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Miss Teen USA, Mike Tyson, and the sad state of the world

By gndn in Op-Ed
Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 02:20:52 AM EST
Tags: Miss Teen USA, Mike Tyson, The sad state of the world (all tags)

Recently, there's been a bit of a brouhaha in the news about a Miss Teen USA 2007 contestant stumbling over what should have been a simple geography/education question (watch the video in all its schadenfreude glory). This kind of slow news day reporting is not terribly interesting in and of itself, but it got me thinking about Mike Tyson.


About ten years ago, Tyson and Holyfield had a rematch which has since become known simply as the Bite Fight. During the fight, Tyson was losing to Holyfield, and in his frustration, he bit a chunk off of Holyfield's ear. Tyson was disqualified from the fight and fined three million dollars. The fight prompted much outrage from observers who were apparently horrified that Tyson would do something so savage.

But that's the thing - Tyson is a man who is paid to be savage. You can say what you want about boxing, Queensberry rules and all that, but at the end of the day boxing is a cruel, savage, and bloodthirsty sport. I vividly remember being perplexed at the time, not by the fight itself, but by the reaction to the fight. Everyone calling Tyson a monster, a savage. In a real fight, your opponent is under no obligation to respect Queensberry rules, or any other set of rules for that matter. Anything goes - kicking, punching, eye-gouging, throat stomping, crotch attacks, you name it. Humans, when you get right down to it, are vicious, savage animals - we just don't like to admit it. Hence boxing, with all its artificial and completely unrealistic rules. When Tyson deviates from those rules, even if it would have won him the fight in real life, he is chastised for it. The illusion must be maintained.

In the Miss Teen USA incident, here we have a woman whose principal reason for being there is that she's beautiful. Now, humans (particularly males) are sexual creatures, and we do love to objectify our women. Put them on pedestals and argue over which one is prettier, as though there were some way of objectively deciding that. But, BUT - we don't want to admit that, particularly in this modern, politically correct world of ours. So, here comes the illusion - Miss Teen USA is not a mere beauty pageant where the prettiest girl wins, no no no, that would be objectifying women which is doubleplusungood. See, we ask our girls questions about geography and politics and stuff, and base their final grade in part on their responses. However, like the artificial and mostly meaningless rules in boxing, these questions have little bearing on reality. The truth is that women as pretty as these don't need to know about geography or education or current events. But we can't admit that.

The illusion must be maintained.

We watch boxing, but no no no we aren't bloodthirsty, because the fighters aren't allowed to do certain things. We put women on parade in glorified beauty pageants, but no no no we aren't objectifying them because look, we ask them questions about geography.

In short, the people who are laughing at this girl because she couldn't answer a question about the state of affairs regarding the education system in America perplex me to the same degree as the people who called Mike Tyson a savage after he bit Holyfield's ear. It makes no sense to me. I wouldn't expect a beauty pageant contestant to have a high IQ (although if she does, bonus) any more than I would expect civilized behaviour out of a man who has spent the better part of his life training to beat the crap out of people.

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Poll
Miss Teen USA / Mike Tyson super-poll
o You are sexist for assuming that beauty pageant contestants are dumb 14%
o Although, I sure as hell wouldn't kick that Miss Carolina out of bed 59%
o I don't think beauty pageants objectify women (as long as we ask them inane general knowledge questions) 4%
o I think beauty pageants DO objectify women, whether or not we ask them inane general knowledge questions 65%
o I think beauty pageants are antiquated and have no place in modern society 36%
o I love beauty pageants because they feature hot chicks 40%
o I love beauty pageants because they showcase sophisticated, wordly young women 10%
o You are an idiot for implying that Mike Tyson's ear bite was not that far out of character for a boxer 21%
o Although, if I found myself in a real-life fight, I'd probably do whatever I had to in order to win (including biting if necessary) 70%
o I don't think boxing is a bloodthirsty sport (as long as we enforce certain artificial rules of conduct for the fighters) 12%
o I think boxing IS a bloodthirsty sport, whether or not we have artificial rules of conduct for the fighters 57%
o I think boxing is an antiquated sport and it has no place in modern society 23%
o I love boxing because of the violence 10%
o I love boxing because it's an intricate showcase of strategy and technique, two men at the peak of physical perfection in a contest of wills 14%
o Boxing is gay, mma is where it's at 31%

