So I broke down and I watched the Miss Universe pageant.
It just happened to come on while I was finishing my late dinner. I hadn’t planned on it. Suddenly, there are these 77 gorgeous limbs, torsos and faces saying “Miss Denmark,” “Miss U.S.A.,” “Miss Angola,” “Miss India,” etc.
It’s a lot showier than when Bert Parks used to sing:
There she goes–Miss America.
There she goes–my ideal.
It’s also a lot more globalized. Blondes and white skin are quickly sidelined as the contest rolls on. My wife says, “How can anyone choose who is the most beautiful?” I suggest that each of the 77 gets a medal and that’s that.
But we watch anyway. We’re tired from our day of brain-work, and the little I’ve seen this Memorial Day of Brad what’s-his-name emoting about the ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers, or Diane Wiest acting the role of a brave mother sitting in the snow at Arlington cemetery, has convinced me that this particular mindless event has less claim on my pinched heartstrings and will provoke less sense of wallowing in pigs’ dung. (Of course, I’m wrong about this; but more on that later.)
Most of the women make you want to bite your knuckles and cry, how does God make such creatures?
For a moment, you can almost forget the war and the bullshit and the fact that all of this glittering beauty is being brought to you on Memorial Day by one of Capitalism’s major domos —Donald-The-Hair-Jackass-Trump.
Now, this is the first time I’ve seen this contest—or any contest—broadcast from Mexico City. It doesn’t take long to apprehend that all the pomp and glitter are excellent stage-propping for selling Mexico. So, we’re treated to scenes of Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas state—but nothing about Commandante Zero and the struggle of los indios pobres in that same beleaguered territory. There’s Tulum and Cancun in the Yucatan, with the bathing-beauty Universe contestants frolicking in sand and surf, but nothing about "wetbacks" braving the desert badlands, scrounging for work in El Norte.
The stage heats up as scores of beauties are eliminated in a couple of fell swoops. This whole strange affair has started with all 77 dancing in individual enclosed cubicles or cell blocks, kind of like Elvis the Pelvis in “Jailhouse Rock.” But now, after flooding the stage with surfeits of estrogen and feminine pulchritude–observed from various angles and callipygian points of view—we’re down to the last ten.
Wife and I agree that Miss Venezuela is a statuesque goddess such as Praxiteles must have loved. But we’re both dubious the winner could be a Latina two years in a row.
Time limps on and the last five contestants linger nervously as la gente in the Mexican auditorium grows muy descontenta. When it’s clear that Miss Mexico is out of the comp, there’s genuine booing! The hapless hosts of this great charade are looking a little nervous on stage. The crowd is especially miffed at Miss U.S.A.—a cute-enough number with pixyish dimples to die for. The fact that she fell on her ass while sashaying in her evening wear has earned her no sympathy from this audience of Zapatistas! She deserves better, really, but it’s easy to understand how a few hundred years of La Conquista could sour the best of us. So there it is in black and white and color beamed to a billion TV sets all over the world as the former beloved Superpower is personified by a cute little woman being booed for her country’s sickening, noxious policies.
Soon, Miss Japan is crowned Miss Universe—do we really know there are no greater beauties in our galaxy, let alone our universe?—with a $250,000 Mikimoto pearl coronet. Not to take anything away from this bijin from the Land of the Rising Sun, but was the fix in when Mikimoto offered its crown? Or was the fix in when Donald The Hair-Brained determinate that a lot more tourists would come from Japan, flashing their yen, than from China, counting their renminbis? I was musing on this when I caught sight of the Donald sitting behind the judges wearing that beatific expression of arrogance he has down to a—well, what else?—a “T”!
Except, that’s when I got pulled in even deeper because his ears started to grow before my eyes, his nose elongated into a snout, and he started to he-haw!
“Did you hear that?” I asked my wife, but she had fallen asleep from all the excitement.
Soon, the hosts, the judges, the contestants–all were transforming before my eyes and he-hawing!
Terrified, I switched to TiVo to an episode of Oprah which I had missed. Ah, there she was in perfect Oprah mode—warm, cuddly, understanding—in short, the best Billionairess in the world, explaining the merits of a book called “The Secret” and how understanding the “Law of Attraction” had changed her life. It was at that very moment I learned why I had spent years sleeping under bridges and why I had failed at every golden opportunity to buy depressed real-estate and make millions. I hadn’t wanted it enough! I hadn’t visualized hard enough! I was attracting the wrong kind of energy! Oh, how I longed to be more like Oprah!