Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
As usual, the past few days have seen several news stories coming at us over and over again. Lady Bird Johnson. The upcoming release of The Simpsons movie. (The media coverage and product placement leave me pining for the more modest, dignified coverage we had for Paris Hilton's jail time.) And Amy Palumbo.
Amy Palumbo, the young woman recently crowned Miss New Jersey. As you've no doubt heard, an anonymous blackmailer had threatened to release "unladylike" photos unless Palumbo gave up her crown (or tiara, or whatever it is they pin on these women's heads).
Purely as a service to my readers, I've made an extensive search of thousands of documents to locate the photos. (Ok, I googled her name.) Bottom line: no nudity. No "Girls Gone Wild" flashing. No parts of her bare body touching parts of the other person's bare body in out-of-the-ordinary ways. Not one of the photos has anything considered objectionable since the 13th century. And believe me, I looked. Hard. Purely as a service to my readers, of course.
Professionally and personally, Miss Palumbo has been put through the wringer with absolutely no justification. And do you know what?
I don't care.
I mean it. I don't care. My guiding principles - or what passes for them in polite company - have long included a complete lack of sympathy for anyone experiencing problems stemming from their participation in a beauty contest. (Claims that these pageants are about scholarship and social responsibility - nudge nudge wink wink - are nonsense. They are and will always be thinly veiled beauty contests.)
It's not personal. Nobody has had more trouble in this category than Vanessa Williams, and who doesn't like her?
The point is simple. Every time some young woman who may not be a bimbette but is willing to play one on tv is anointed the feminine ideal, it's a slap across the face. To whom? To women of any age, social position, education, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, child bearing history, personal history of things overcome - you get the idea - who exemplify everyday greatness without being twenty-something, without having perfect teeth, and without having 12" hips with a bust measurement that, relative to her body size, makes her liable to topple over at any moment.
Don't get me wrong. Amy Palumbo has shown herself to be a bright, poised young woman who has handled the current crisis with grace. It's just that if we really mean what we say about selecting a woman to honor as representing all that's possible, good and admirable, we've got to realize she may be too busy keeping a real life together - hers or someone else's - to attend the ceremony.
In an unrelated item...
I just saw a magazine article from several weeks ago that said Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are back together. WHY DOES NO ONE TELL ME THESE THINGS?
Monday, July 2, 2007
This borrowed from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (July 2) - President Bush spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case Monday, delivering a political thunderbolt in a highly charged criminal case. Bush said the sentence was just too harsh.
As rich a topic as this would be to write about, Unsaid is not a political space. At the risk of disappointing its valued readers, I will not use this journal as a vehicle for my own personal feelings about whether our president is living proof that you can be born into wealth and privilege and still be arrogant trailer trash with no sense of shame or responsibility who doesn't hold anyone in his administration accountable for anything. As an impartial reporter of the facts, I am also obligated to keep readers guessing as to whether I feel attempts to cite the trangressions of people who are no longer president as a defense would amount to little more than a smoke screen to keep attention off the current president.
I just wanted to be clear on these points.