Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some people out there in our nation don't have maps

By now, at least a third of my fellow U.S. Americans must have seen this amazing video from the "Miss Teen USA" Pageant, in which Miss South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, utters the following masterpiece of garbled incoherency. She's asked to explain a random statistic that indicates 1/5 of Americans can't find their own country on a map:

Miss S.C.'s response in full:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe that theyshould...our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S...or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our...(inaudible)"


I kind of figured that would be the most stupid statement that I'd see, hear or read this month, and felt alright with that. I mean, I know George Bush has given a few speeches this month, but he's generally capable of completing at least 50% of his sentences.

Then, Brad from Sadly, No! found this little nugget of wrong-headedness over at Wizbang. I'm fairly certain I've never met anyone as stupid as the author of the following blog post.


In a way, she's a victim. Any fair look at her answer shows she got mired in liberal taking points.

Pageant questions for the last 30 years are just fluff designed to extract from the young girl her liberal qualifications. So young girls practice spouting liberal buzz phrases, no matter the question.-- Because looking good isn't enough to win a beauty parent, you must have the proper liberal credentials, or there's no sparkly tiara for you!

The core assumption of Paul's post is that beauty pageants tilt liberal. This strikes me as kind of counter-intuitive, if only because I stereotypically associate beauty pageants with Middle American (or, if you prefer, "Red State") culture, but this is just a lazy assumption. I don't know anything about beauty pageants, really, so perhaps Paul is right and they're totally biased against conservatives. You don't really need an opinion on this topic to grasp the inanity of Paul's post. Though you kind of have to wonder about someone who looks to turn anything, even the Internet's version of the "dumb blonde joke," into an opportunity for lame political hackery. This is roughly akin to writing a dense, angry screed applying identity politics to Homestar Runner cartoons or debating the impact of that fat guy singing about the Montgomery Flea Market to the Dow.

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps
Everybody is a victim. The first rule of being a good liberal is to find a way to say these hapless morons who can't find the U.S. on a map aren't really morons, they are victims... Victims of the map deficit. The map deficit grew under Reagan, got better under Clinton but has exploded under George Bush. "We should have a program" so everyone can get a map.

Okay, so, this is when it starts to get really stupid. The whole point of this video is that the girl talks for a full minute without expressing a single clear idea. She just babbles incoherently. That's what makes it funny. So Paul, missing that part completely, delves right into making up stuff that she probably meant to say, because she's such a brainwashed LIEberal.

She just says they probably don't know where the United States is because they don't have a map. That's a pretty fair assumption, wouldn't you say? If you have a map, you know where to find shit. If you don't have a map, you don't know where shit is.

Lauren at no point says that she feels those without maps are "victims." That word doesn't appear in her entire, um, "speech." Paul throws that out there so he can go on a belligerent, misanthropic rant about how much he hates needy people who lack things, and how we shouldn't ever help others because it's un-American.
and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa
And this is where her coaching really kicked in. Mention the poor people of South Africa. No matter the question, South Africa MUST be in the stock pageant answer.

Huh? I thought South Africa was kind of a random country to throw out there, if only because she's too young to remember the apartheid era clearly, and thus wouldn't necessarily have that in the back of her mind as the "go-to" generic, desperate African nation. (I'd think "Rwanda" would hold that title now...)

Paul seems to feel that South Africa is the obvious reference that everyone makes at a beauty pageant, even though Lauren doesn't say anything about the people of South Africa. Paul says "the poor people of South Africa," not Lauren. She just says that our education like such as in South Africa, which doesn't make any fucking sense at all.
and, uh, the Iraq
and what good is a good liberal answer without the word Iraq in it?

Paul's seriously trying to break my brain. THIS IS NOT A GOOD LIBERAL ANSWER. This is the worst answer anyone has given to any question, ever. That's why we're watching it.

And by the by, is it the liberals that keep talking about helping out the Iraqis? Odd, cause I seem to recall some arrogant Texas fratboy prattling on endlessly for the past 6 years about helping the Iraqi people stand up, so that we might then stand down...Must be all this black tar heroin I've been smoking...

Also, please, Paul, "the Iraq." It's pronounced "the Iraq."
everywhere like, such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S.
(pageantbot) Education, must speak about education.... OK in fairness, education really should be part of a reasonable answer but by this point, she can't even tell you the question, she's just trying to hit the liberal talking points.

Honestly, Paul's making less sense at this point than Lauren.

