Monday, August 27, 2007

Iraq, South Africa education suffers from U.S. Americans' lack of access to maps

Thanks to RHPT and Peabo

10 comments:

mcsteans said...

South Carolinans must be so proud.

The League said...

I can confirm that JimD has already let out a resigned sigh...

Steanso said...

Alas...

Steven G. Harms said...

Mc:

Cut those people a break, they're still dealing with the ramifications of years of apartheid.

Michael Corley said...

My wife, despite being self-styled cynic and hater of "whatever" girls, put forward the theory that she completly froze, and just began saying anything that came to her mind. Put another way, "No one (hopefully) can be that stupid".

The League said...

I agree that, most likely, she is not that stupid. My theory is that she misunderstood the question completely, but who knows what she thought they were asking...

I would feel worse for her, but I am sure she'll land on her feet.

Robert said...

Let's remember, also, that she is a "teen" and, despite the fact that we were all extremely articulate as teens and never, for instance, stammered to answer a question in class, maybe give her a little slack and not hold her to our own standards of excellence.

The League said...

Let's remember, Robert, that the Miss Teen USA pageant is about poise. She's supposed to be able to answer these questions somewhat articulately. If she couldn't, she shouldn't have progressed this far. You either hold contestants to the criteria of the competition or you don't.

Despite ridiculing herself, she still came in third, which makes me wonder what the hell poise means in these contests, anyway. This, the contest suggests, is the pinnacle of the American female teen. A seemingly ignorant, possibly illiterate, but shiny girl with a questionable dye job.

I do believe she couldn't hear and/ or understand the question. But asking the judge to repeat the question seems like a better response than rambling on incoherently. When given an opportunity to answer the question days later, she gave a pat response with no hint of nuance.

SHE can find the US on a map. And geography should receive greater attention at school.

Brava.

Robert said...

It just seems distasteful to me (admittedly, perhaps, biased by my own status as the father of a teenage girl) for adults to trash a teenage girl for giving a terrible answer to a terrible question. Some may say that pageants are distasteful and they won't necessarily get any objection from me. Because she has progressed this far, she has, presumably, answered these types of idiotic questions well-enough before, she just choked this time. She's basically a kid, panicked under pressure and gave a kid-like answer and I don't for one thribo fault her for that. It does, however, as you suggest, make you wonder how the hell she came in third. I think it says more about the pageant than her.

The League said...

Indeed. Really, I think the real story is that she came in third. Of course, they may have held off asking questions until only five were left and been working from some point totality, but... whatever.

I invite you to review her appearance on the Today Show, in which she appears nervous and embarrassed, but still largely unaware of the true reach of her unfortunate fame.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fQKNvPn3V-8

I don't believe that the question is idiotic (even as I have a hard time believing a full 20% of people can't find the US on a map). It's a basic gimme sort of question which asks someone to say "kids are our future. We need to support education." It's the sort of no-brainer, completely safe answer that leads to First Ladies staying in the good graces by staging lots of photo-ops of them reading to kids.

The bottom line is that her answer was unbelievably, hilariously awful. It was full of factual errors, bizarre logical leaps and assertions about an apparent map shortage. Given days to ponder a better response, her answer was only slightly better, and, in no real way, addressed the subtext of the question.

I understand you seeing your own daughter in the place of this hapless beauty contestant. I agree that making fun of people in a bad situation is probably not displaying great tact. But I also kind of think you're giving this girl the benefit of the doubt.

This is sort of a horrible thought, but... what if the girl WAS giving the answer she thought made the most sense, though her delivery was jumbled...?