning sun is colored more orange and bleaching out a lot of the contours.  If you know this and stare at it for a few seconds, you’ll see it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730699824 Keiren Mac

     http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/camel-thorn-trees-namibia/

    I don’t think anything else is need: Sand Dune behind trees, sun hits it first and lights it up, the trees and desert are still in night time, looks fantastic and I’ve been loving it too.

  • Gilbert Valentine

    Photoshop?

  • Bonnie

     Slutty in the taking-back-the-word-slut kinda way?

  • Gene

    Hilarious.  When are you going to write a post regarding ways to become a better communicator??

  • http://economicdisconnect.blogspot.com/ GYSC

    My only defense would be that I have had 6 broken noses (5 from boxing, 1 from running into a tree and don’t ask!) but I do not think she boxes??  A deviated septa is bad, but that looks out there. 

  • jimbo

    I just came off a 2 year news diet a few weeks ago. i have since put on about 10 pounds and found myself yesterday in the doctors office talking about depression meds. apparently there are some really good new ones.

  • http://twitter.com/CapCube CapCube

     Looks like a drawing to me; I like it !

    And I agree, Bristol looks better in the before picture …

  • FOX84

    She looked like her mother in the first picture. Now she looks like a Kardashian.

    • http://sovereignspeculator.com SovSpec

      From girl next door to Hollywood. It’s like how the sexiest swimsuit or lingerie shots are not airbrushed, but show peachfuzz and blemishes and feel more lifelike. 

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    In all reality, we shouldn’t care about Bristol’s choices. This kind of conversation is non-productive for the most part.  Unless we wanted to get into the self image problems faced by American women all all ages perpetuated by the barrage of someone else’s ideal of beauty to sell products and make money.

    News isn’t even news anymore.  It’s a twisted reflection of the worst in us all.  They show what sells…..and if dissecting a young girl for her personal choices, is what we are all about – so be it. I’m not playing.

    I hope Bristol is happy with her decision in twenty years.

  • http://twitter.com/stephenguise Stephen Guise

     Plastic surgery is crazy.  It would be weird to look at a stranger in the mirror for the rest of your life.  I think she was much more attractive before the surgery.

  • http://www.hedgefundfx.com Ross Jaklik

    Very clever allusion. My take, its an anecdote of sorts to bristol – the photo/painting you showed. Bristol tried to draw herself, so to speak, and her natural photo is actually prettier. If this was your intention, very cool.

  • Space13721

    This article is the story of my life. Hilarious and true, made me laugh out loud a couple times. 

  • Ralikirsch

    From a conference speaker: I don’t follow the news. If there’s something important in the news that I need to know about, someone I know will fill me in.