Satirist sends Palin ‘Where the Rogue Things Go’

I just got off the phone with San Francisco-based political humorist Will Durst, who’s set to satirize the unique American political phenomenon that is Sarah Palin with the release of his new book “Where the Rogue Things Go,” a parody of Maurice Sendak’s classic for children.

From publisher Ulysses Press:

Where the Rogue Things GoCreative and entertaining, the book begins with Sarah’s early episodes of bad behavior—from her failings at higher education to her practicing of witch doctor religion. It retells the time when she seemed doomed to suffer the political version of being sent to bed without dinner for her abuse of power as governor of Alaska, but instead finds herself transported (almost as if on a magic boat) onto the national political stage as the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

Where the Rogue Things Go follows each of Sarah’s pathetic missteps on the campaign, while simultaneously illustrating the legions of fans who inexplicably grow and grow until they surround her at every campaign stop like trees in a thick forest. But Sarah must also win over the snarling, filibustering, tea-bagging monsters that lead America’s right wing. She does so with her greatest ploy of all—she bewitches them with a single wink and they crown her Queen of the Rogue Things.

This cautionary tale continues Sarah’s story into a tragic future where now President Palin and the Rogue Things go on an unconstrained rampage of extreme conservatism that sends America’s economy, environment, and culture back to the dark days of the Bush/Cheney years. With childlike clarity and colorful artwork, Where the Rogue Things Go offers a smart rebuke to Palin’s lipstick-on-a-pit-bull rebranding of failed right wing policies.

“The illustrator is just putting on the final touches and then it gets to the publisher and then they send it to the lawyers… so we’re thinking maybe the beginning of May before it comes out,” Durst told me. “It’s a gentile pastiche, is what it is – we’re mocking and scoffing and taunting but were doing it with taste.”

Will DurstHe said that to liberal-leaning political humorists, Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. Or something like that.

“She’s like the Republican herpes, she erupts every two weeks or so,” Durst said. “If there weren’t a Sarah Palin, we would’ve invented her. For those of us going cold turkey on Bush, she’s like a double dose of methadone.”

He’s hoping she’ll find the book “funny and amusing. She’s got a great sense of humor, so I’m hoping next time we can collaborate on something.”

Durst was calling from Chicago, where he’s “telling some jokes to drunks in bars, my usual job,” he said – fortuitous timing, given that former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel swept to victory over five rivals in Tuesday’s mayoral election, the first wide-open, non-incumbent mayoral vote the Windy City has had in 64 years. “I made fun of the audience last night – I said, ‘What are you doing here, you’re supposed to be voting!’ ”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.