Jan Brewer: The New Face for the Fight Against Glossophobia

Jan Brewer.

We all came to know Jan Brewer, the current Governor of the State of Arizona when on the fateful day of April 23, 2010, against (and perhaps delighted in?) the rising controversy and media scrutiny, she signed the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” (aka Arizona SK 1070), setting the record for Arizona as the state with the most encompassing and strictest anti-illegal immigration laws, effectively bringing the country back 100 years.

Little did we know that Governor Brewer, under the facade of mean-spiritedness, tough-shit, insensitivity and fuck-political-correctness a la Sue Sylvester in Glee, actually struggles with her own disability. She is a sufferer of glossophobia.

Jan Brewer Jan Brewer: The New Face for the Fight Against Glossophobia

The New Spokesperson for Glossophobia raising awareness to this horrible horrible condition

Glossophobia is NOT the fear of gloss, as some of you may have thought. It actually means Fear of Public Speaking. Or in layman’s term, speech anxiety.

I used to despise her too. But no more. Have you seen the video of her at the televised gubernatorial election debate when she was caught all of a sudden by her glossophobia? ? She stared at her prepared speech for more than ten seconds, lost for words.  I assume that the extremely awkward gap of silence was not caused by her not having prepared for this debate especially since this happened during her opening statement when she was introducing herself and summarizing the wonderful things she has done for her state.  In fact, I assume that she must have practiced and practiced and practiced. But when you suffer from speech anxiety, you have no idea when it is going to catch up with you. Just like that. Snap. She blanked out.

When Rachel Maddow played the same clip on her show, she besought her audience to go against our humane tendency to avert our eyes when a proverbial train wreck is happening, to put in suspension our discomfort in witnessing our fellow human being’s moments of embarrassment. It is painful to watch, as Maddow said, but watch it you must otherwise how would you understand what a horrible condition glossophobia can be? The pain. The humiliation. The suffering.

.

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It was very painful for me to sit through those 40 seconds. I wanted to turn my head. That awful gap of silence that must have felt like a lifetime.

Tick tock tick tock. Oh fuck. My mind is blank. Say something. Make something up. Fill it with whatever. Think on your feet. Ad lib. Improvise!

As an actress, going blank on stage was my worst nightmare. As a mouse in the corporate maze, public speaking is my biggest fear.

People have asked me whether it is not ironic that the thought of speaking in public sends me straight to panicville when I have stood in front of a full theatre wearing nothing but a bustier and underwear. To me, there is a natural explanation: when I was on stage, I was someone else, saying someone else’s lines, living someone else’s life, all according to the script. It was actually safe.

Public speaking is a whole different beast. A much scarier one. Thinking on my feet? Making it up as I go along? Ad libbing? No not I. Improv? Not in this life.

This is why I have been content in my lot in life: Can’t speak in public? Well, let’s cross out all these things then as potential career choice… It was a long list to cross out. And I am pretty sure running for public office was one of them!

After I stopped shivering from witnessing that painful episode and recovered from my shock, three light bulbs immediately appeared over my head, like so:

light bulbs Jan Brewer: The New Face for the Fight Against Glossophobia

Light Bulb #1: OMG. Jan Brewer is a victim! I cannot believe we have been so mean to her!

Hath not a glossophobic eyes? Hath not a glossophobic hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons? If you prick us, do we not bleed?

I cannot believe that I, a fellow victim of this condition, have been so callous as to think that there is something wrong with her. NO! Jan Brewer deserves our sympathy. I for one empathize with her.

Light Bulb #2: WTF? So you can run for public office and even be elected a state governor when you cannot finish a brief self-introduction without quivering and looking pitiful? AND you can also make grammatical errors when you are reading from a prepared speech? I feel CHEATED! I have been lied to! Where is that piece of paper where I crossed off potential career choices due to my “condition”?