Votes: 47
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o brouhaha
o schadenfre ude glory
o Bite Fight
o outrage
o Queensberr y rules
o Miss Teen USA
o Also by gndn


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Miss Teen USA, Mike Tyson, and the sad state of the world | 39 comments (32 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
I would have crumbled like cake (3.00 / 6) (#2)
by Kingmaker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:45:02 PM EST

Damn, hundreds or thousands in the audience and millions of people watching on TV? I'd be toast. No matter what my IQ.

zzz (2.00 / 2) (#3)
by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:48:59 PM EST

people are hypocrites


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Reader's Digest Material -1 {nt} (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by sausalito on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:53:02 PM EST


_____________

GBH - "The whole point is that the App Store acts as a firewall between busy soccer moms and goatse links"

beauty has a short shelf life (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by khallow on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:21:58 PM EST

The truth is that women as pretty as these don't need to know about geography or education or current events. But we can't admit that.

So she's going to stay that beautiful her whole life?

I wouldn't expect a beauty pageant contestant to have a high IQ (although if she does, bonus) any more than I would expect civilized behaviour out of a man who has spent the better part of his life training to beat the crap out of people.

That's a shallow observation with Tyson. He trained many years for boxing, knew the rules in and out, and had tremendous opportunity over the years. There is no excuse. You don't expect experienced professionals operating in their area of expertise, whether it be boxing or some other field like medical research to blatantly and publically violate the more important rules of their profession.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

no need (none / 0) (#34)
by Cruel Elevator on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 11:27:26 PM EST

So she's going to stay that beautiful her whole life?

No dude, they keep coming! 3 years of shelf-life is just about OK for a chick. There's enough of them to go around unless people get other ideas.

[ Parent ]

Stop looking at Ms Teen USA (2.60 / 5) (#9)
by GhostOfTiber on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:37:32 PM EST

and start looking at your wife.  Paedobear DOES NOT APPROVE.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

Actually, she did give a valid answer (none / 1) (#11)
by b1t r0t on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:13:17 PM EST

...an answer by example of what's wrong with kids today... too many of them are airheads who care more about crap like beauty contests than about stuff going on in the real world. (and by "real world", I don't even mean stuff as gritty as Iran/Iraq, just going to work every day without being a total idiot)

As for Mike Tyson, I hear he thinks Evander Holyfield's ears are delicious.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.

The illusion must be maintained. (2.25 / 4) (#12)
by white light on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:51:48 PM EST

If by illusion you mean this piece is more than pop-psychology 101 analysis, success has been achieved.


..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
+1 FP mentions ear biting (1.50 / 1) (#13)
by Troll Hard on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:19:10 PM EST

although I had hoped that one of the Miss Teen Universe Candidates had bitten one of the other Candidate's ears off or something.

I mean, yeah, Miss Teen Universe Candidates didn't spend a lot of time studying books and reading up on stuff they consider to be trivial like Geography, Math, Logic, etc. They instead spent 17 years on how to look pretty, how to walk with a wiggle and still balance a book on their head, how to look good in a bikini, how to look good in a dress, etc.

I'll bet there was no MENSA teenagers in that Miss Teenage Universe pageant, because the Teenage MENSA females are too fat from sitting on their butts from learning important stuff instead of trying to learn how to be pretty.

--------
Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! Mind over Matter Fringe Science for the win!

intelligence is positively correlated with beauty (none / 0) (#20)
by Kingmaker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:46:11 AM EST

nt

[ Parent ]
O RLY? (none / 1) (#21)
by Sgt York on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:30:29 PM EST

O R L Y ?

And BTW, those are just the first 5 people I could think of that are commonly considered "geniuses" of some sort.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

I've got you pegged (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Kingmaker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:07:01 PM EST

you must be a)ugly and b)think you're smart.

look at up my niggah dawg

Again, the authors cite evidence to show this is true. Several studies have found that smarter men and women are also more attractive than other people -- including one study showing that better-looking West Point cadets were more successful, as measured by class rank, during their years at the academy than their less comely classmates.



[ Parent ]
Naw (none / 1) (#26)
by Sgt York on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 02:52:44 PM EST

I'm ugly and think I've got most people fooled into thinking I'm smart.

