Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Easy To Be Hard

It isn't that I don't find value in cynicism, that's not it at all.

In fact, I think it's healthy to approach a number of things with a healthy dose of "erm, I don't know about this" (i.e. - politicians, public restrooms, politicians in public restrooms*).

It's just when we turn what has become an overwhelming amount of collective cynicism onto a private citizen that is becoming a little disconcerting for me. It has become a knee-jerk reaction to assume the worst about people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just as guilty as the next guy, especially when it comes to vapid celebrities (oh, you know who I'm talking about). And, no I'm not talking about the obvious miscreants** the world has to offer.

Specifically, I'm thinking about the Miss Teen South Carolina debacle. Now, I'm asking to put your biases aside for a frikkin' moment here. Yes, she's a pageant monkey; yes, she's from the South; yes, she's all of 16 or whatever. And yes, she spewed a whole lot of nonsense up there on the national teevee.

The ensuing presumptions about her, however, are worrisome: That she's dumber than a box of rocks; that she's representative of The Current Regime's failures with the national education program (which deserves a hell of a lot more cynicism than this); that this kid is a shining example of the kind of idiot children currently threatening to overtake this country, upon graduation, assuming they have one, and drag it further down the drain.

I mean, where do we get off? Here's a kid, on National TV, standing next to Mr. Jessica Simpson (I hear the little ladies--namely, one of my younger sisters--still find him "cute"), is asked a question that isn't your usual run-of-the-mill pageant fare (remember such softball lobs like "how would you change the world?"), and then she blanks under that pressure.

Isn't that embarrassment enough? Whatever happened to giving someone the benefit of the doubt? I know that a little of that goes a long way, else you end up a patsy for the rest of your life, but how is extending a bit of sympathy in this instance going to kill us?

I don't know. I've always been a little sensitive when it comes to this sort of thing, but this tendency of ours was truly brought home to me when Craig Ferguson announced publicly that he wasn't going to do any further Britney Spears jokes about half a year ago.

When someone who makes his living making fun of situations and the people in them thinks we've gone too far with such things...maybe we should take notice.

PS - I can't find it right now, but I read a brief interview with her high school principal, who said she was an honor roll student, who had taken college prep courses, and that she was an exemplary student. - tbo

*See what I did there? With the thing and the other thing? - tbo

These guys are doing a bunch of counter-programming during that fest. Support in any way you can, and help the fight against hate music. - tbo


At 4:44 PM, Blogger Stine said...

I'm sitting here trying to reconcile the fact that I actually watched the Miss Teen USA pageant.

Wait, what were you saying?

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I posted the video on my blog before I realized that there'd been quite this much hype. I guess I'd feel sorry for her, but she's in a goddamned beauty pageant, so I just can't.

And then, as a teacher, young people displaying this much ignorance just pisses me the fuck off. I don't give a shit if her old teacher says she was on the honor roll, she sounded about half a synapse shy of brain-dead.

At 1:00 AM, Blogger the beige one said...

Joe, man, I fuggin' grok and dig, and this wasn't meant as a slam against your entry. But it does seem that the reaction to this has become more than a bit overblown, is what I'm getting at.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...

Brought to you by Viagra
Because it's easy to be hard

At 3:08 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...

BTW, I'm pretty sure that's Mario Lopez, who has nailed some pretty sweet tail in his time, but not Jessica Simpson. You're thinking of Drew Lachey's brother.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

You'll pardon me for saying so, but all the celeb kids in the realm of pop music/stardom/Hilton hangers on all look alike to me.


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