Light Bulb #3: Thank you, Jan Brewer. You have inspired all the glossophobics to reach for the star! So what if we tend to blank out during our public appearances? We will no longer fear the sound of the crickets! Down with the crickets! We can still run for public offices and hope that we are brilliant enough to fabricate scare tactics such as “headless bodies popping up all over Arizona borders because of illegal aliens” and to manipulate people’s fear and frustration towards the economy into votes!

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CODA: Unfortunately right after I finished the draft for this post, Jan Brewer’s behavior made me question her commitment to the Glossophobia Awareness Movement. In fact, I doubt that she suffered from this condition at all!

After what I thought was her “coming out as a glossophobic” party at the debate, she went on the Sean Hannity show, managed to completely sidestep her performance (or lack of) at the debate and told everybody that Obama and “the federal government is after Arizona and they are going after everybody.” Ok…

Then I noticed it. The nasal voice. She sounded as if she had the worst nasal congestion the world had ever seen. I became breathless just listening to her. I kept on taking bigger and bigger breath because I was afraid I was going to stop breathing the way she was going to stop breathing. (Yes, I am an empathetic listener…)

Perhaps because of her severe nasal congestion, she’s got a lot of loogy, snot, boogie way up there? Or maybe it is the other way around? Man. I feel bad for her.

Or maybe it is all her. You know: *Jazz hands* Just Jan. *Jazz hands*

I mean, after all, with a maiden name like DRINKWINE*… Well… You know…

* Nope. Not kidding. Yup. It really is Drinkwine. Can’t make this shit up.

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{ 45 comments… add one }

  • chickensconsigliere September 9, 2010, 6:14 am

    Hi Subwow, I came on to say I noticed on Amanda’s blog that you have a new avatar-I think? I like it! Also, this was a really great post. Entertaining yet educational. I sort of wish my maiden name was Drinkwine.
    chickensconsigliere´s last blog post…What Oreos and Danny DeVito Have in Common

    • Absence Alternatives September 10, 2010, 3:40 am

      Hi, thank you so much for visiting and commenting! I agree: Drinkwine has got to be one of the coolest surnames I’ve heard!

  • The Barreness September 9, 2010, 6:43 am

    Hokay, first, I’d like to hear more about the whole boustier and heels on stage thing, because this sounds right up my alley.

    But lets come back to that later.

    On a less interesting note, I will NEVER forget the day I heard about SK 1070. I was driving into work and it was as though someone has punched me in the face. I literally had to pull off the road and listen, mouth agape, in astonishment to what had happened in AZ. And all I could see in my mind was soldiers shouting “Show me ze paperz!” from high above extended arms and uniformed bodies, and I thought, “Can this possibly be happening in my home country?”

    That was one of the most painful mornings of my life, as it was the begining of my ever-growing suspicion that I no longer relate to the place from which I came. That if I were ever to return to the US, it would be a place so foreign to me, and one with which I disagreed so wholeheartedly, that I would be forced to leave again by a sheer disgust at the state of things. I must say it’s incredibly reassuring to read my disgust echoed in the posts of others.

    Then again, I kinda knew you were awesome already.

    As for Jan Brewer’s nasal voice, I wish I could say that it’s as a result of my my stiletto-clad foot up her ass, but sadly I think it’s probably just hayfever.

    The c*nt.

    – B x
    The Barreness´s last blog post…Sorry- Sister Mary I know its not Saturday- but how about we start the working week with some sex

    • Absence Alternatives September 10, 2010, 3:41 am

      “I wish I could say that it’s as a result of my my stiletto-clad foot up her ass”

      LMAO! I am truly blessed to be surrounded by people like you and all the others here on the Interweb. Thank you. xxoo

  • Jana @ Attitude Adjustment September 9, 2010, 6:58 am

    I think you’re right about the boogie. Something is seriously stuck up her nose and into a brain. A Botox treatment gone awry? They need a public service announcement about how that stuff can mess with your brain…pretty much obliterate it, you know?
    Jana @ Attitude Adjustment´s last blog post…Pride Goeth Before a Fall- And All That

  • SisterMerryHellish September 9, 2010, 8:15 am

    What the Barreness said.

