Anyone from my generation can probably, when conditions demand it, sing at least the first two lines of the “Miss America” theme: “There she is, Miss America, there she is, your ideal.” Let’s not dig into what any of that represents right now. Instead, let me pitch the idea that the City of Santa Monica could change those lyrics and strike gold: “There it is, big opportunity…”
The Miss America pageant has been staged in Atlantic City for 84 years. But now, due to ebbing interest and financial woes, the pageant is looking for a new home city. Perhaps one that, like Atlantic City, is on the coast. One located near the epicenter of the entertainment industry. One that can offer the most beautiful women in America their choice of chicken or beef fajitas.
But, you say, the Miss America pageant is old school, retro… out of touch with the role of women in today’s world. So how could it possibly be a fit for Santa Monica?
Santa Monica has a vigorous commitment to recycling. At the heart of recycling is the notion that society’s discards should be used again, not thrown away. The Miss America pageant may not appear to be relevant, but many of the women that compete are just as in step with body issues and eating disorders as any ‘hot’ model, actress, porn star, TV anchor person, workout guru or other female role model coveted and celebrated in Southern California. However, those types are all in it for themselves. Miss America does it for America. Let’s recycle the pageant and bring that generous spirit to Santa Monica!
Talent Will Win Out
Madonna, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Paris Hilton and, years before them, the Gabor sisters… what is it, exactly, that they do? American culture provides careers for scores of young women, and men, who have yet to demonstrate any actual talent. Well, every single contestant in the Miss America pageant must prove she has some kind of talent. Many play the piano very well. Others have real voices and can sing, and several will surprise you with their ventriloquism or juggling of flaming sticks. Santa Monica leads by example in policies on the homeless and hedge height. Let Santa Monica host the Miss America pageant and strike a blow for talent testing. (And, yes, I’d be happy to take a writing test.)
Getting the Message Right
The rumor right now is that the Miss America pageant will set up shop in Nashville, since its new TV host is cable’s Country Music Television, or CMT. Nashville is a fine city, but will the culture of that town ensure that the pageant has a politically correct patina? Santa Monica has no shortage of outspoken volunteers who would be more than happy to guide the Miss America contestants to any books, videos, support groups, alternative health practices or life-altering experiences in the desert they might require in preparing themselves mentally, spiritually, and skin-cleansing-ly. In this particular regard, I dare any other city to beat us!
In Atlantic City, with all the casinos, you go in and come out either a winner or a loser. In Nashville, you either cut a hit single or go back to Nebraska. But in Santa Monica, any of the women who don’t become Miss America would be free to stay and find themselves. Sure, out of 49 there will be at least 30 who become documentary film makers. But the rest are free to discover their true selves. Or to put on some environmental sound CDs, relax, and meditate on that contest ‘thing’ they were in.
This Week’s “Know Your News” Quiz
1) John Bolton surprised UN delegates with
(a) 750 revisions to a reform document.
(b) a karate demonstration.
(c) his version of “The Aristocrats”.
2) Scientists have found a hormone that
(a) grows hair on avocadoes.
(b) might extend human long evity.
(c) grows breasts on trees.
3) The FDA has delayed ruling on
(a) Chocolate Lucky Charms.
(b) Mango “Tang”.
(c) the “morning after” pill.
1) (a) “Okay, one, the paper is wrong…”
2) (b) “Happy 140th, Cher…”3) (c) “But Vioxx is okay…”