Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day

Greetings from Kentucky, almost. I would have posted this last night were it not for the fact that Sunshine's mother has replaced her old keyboard with the kind of ergonomic modern thing having a split keypad arrayed around a central hump. I certainly cannot cope with something like that. I still mentally composed this post on Monday, and since all I want to do is write happy Memorial Day and then bitch about the 2007 Miss Universe Pageant, I figured I would backdate this entry into the out-of-the-way past where it belongs. Happy Memorial Day! We ate a large dinner at grandmother's house as befits a holiday. Then, later in the day, we enjoyed the annual Miss Universe Pageant Drinking Game.* My problems** with Miss Universe continue: it's about time for everyone to admit that celebrity judges are a waste of time. Not only does the attention they are paid during broadcast in no way justify their attendance, but they also show no credible understanding of what it is they are supposed to be judging. There was a better crop of interesting contestants this year, making it even more damning when Miss USA enjoyed evident judicial bias by making it all the way to fourth runner-up after falling down. What? Yes, she fell onto her ass coming down the glass stairs in her evening gown. I've never seen any contestant go all the way over before. Apparently the judges still haven't: they chose to rank her something like third in the event, beating seven other women who did not actually fall down. This was particularly galling to the domestic audience in México's capital city, since one of the contestants who more rightfully deserved to be in the top five was Miss México. Hence a lot of uncouth booing. [Cavin]

Then, a 7 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

* I made a bad show of the Game, picking the lovely-but-doomed Miss Costa Rica in the first round, and the less-lovely but just-as-doomed Miss México in the second. My final pick, chosen when there were just five contestants left, was Miss Korea, who ended up in fourth place. At least she didn't fall down. Sunshine did very well though. She choose eight of the fifteen quarterfinalists, and seven of the ten semifinalists. Her pick for winner, Miss Venezuela, really should have won; though the woman who did, Miss Japan, was almost her equal. None of this goes to assuage the dismal reality that Miss Brazil, a bouffant and cyborg-ed bride of science better suited to the daytime soaps of developing nations, beat Venezuela for the first runner-up position.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:32:00 AM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

** I did say "problems", didn’t I? During the preliminaries, where contestants are judged in superlative categories like "Miss Congeniality" and "Most Photogenic", there used to live a category called "National Costume". This was the best part of the event for me: several dozen women parading around in ridiculously opulent Halloween-ery based, in loose part, on whatever historical or cultural tick of nationalism their homeland thought currently global. This year there was no award given for National Costume, and the pageant is considering getting rid of even the costume parade next year. Dear Mr. Trump, Miss Universe is already the very last name in talent competitions, so it's probably not a good idea to start scaling back on the spectacle, too. My suggestion: trim the idiotic host banter, the unfortunate boy-bands, and any compulsion to ever have another contestant answer a probing question penned by an aging rock guitarist. Devote the time to more gala costuming, not less. You idiot.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:34:00 AM  
To which Anonymous 'ell joy added:

I don't have a problem with Miss Japan's winning and I probably appreciated Miss Brazil a bit more than you did. I did like Miss Angora ...

Rather than hurt her chances I think Miss USA's fall probably helped her. She handled it with poise and good humor and, come on, it was a fairly graceful ... way to give all her USA compatriots a chance to drink? Falling after being booed over her inadvertent costume choice surely made the judges somewhat sympathetic to her.

Regarding the National Costumes, they're a main reason I tune in. I already want more time and more full body shots for each one. I'd like to see more full views of the gowns, too. Less jerky motion and camera work.

I was expecting ol' Dave to give her his phone number. I agree, less time wasted on the "celebrities" but I have to admit their questions gave a kinda extra suspense to the proceedings.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 12:01:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

I liked Miss USA, don't get me wrong, and I do not mean to compare this to the Olympics (and what do you thing Kwan's reaction to a contestant falling down might be, anyway?), but you do not score a figure skater highly because she's plucky when she stands back up. The contestant is a professional, and she fell down. There are criteria, and there are precedents, and about eight oafish judges took some national pity or whatever when they were supposed to be judging.

PS, I like Japan, too, and was glad that she won, though Miss Venezuela's victory would have been better for Sunshine's book. Last year's Miss Japan was way cooler, but meh, in an Academy Awards -type of a way, I guess her 2006 robbery has now been wiped clean.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 12:59:00 PM  
To which Anonymous 'ell joy added:

Well, no, you don't score a figure skater highly because she's plucky when she stands back up. Very little leeway is given judges when scoring technical proficiency. Falling, two-footed landings, etc., all have proscribed penalties in the form of minus points (or tenths of a point).

How a beauty contestant handles herself in different situations is something she is judged on and Miss USA had the extra chance to show her poise under embarrassing circumstances. That being said, I wasn't defending a pity vote. As a matter of fact, it kind of speaks to what you were saying about the pageant needing to use real judges who have a clue.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 6:47:00 PM  
To which Blogger Ellie added:

I didn't get to see "the fall" until the next morning on CNN.com. Man, she really bit it! Truly, the first thing I thought was "How much should I drink for that kind of fall?" At least one whole beer. But since I wasn't really drinking at 9am on Tuesday morning, I had to just imagine it. What an awesome game it must have been, what with all the booing and falling down. Did anyone wear feathers?

Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:23:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Well the game was rather restricted, what with only Sunshine and Bet and I playing; and Bet doesn't drink. Sunshine had Mike's, and all the next beers were out in the smokehouse fridge, so I nursed one Guinness throughout the whole event. But you know, I don't remember a single feather. I did notice there were an awful lot more comments about "all the women" from the commentators; but then again, a whole lot more time in general seemed be wasted their ongoing stilted "cute" "comedy" commentary this year, too.

For the record, no one had chosen Miss USA, so no one actually had to drink for that fall (we were already conserving by that point, too). Our beers would have just run back out of our dropped jaws anyway.

Friday, June 01, 2007 12:34:00 AM  

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