Levi and Mercede versus Sarah and Bristol: The Trashy New Face of the Vendetta in America

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Vendettas in Renaissance Italy were government-sanctioned, street-level family wars meant to avenge an injustice… or simply exterminate an opposing family group. However, it appears the vendetta has found a modern outlet in the media, and two new families ready to take the Montague/Capulet conflict to a warped new low.

The Johnstons and Palins have been lashing out at each other in wildly inappropriate ways since the last election. Levi Johnston, only brought to “fame” through his ill-conceived (pun mostly-intended…) relationship with Bristol Palin, has already posed nude for Playgirl magazine and ripped the Palins a new one within that skin mag’s hallowed pages.

Bristol fired back in her book, which I hesitate to call a memoir, calling Levi “the Gnat” and insinuating that he took advantage of her on the night she conceived their son.

Now, it appears that Levi’s 19 year-old sister, Mercede, has decided to take the next shot in this media vendetta, following in her big brother’s pornsteps by posing for Playboy and continuing to rail against the female members of the Palin clan. I’ll admit that she put forward a couple of decent zingers, a la "I think [Sarah Palin would] have had a mental breakdown if she was elected [president]…She can't even answer Katie Couric's questions" and "I didn't know someone could be so vindictive and evil… [Bristol’s] a sociopath.”

I’ll also admit that I’m perversely interested to see what the Palins might have to say in return - after all, in order to have a media vendetta, this wildly inappropriate dialogue will have to continue.

But in the meantime, here are a couple of real-world lifehacks for you, inspired entirely by Miss Nudie-Patootie Mercede Johnston:

1. When the only reason the PR folks at Playboy think the world might like to see your tatas is because of your brother’s wandering libido and subsequent trashy baby daddy behavior, you should probably be more embarrassed than enthused.

2. When your boobs are hanging out, they tend to become slightly more important than what you’re saying. Playboy isn’t word porn - no one really cares about the letters between the pictures. Find an appropriate venue for your commentary on life or keep it to yourself, for heaven’s sake.

3. If you want to win a feud (not that I’m advocating grudges and long-term media wars), you’ve got to make yourself look better than your opposition. Now, while I hate to sound like I’m defending Sarah Palin, Duchess of Duh, if your only outlet to bash someone is the porn magazine where you’re also posing, I think that says worse things about you than it does about your target.

4. Vendettas and grudges aren’t worth it. Bite your tongue, take the high road, and you’ll always come out looking like the better person.

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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