By now, who has not heard Miss Teen South Carolina's so-called answer to a question about a portion of Americans not being able to locate the US on a world map? If you haven't, you can find it on your Internet search engine of choice.
Frankly, I'm not certain what alarms me more:
1) That she was the best overall choice from an entire state,
2) That she likely is among those "US Americans" who cannot locate their nation on a map, or
3) That 50 teen girls prance around on a stage in various stages of undress and are then asked a question and expected to give an answer in a complete sentence.
Todd Schnitt, a syndicated radio host stationed in Tampa, FL said it best: "it sounded like someone took a sentence and threw it up in the air and the words all just came down . . ." It was like a sentence embolism; a grammar earthquake of 8.2 on the Richter. Such as . . .
I tried to text message with my best friend yesterday in Miss South Carolinaese and am not sure either of us achieved her level of mediocrity. If you are her parent, sitting in the audience, watching your daughter strut across the stage for every pervert in America to enjoy, what do you say to her when she asks how her answer sounded? "Well, gosh honey, we didn't know English was a second language for you." Or, "If you were a stroke victim, that was really good. We're so proud." I truly believe that I would have walked up on the stage and told the other girls that their odds of winning just improved to to 1:49 because this knucklehead is going to Sylvan. Of course, I'm not so sure the others would've quite gotten the ratio reference, but I can only tolerate so much "dumbing down" before my head explodes and orange light emanates from my ears.
I personally believe (sorry, Miss South Carolina said that), that this is another example of Dr. Spock and political correctness mentalities run amok. We have become a nation that celebrates mediocrity with a passion. Our children now graduate with cap and gown from preschool and kindergarten and third grade. They all get trophies and certificates for showing up to play soccer despite how badly they perform. In one program, they get some sort of recognition following each game - talk about throwing something up in the air and seeing where it lands. When I coached this league of little ones, bless their hearts, I could've just as easily thrown the colored reward stars into the cluster of kids, soccer ball, and cloud of dust and let chaos theory determine who got what. They're seven years old, how good can they really be?!?! Hmmm, I just had an epiphany: with the exception of one kid on that team, they could all complete a cogent compound sentence. That's more than Miss SC did. Such as.
I remember a time in school when we would tease the Asian kids about being so smart and not watching TV and never playing outside. In 9th grade, I had already had 12 months too many of the Chen twins - they could recite the periodic table like the alphabet. I would rather play with the Bunsen burner. In hindsight, I wish I had shared their passion for education and learning. They're probably working on some top secret government project or managing a new technology in the private sector driving an S500, enjoying fine wines and gourmet foods, and helping their child prodigies follow in their brilliant footsteps. It's unfortunate that "US Americans" do not share this work-ethic and education-ethic. We have become a nation of big, fat, lazy slobs. Today's news reports that Mississippi is the fattest state in the nation. I can only hope that taxpayer money didn't fund the study for that blinding flash of the obvious result.
Miss SC is merely one example of a nation of poorly educated people more concerned with the superficial (e.g., looks) than with substance. I don't quote the late Dr. Martin Luther King often, but when he dreamed of a day that his children were judged not by their skin color but by the content of their character, he dreamed big. Yet today, forty-odd years later, we are still focused on the outward appearance. No doubt that Miss SC is a pretty girl; but when those looks fade, she will just be another has-been, unattractive, moron gracing the isles of Wal*Mart. And no one will be the wiser. I hear rumor that she's being given another chance to answer that question in a public forum; were I her, I'm not sure I'd take that chance no matter how well-rehearsed I was. If she errs again, then there will be no room for doubt as to the content of her person. She'll be like my Lemon-Lawed Pontiac Fiero - all form and no function.
And US Americans will celebrate her regardless . . . such as.