    And why am I just hearing about a bustier and heels?
    SisterMerryHellish´s last blog post…Sex- Lies and Rum Cake or Reasons I’m Going to Hell

  • pattypunker September 9, 2010, 9:15 am

    awesome satire here! but in all seriousness, my favorite part is your explanation for being able to be on stage without any discomfort is because you’re playing someone else, you’re not in your own skin, the spotlight isn’t on you (the real you). i can so relate. i share your fear of public speaking but can be a total exhibitionist. i too was fine on stage. or on a dance floor. in a group. i can express myself in writing but not verbally.

    all of this made me think that maybe i should have chosen a career that involved wearing a costume.
    pattypunker´s last blog post…gettin my shop on

    • Absence Alternatives September 10, 2010, 3:43 am

      Super Girl? Wonder Woman?

      I am still hoping to be bitten by a mutant cat in order to gain super powers owed me…

  • Elly Lou September 9, 2010, 9:44 am

    Please tell me there is video of you in a bustier and panties.

    Really, I don’t have anything else to say. I’ve lost all focus.
    Elly Lou´s last blog post…When Power Tools Aren’t Enough

  • TheKitchenWitch September 9, 2010, 9:54 am

    First thought: You were on stage in a bustier and heels?

    Second thought: I want photographic evidence.

    Third thought: Why were you on stage in a bustier and heels?

  • Mary Lee September 9, 2010, 11:14 am

    THAT’S what it means? I would have thought “the ability to ignore or gloss over truth and trying to put a shine-ola on on a smoking pile of crap in order to garner votes.”

    Just guessin’.
    Mary Lee´s last blog post…Battle Flag

  • Jane September 9, 2010, 12:27 pm

    OMG. I sorta felt sorry for her, too. But a fear of public speaking – and you’re in politics? Maybe it’s not fear. Maybe it’s just stupidity.
    Jane´s last blog post…And Now A Word From Our !!! Sponsors

    • Absence Alternatives September 10, 2010, 3:47 am

      Seeing how she is one of the few prominent female political figures, I really would like to be able to find something in her that I could respect… or at least let her down easy…

      Scratch that. When she signed that act, that settled it. She is siting on the timeout bench next to Sarah Palin.

  • Technobabe September 9, 2010, 1:03 pm

    And to think women have worked so hard to move forward and be recognized and respected.
    Technobabe´s last blog post…The Older We Get

  • magpie September 9, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Drinkwine, huh? Priceless.

  • Kernut the Blond September 9, 2010, 8:22 pm

    Waitjustaminute… She went from “Drinkwine” to “Brewer”??

    Could there be a bigger problem here? Just sayin’ that’s a mighty big coincidence. I can just see the marriage announcement now: Drinkwine to wed Brewer this coming Sunday. The bride, previously a wine drinker, had converted to beer.
    Kernut the Blond´s last blog post…Life Before The Computer

  • Jack September 9, 2010, 9:29 pm

    If you ever see a post that says that I was on stage in a bustier and heels please notify the authorities because someone has clearly hijacked my blog. Or alternatively I have decided to try one last time for Broadway by playing Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror.

    • Absence Alternatives September 10, 2010, 3:49 am

      Dude, your mentioning the Rocky Horror Picture Show opened up the flood gate of suppressed memories for me! I had to write a post just to let it out properly…

  • Absence Alternatives September 10, 2010, 3:56 am

    Dear All Who Ignored My Awesome Political Rant and Instead Focused On BUSTIER & UNDERWEAR… I seriously love you guys.

    Well, it’s my own fault. It’s like shouting “Squirrel!” isn’t it? I will properly explain it in a future post. Nothing kinky or sexy. No real sex was involved. No hot steamy sexual tensions either. I was on the stage as in in a play. So if you’d rather not hear about it, let me know. There is still time to stop me!

