Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
What is, exactly, the point of the Miss USA contest? Is it merely a beauty contest, staged for the titillation of the home viewer or is it an opportunity to find a new role model -- someone young girls can look to for guidance, someone to be an example for those who are still trying to figure out how this whole life thing works. I'm sure, if you ask the pageant directors, they would vehemently claim the latter -- consider the harsh penalty Vanessa Williams suffered when risque photos of her surfaced.
This is why I disagree with Wendy of the Domestiquette about the controversy surrounding Miss California's comments about gay marriage. Setting aside, for the moment, that she apparently didn't actually answer the question she was asked ("Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit?") and that she was rather incoherent and self-contradicting, I think people do have a right to expect more from those who are celebrities. Because of her status, I would argue that she has a duty to support and empower those who look up to her. With great power comes great responsibility.
Now, mind you, I'm not saying that Miss California or even Miss USA is the president's equivalent, but they are marketed as someone special, to be looked up to, a do-gooder, if you will. And in that context, yes, some freedom of speech should be self-regulated. While I certainly support the right of any idiot to express whatever hateful stereotypes and misconceptions they like about any or all racial, sexual, or religious groups, I do not allow the same leeway to an elected official, certainly, or, to a lesser extent, to Miss California.
The long and the short of it is, if you want to shoot your mouth off and spew bigotted hate, do so at the local bar. As soon as you acquire a position of celebrity, you need to mind your manners.