Thursday, December 21, 2006

Miss USA

So let me get this straight, the woman who won the country's biggest beauty contest is what one might be inclined to call a slut. The woman or, more appropriately, girl who was declared the hottest chick in the US likes to get down and so does the younger winner of the Miss Tenn USA pageant. Is that supposed to disturb us?

Considering we are talking about women who want to earn a living with their hot bodies should anybody be shocked? When you consider the vanity one must have to even participate in this contest it's shocking that these so-called scandals aren't the norm.

About 20 years ago Vanessa Williams had that crown snatched off her head for posing nude in some amateur porn pics. This was before Al Gore invented the internets so we had to wait for Penthouse to publish those pictures but once they hit the market Vanessa Williams was called on the carpet and her title of Miss America was stripped leaving her doomed to a life of anonymous sex with fat business men for spare change. Nobody ever heard of her again.

Actually, losing the crown was the best thing that could have happened to her. She became an instant star landing movie roles and singing chart topping songs. She became one of the biggest names in Hollywood and it was all made possible because she received more publicity for losing her crown than she did for winning it in the first place. It also helped that she was released from any contractual obligations tied to the pageant. Actually it was the woman crowned in Vanessa's place we never heard from again.

Her counterpart Jeri Ryan is also an actress but Jeri Ryan had to slowly claw her way into the business in spite of being a runner up in the 1990 Miss America pageant. Ryan's biggest role and claim to fame came in playing a virtual dominatrix in Star Trek: Voyager. The woman who won in that same year (1990), Debye Turner, has done little of note. In fact most Miss USA winners prove to be too vapid to qualify for any real jobs so they generally end up doing local news and if they manage to read their copy without too many mistakes some get a shot at national news reading.

Sadly, for the Miss USA pageant women who pose for Playboy often prove to have more noteworthy careers. Maybe it's because society respects somebody who doesn't pretend to be something she's not. We act as though these Miss USA contestants are innocent little virgins who are unaware of how beautiful they are. In reality they represent the very worst of female sexuality. They go beyond confidence and they exude that self-centered arrogance that makes everybody hate the prom queen. Miss USA pretends its about intelligence talent and personality as much as it is physical beauty but in the end it's all about looks. That's why Pamela Anderson is more respectable. She's never pretended it wasn't about her body. Maybe she's smarter than we give her credit for. She's certainly more successful than any Miss USA winner, aside from Vanessa Williams who technically didn't win.

Interesting. It would appear that America prefers hot women who put out. I know I do.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Holidays

Thanks to Bill O'Reilly millions of Americans have decided to take back Christmas. Instead of politely wishing people Happy Holidays, they intended to proliferate the social landscape with blood curdling screams of Merry Christmas. Some have even declared that they intend to inflict this holiday jeer on people they know or suspect as being non-Christian. Jesus must be proud. If you say Merry Christmas but mean go to hell does that make it OK?

Ironically the expression of Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings came about in mainstream parlance thanks to fundamentalist Christians who took umbrage that Christmas was associated with such a display of unabashed commercialism. When retailers would beckon holiday shoppers with attractive signage that wished everyone a Merry Christmas, these devout practitioners of the Christian faith would write letters and stage boycotts because they were offended that their savior was being used to boost year end sales figures. Jesus did not die on the cross for Hasbro.

Now that the flames of insecurity have been aggressively fanned be evangelists hurting for cash and pundits aching for ratings, the push is on to attach Christ to everything. Stores that refuse to specify Christmas are attacked by venomous wags and accused of waging war on Christmas and Christianity. The Nativity must be honored at all costs. Happy Holidays is what the terrorists want us to say.

It's sad because almost everything about Christmas has roots in paganism. The bright colored lights date back to solstice celebrations, the tree is rooted in Norse tradition and Santa Clause is a composite of a number of polytheistic and pagan characters. Jesus never gave anybody presents. He didn't slide down chimneys, or ride in a flying sleigh behind eight magic reindeer.

Theologians concur that Jesus wasn't born any where near the December 25th and peg his birthday in the late spring. In fact, the whole story of the Nativity appears to be a fairy tale concocted to dramatize the undocumented birth of Jesus. As the demand grew for a commemoration of this event, the Catholic Church opted to position the date to coincide with competing holy days. It's no coincidence that December is a busy month for spiritual celebrations. In the northern hemisphere it is the darkest time of the year and symbolizes the beginning of the coldest months. Instead of abolishing ancient tradition, the church decided to trump it. As it would turn out, Christ never really was in Christmas outside of a Papal decree.

Of course none of that matters. Spirituality is a personal matter and how a person chooses to celebrate their beliefs is entirely up to them. It's interesting that so many people of so many faiths choose December as a time to join family and friends to honor their personal beliefs... even if those beliefs are in holiday clearance sales and credit cards. If it brings people together it can't be that bad. Unless it's Old Spice, but then that doesn't bring people together, does it?

That's why people like Bill O'Reilly should just let it be. Why turn the Holidays into some misguided holy war? Whether praise be to Jesus, Santa, Allah, Rudolph, magic Hebrew candles, or low low prices can't we all just get along?