    This also means I will not be finishing my BlogHer Heavy Drinking post “The Tale of the 11 Vodkas” any time soon… Maybe I’ll get it done right before the next BlogHer…

  • Nance September 10, 2010, 9:04 pm

    I’m not sure I feel much empathy for Jan. Let me check. Nope! Not a jot. Nary a tittle. I don’t care if she was suffering from the world’s worst case of social anxiety disorder, she still comes across more like a sociopath. Those are the people who apparently lack a conscience. Could that be our Jan? Let me check….
    Nance´s last blog post…I Cant Write About THAT!

    • Absence Alternatives September 17, 2010, 1:34 pm

      It is very frustrating that finally we have female representations in politics and they all come from the 5% of population that is just plain crazy!

  • secret agent woman September 10, 2010, 11:03 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Nope = no sympathy here!
    secret agent woman´s last blog post…Time to go back on the run

  • Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla September 12, 2010, 3:01 am

    Okay, so being a resident of the miserable Arizona myself (forgive me) I’ll tell you that Jan Brewer was not elected; she was Secretary of State and when Janet Napolitano took the position as Chief of Homeland Security, Brewer became Governor by default. As you can see by her “speech” (and her absolute refusal to debate the Democrat, Terry Goddard again) she can’t actually speak at all. Should we check her citizenship papers?

    Inside Arizona, and this is just my opinion, all I’ve seen is that her big claim to fame is signing this full of crap racist law, and fight with all the legislators – Democrat and Republican to actually stalemate the budget! (What is it they say about repeating a lie often enough? It’ll become the truth, right?)
    Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla´s last blog post…The Zen of Football

  • A Vapid Blonde September 12, 2010, 1:48 pm

    I completely get the glossophobia even though I too was an actress. AND…wait for it.

    I TOO WAS ON STAGE IN A BRA AND PANTIES! We are like twinsies.

    As for public speaking, the course I was required to take in college culminated with me finagling (sp?) my way out every speach assignment and doing them in the professors office. To this day, I still have nightmares about public speaking.
    A Vapid Blonde´s last blog post…I Am Not Good At Anniversaries…Part Two of Two

  • Naptimewriting September 12, 2010, 11:55 pm

    ROFL
    Nice approach.
    Naptimewriting´s last blog post…Busy- busy- busy

  • dufmanno September 13, 2010, 9:32 am

    My maiden name is Boozehound so I can totally empathize on that point but it physically pains me to watch the forty year pause she takes before speaking. I actually can’t imagine the size of the set of balls you have to grow in order to get up there and even TRY when you suffer from this.
    Being such a insensitive blowhard, I actually have a hard time picturing a moment when I’m not running my blathering maw to any group of people who will listen, but the anxiety on that womans face is worth a million words.
    Kudos
    dufmanno´s last blog post…How About a Wager

  • dufmanno September 13, 2010, 9:33 am

    Oh and I’m sorry, why the hell was I unaware that both you and Vapid were actresses? Christ almighty you need to tell me when there are glitterati in my midst so I can act appropriately
    dufmanno´s last blog post…How About a Wager

    • Absence Alternatives September 17, 2010, 1:39 pm

      NON-COMMERCIAL productions for me. So nothing to write home about. Literally. I never even bothered telling my parents.

  • linlah September 13, 2010, 11:54 pm

    That’s a tragedy no matter how you look at it.
    linlah´s last blog post…how i can save you some money

  • Jen @ NathanRising September 15, 2010, 3:36 pm

    LOL! OMG. I’m sorry, but the way she talks reminds me of my high school journalism teacher, who had this weird haircut that looked like the tip of a penis. Everyone used to call her dickhead behind her back. This former teacher used to always forget what she was saying, and in her forgetfulness, she would painfully pause for what seemed like eons while her mouth opened and closed in vain as she tried to figure out how to talk. She looked like a guppy. Dickhead the guppy! Thanks for the flashback… how’d you know I totally needed a laugh right now? ;-)

    -Jen
    Jen @ NathanRising´s last blog post…Turbo- Gone but never- ever forgotten

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