Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miss Teen USA, Miss South Carolina, & The Power of the Web

If you have not yet already heard about the (to say the least) unfortunate response that young Miss South Carolina gave to the question “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?” on the Miss Teen USA telecast it is (to borrow the NBC tagline) "must see TV."

Unhappily for this drop dead beautiful kid, this is a clip that will likely be around for a long, long time. It was up on YouTube faster than you can say high speed connection, and according to a posting by very glib guy named Scott Goldberg on DigitalMediaWire the clip had already been viewed by more than 5 million people and as this is written it could well be double that number by now.

For the remaining .2% of the population who have no idea what she said and aren't into pointing and clicking, her response was:

“I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and that I believe our education, such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should our education over here in the US should help the US, or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future.”
If you still can't believe that someone of any age could say something like this, and didn't see the film at 11:00, this will get you there.

Scott goes on to say in his post that while he could, he was not going to comment on what all this has to say about education in general or maybe even in South Carolina in particular since the site is really about digital media and not social commentary.

I would like to think that this blog is not about social commentary either, and for sure it is not about digital media. I can barely find the onoff switch on anything. It is, however, sometimes about leadership and as such about education from time to time as well.

You would have to listen to this young lady's response to the question plus her efforts to explain her way out of it on Today and decide for yourself if you are buying any or all of her explanation that she was just kind of overwhelmed by it all and sort of went blank and the words just seemed to tumble out without regard for anything logically connecting to anything else.

Although my bias is to think that the women who compete in things like Miss Teen USA are not exactly newbies when it comes to the various segments of these beauty pagents, including the "interview" stuff, but I am still willing to cut most 18 year olds some slack - not much, but some.

That said, what really scares me is that somewhere there is a survey whose data states “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map."

God help us all.

1 comment:

fjohn reinke (the big fat old turkey hisself) said...

I agree it has to be one of the most widely distributed clips. In one day I had five friends send me the link. And I dutifully watched it ... once. Here's what I sent to the first friend, and each subsequent one:

*** begin quote ***

And, she's going to College. Seriously, it's funny. Everyone has had a "brain fart" at one time or another. Luckily we probably weren't being filmed at the time. When I watched in the back of my paranoid brain, I was thinking, "Is this an attempt to get publicity?" Is she saying to herself -- I'm losing. So how can I lose, yet win?-- possible? If she was smart enough (as her high school principle states she is), then could this be intentional? If it is, it has worked. What buzz. :-) Suspiciously, fjohn

*** end quote ***

Now, while not everyone is a conspiracy nut, and it could have just been a "wetware error", but there is always that lingering doubt. Do losers get on the Today show? Do losers get 5M views on You Tube? Do people even care what the question was if I am pretty and funny?

With her looks, she has a career in politics. She makes as much sense as some of these stuffed shirts on both sides of the aisle. "I voted for it but then voted against it before finally voting for it" and "Blowback. What's blowback?" to just hit two quick points. In comparison, she was literate. OK, well at least pleasant to look at.

I think that the stat is not really earth shaking. Gooferment skoolz have been doing exactly what Mann and Dewey wanted them to do -- create good factory workers and cannon fodder who could be led by the elite! Notice where all the politicians kids go to school.

As a good citizen of the new Amerika, I don't think you can appeal to God. That concept was taken out of the public square and discussions a while ago. Now if you will just cross this gooferment maintained bridge, everything will be better on the other side.