Monday, August 27, 2007

Great Moments in Pageant Question-Answering...Replies...San Dimas Football Rules!

This video from the Miss Teen USA pageant, starring Miss South Carolina delivering a nuanced, trenchant answer, has been all over the Internets:

OK...yeah, I know. Wrong answer. Admittedly, it is pretty funny in a cringe-inducing, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" kind of way. But it's easy to mock when you're not the one in the spotlight's harsh glare, being judged by millions of viewers. So I won't pile on this poor girl.

But here's what I want to know: what the fuck kind of question was that? And why are these sorts of opinions being solicited from teenagers? They're the most neurotic, self-absorbed people on the planet.

"Recent polls have shown that one-fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?"

How do you answer this ill-considered question without coming off like either a a) colossal asshole, or b) spluttering moron?

The correct answer, of course, is this:

"Well, Aimee, honestly now. How the FUCK should I know? Maybe these 'recent polls' aren't scientific. Maybe this one-fifth represents the blind, the clinically insane, or household plants. The awful truth is that America's educational system has utterly failed in teaching useful life skills or critical thinking, probably from a pitiful combination of politics and neglect. America is home to the fattest, most self-satisfied people on earth. We are teeming with ill-informed and over-opinionated fools. Not only does the one-fifth figure not surprise me, it might be optimistic. Despite all that, what fucking difference does it make in anyone's daily lives to be able to locate the U.S. on a world map?"

Can't blame the girl, can we? Most take pity on the idiot. Nobody likes an asshole.

And when you really think about it, her response was absolutely brilliant. She realized, in that brief instant, the tremendous likelihood of overlap between the geographically wayward and the audience for "Miss Teen USA." Why insult them when it's so easy to make them identify with you! Know your constituency and pander like hell to it. Bravo, Miss South Carolina. Bravo.


Of course, Miss South Carolina also made me think of this scene from "Billy Madison":


Mark Copen said...

J - Come on now - I watched this girl on the Today Show this morning - she isn't exactly the brightest light on the Hanukkah bush. In fact, I would suspect that she is the precise living representation of that least we know where the 1/5 are (now if we could figure out an effective way of getting rid of all of them at the same time!)

J Ballot said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for checking in!

Now, don't get me wrong - this girl probably is as sharp as a bag of cotton balls. But the question seemed just as dumb as the answer. Plus, I would hate for my most embarrassing moment to be captured live on national TV and posted to YouTube for the mocking delight of millions. She deserves at least a small break.

The commentary on this has been downright savage - and it is a bit unseemly for a society of morons to eat its young.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jason,
I understood every word she said. If her mother is as sharp as she is, I want to date her.


PS: My telephone is working.