Sunday, January 13, 2013

Miss America Answers Gun Violence Question

I did something I haven't done in a few years - I watched the Miss America pageant.  At first I thought I would just watch the parade of contestants, you know, to check them out.  Then, much like the proverbial car wreck, I couldn't stop watching.  The winner? Miss New York, Mallory Hytes Hagan.

Kudos to her. So, what does she win
Hagan pockets a $50,000 college scholarship and gets the sparkler-packed crown for one year, during which she is expected to go on a nationwide speaking tour and raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, the organization's official charity.
I noticed a couple of things - 1. the age range is 17 years old to 24 years old.  The new winner is 23 years old. 2. the contestants introduce themselves now.  Apparently the goal is a pithy couple of sentences. Some were better than others.

Also, to this political junkie's ear, politics was frequently woven into the program.  For example,  Miss Michigan introduced herself as being from the first runner-ups state - that of Mitt Romney and the Detroit Tigers.  

I find it a bit off-putting that 17 year olds are competing with 24 year olds. Maybe that is just me. 

My favorite was Miss South Carolina.  She had me with this in her introduction: "And, no, y'all are the ones with the accent." This southern woman appreciates a southern woman who owns her southerness.  I also liked Miss Oklahoma.  

HERE is the introduction portion:

I really don't know why the talent portion is in the pageant.  There is so little on display and so much of it is just embarrassing.  Miss Texas used baton twirling as her talent. She dropped the baton, literally, so there was that moment for her.  And Texas.  

The question and answer portion is usually headline making in some way or the other.  In this year's contest, I think the most glaring mistake was Miss Iowa who was asked about the legalization of marijuana.  Under pressure, answers can take an ironic twist.  She didn't disappoint when she spoke of the virtues of medical marijuana and then concluded that she supports medical marijuana use and recreational marijuana use.  Clearly she meant to say she supported medical marijuana and not recreational.  Or, did she?  Either way, it wasn't a shining moment for her.  It's what YouTube is for.

The questioning came from the judges and there was a real political tone to them. For instance,   the weatherman from a morning show on a broadcast network asked about armed security guards in schools.  The question went to Miss New York, the one who would later win.  Her answer was one hot mess.  She kept repeating that violence doesn't stop violence.  She didn't support armed security in schools.  Violence on violence was an odd turn to take on the subject.  And, frankly, she sounded nonsensical

In the final moments of the show, "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion asked her if schools should hire armed guards in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.
"I don't think the proper was to fight violence is with violence," she replied. "I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly. We can lock them up, we can have gun safety classes, we can have a longer waiting period."

Yeah, gun safety classes and all that feel good blather isn't really the question.  And, for those saying well, she's a liberal from New York? No. She is a native of the state of Alabama.  

I did like her tap dancing routine, though.  She tapped to James Brown music.  Of the three tap dancers, yes, three, she was the best.

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