I think maybe Paul's upset because he senses that beauty pageant questions are the only ones he'd be able to satisfactorily answer and, dammit, no one ever asks them of him! He dreams of just once being in a debate with a liberal co-worker, and rather than systematically rebutting all of his awesome Glenn Beck talking points, they'd just ask him what he thinks makes America great (whiteness!) and the three people he'd like to have over for lunch, living or dead (Jesus, Billy Graham and Sean "Hannidate" Hannity!)

Fortunately, Paul, you have a blog, which could solve this problem. I recommend that, in place of your silly conservative bloviating, you start answering recent beauty pageant questions for the benefit of your readership. You could start with Lauren's.

"I think that U.S. Americans don't know where to find America on a map because our maps are too confusing. If every American map placed America directly in the center, where it rightfully belongs, all U.S. Americans would know exactly where to find it."
should help
EVERY pageant answer is required to have a call for someone being helped. Because we all know this "help" is a liberal codeword meaning tax increases and income redistribution.

Wait, did he just admit that conservatives dislike the idea of help? Like, in principle? I think he did. Does this mean they're finally ready to give up on that silly Christianity front and fucking get real about where they stand, at last? No? Okay, just checking.
the U.S., er, should help South Africa
Of course we should honey. You've been practicing that line for a year, it was going to come out no matter the question.

Watch the video. Does it sound like the girl is falling back on her reliable, A-material, or that she's trying to speak extemporaneously? What kind of fucking dipshit do you have to be to watch that video and think, "This is a person who is over-relying on canned material. Her answer should be more honest and off-the-cuff." I'll say it again. He's attempting to use a video of a blonde teenager from South Carolina babbling incoherently at a beauty pageant to make a grand point about the state of Liberalism in America. Wow...
and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries
Because being a good liberal means we care about all the dark people.

Actually, caring about people, light or dark, has little to do with making you a good liberal, Paul. It's what makes you a good person.

I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that, even now, at this late date, there are probably still some self-identified American conservatives who are good people. Paul seems to insist that a rejection of liberalism is at its core a complete rejection of altruism, that his movement is, in essence, an agreement among assholes to be assholes. Conservatives hate help, they don't care about all the dark people and they don't like talking about education even when asked about it directly. Did I miss anything, Paul, or is that the gist of it?
so we will be able to build up our future for our children.
Because it takes a village to raise a moron.

Ba-zing! Did you see what he did there? He made a play on that Hillary Clinton book from a fucking decade ago! What a master of wit! Hey, Paul, heard any kickass Ginnifer Flowers jokes lately? Don't hold out on me, man. I say, for your next column, you could do a funny riff on that latest Soul Asylum jam and then pepper in some quotes from Bio-Dome! And then we could chat about how great it was on ICQ!

Her coaching did her in. She was told no matter the question, mention victims, Iraq, South Africa and education. In her zeal to prove herself liberal enough to wear the Miss Teen USA sash and crown, she made a fool of herself. Not unlike other liberals just this time it was more obvious.

Paul's just making me sad. He draws the 180 opposite conclusion from, like, every rational person on Earth who watched this video. And not only did he not even get this most simple and straight-forward of jokes, he proceeded to write a long blog post, giving his take on the joke he didn't get, convinced he'd made valuable insights worth sharing. I now realize I didn't have to write a whole blog post mocking him - he'd already rendered himself a ridiculous caricature...


So long! Farewell! Auf Wiedersehen! Goodbye!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

All Your Sunday Songs

Here's sort of a grab bag of songs I've been listening to a lot this week, thanks to the fine, upstanding individuals at The SeeqPod Corporation:


The first song is off of the new Okkervil River LP, "The Stage Names," and the second is off Blitzen Trapper's latest disc, both of which were passed on to me by my brother. The third is one of my favorite tracks off of The Boggs' disc, "Forts." They're from New York and I read somewhere that they're part of the same scene as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Walkmen, I guess, but it actually reminds me more of '80s British rock than anything else. Like Echo and the Bunnymen with less realistic British accents.

Then there's two really weird songs, the first one by Jesca Hoop and the second by a French collective called Malajube. The Hoop song's in English but I have no idea what it's actually about, and the second one's in French, so I really have no idea what it's about, but they're both good songs. Finally, a great bit of comedy from Patton Oswalt's latest CD, "Werewolves and Lollipops," which I actually went and purchased for myself in a real store! Hey, whatever will get the Bronfman's that extra island they've been itching for, that's my philosophy...