By now you've probably seen or heard about the trainwreck that was the Miss Teen USA Pageant.
There's really no way to try and defend Lauren Upton here -- because once you go to the "Most people out there in our nation don't have maps" card you're pretty much on your own. At the same time, I think everyone needs to step back just a little bit and take a look at the question itself:
Recent polls have shown 1/5 of Americans can't locate America on a world map. Why do you think this is?
Wait a second -- What kind of question is that?
I mean think about it -- what's the correct response to something like that actually supposed to be? Because I gotta tell you, if I'm standing there on stage in my sparkly blue dress with my hair (if I had any) all coiffed up like that and Aimee Teegarden comes at me with this quirky little inquiry, my first thought would be to smile, look into the camera, and say,
"The reason many Americans can't find the United States on a world
map is because most people in this country are fucking stupid!"
Which in my mind would be a completely accurate response, unless of course I was trying to win the frikkin' Miss Teen USA Pageant!

What kind of miss USA hopeful stands there and calls Americans stupid? But more than that, what kind of pageant organizer hangs that carrot out there to see who takes a swipe at it?
I mean seriously, what should she have said?
  • Which America are you referring to? North America, Latin America, South America, or ..US America?
  • Well Aimee -- with it's big butt and love-handle shape, most Americans are actually choosing to mis-identify the country on purpose to help the country avoid any embarrassment and ostracizing it would face in our image-obsessed society.
  • I think most Americans fear that identifying the United States on a world map will make it an much easier target for all the terrorists living in "The Iraq."
I know that beauty pageant organizers think it's a good idea to try to tout their contestants as the intelligent future of womanhood in this country, but does anyone else actually buy that? Aren't we all more or less convinced at this point that each of these contestants are hoping to get a pass on the real world by banking on their looks? And isn't that why people tune in anyways?

Take a look at Miss South Carolina's response again -- Nevermind the brainpower it took to blame the general malaise most Americans feel for geography knowledge on South Africa (!?), just listen to the way she's desperately tossing verbal transitions around in every direction like she knows what they mean or should at least get some credit for knowing how to pronounce them correctly.
It's like someone gave an Uzi to a toddler. Sure it's kinda cute to look at
-- but let's take the Thesaurus away from her before someone gets hurt, ok?
See, this is why I prefer Flavor of Love. Sure the women on that show probably aren't any smarter than Miss South Carolina here, but at least they're willing to mud wrestle for their prize instead of muddling around the vocabulary mines hoping to somehow impress Mario Lopez.

In fact, if Miss South Carolina is looking for a way to get out of this public image mess, I seriously suggest she sign up for the latest go 'round to win Flava Flav's affection -- because no matter how bad she might have looked on TV during the pageant, in Flav's house --
She's already a step up on most of the competition.

[Listening to:    Coal Chamber"Fiend" ]