Oh, and ROFL at quoting the Washington Post for science. Journal or STFU.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Galileo is hawt. % (none / 1) (#35)
by Joe Sixpack on Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 02:25:21 PM EST


---
[ MONKEY STEALS THE PEACH ]
[ Parent ]

Hawking is hawt. (none / 0) (#38)
by Russell Dovey on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 11:30:56 AM EST

It's the robot voice that does it.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

+1, while it's been said many times before (1.50 / 2) (#14)
by LilDebbie on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:31:40 PM EST

you said it well.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Maybe she was just nervous nt (none / 1) (#15)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:25:36 AM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Right (none / 0) (#16)
by gndn on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:41:51 AM EST

but as with the Tyson thing, it's not the incident itself that I find interesting, but the general reaction to it.

[ Parent ]
That's what I thought at first... (none / 1) (#36)
by Smokin Juan on Tue Sep 04, 2007 at 08:39:23 AM EST

Then the Today Show had her on as a guest. It didn't really help much, but once again I thought, "she's probably just nervous." Then I punched myself in the crotch for giving her a free pass on her looks. After the pain subsided I concluded that she's only seventeen and people aren't really supposed to mature until they're, what, thirty-two? My goal today is to punch every person I see square in the crotch whilst exclaiming, "you fucking breeder!"

[ Parent ]
Today show gave her a chance to explain herself? (none / 0) (#39)
by geoswan on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 10:38:02 PM EST

So, what was she trying to say?

I sure couldn't explain why Americans suck at Geography. It is something I have a knack for myself.

[ Parent ]

Your argument is stupid (3.00 / 6) (#17)
by lonelyhobo on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 02:16:49 AM EST

“these things are close enough to those other things that they are these other things”

Boxing is far less savage and cruel than plain old fucking life.  By plainly misusing language and logic you’ve basically taken issues which are complex and boiled them down into a retarded black and white issue.  

This isn’t an issue of people being surprised at the qualities of the people they watch on tv, it’s people being utterly surprised and amused about people spectacularly failing at what they do for a profession.  Yes, Miss Teen USA contestants are fucking stupid, but they train and drill to answer these bullshit questions with coherent bullshit answers.  Yes, Boxers are aggressive, but to be in the big leagues they have to understand and abide by the rules many, many fucking times over.

Your reaction to other people’s reaction signals to me that you’re a smug self-important shitbag who likes to exclude himself from the rest of society by passing judgment on them.  And with that, both of us can join the ranks of the average fucking hypocrite.

ps (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by lonelyhobo on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 02:17:43 AM EST

for fucks sake, why is K5 voting this jingoistic unsubstantiated garbage up

[ Parent ]
Because It Entertains (2.33 / 3) (#19)
by virg on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:24:54 AM EST

An article doesn't have to be right to get votes. If it did, cts would be out of a job.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
What reactions? (none / 0) (#29)
by Kasreyn on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 01:22:56 AM EST

He's barely said anything in reply here.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
I was unclear (none / 0) (#30)
by lonelyhobo on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 01:35:26 AM EST

i was talking about the way he reacted to his perception of the way everyone reacted to the tyson/beauty pageant incidents

[ Parent ]
OMFG (3.00 / 4) (#22)
by Sgt York on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:39:35 PM EST

HE FIGURED IT ALL OUT! NOW BOXING AND ALL BEAUTY PAGEANTS ARE DOOMED!

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

And here I was, surprised that someone didn't know that birds were considered part of the reptile family.

Are there people over the age of 12 that actually don't know this? The "wink-wink-nudge-nudge" at the Miss Congeniality prize wasn't enough for you?

Mike Tyson was shocking because he showed an absolutely shocking lack of self control. Yes, boxing is a brutal sport. But it was still shocking to see someone cross the line when the line in that case was drawn so far away from commonly accepted behavior. You've got THAT much leeway and you STILL manage to break the rules? Holy SHIT.

Miss SC was just funny. I don't care if it had been a cut from Jay Leno's ask the guy on the street something segment, it would still be funny.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Birds = Reptiles (none / 0) (#32)
by ShiftyStoner on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 11:45:25 AM EST

Birds are not considered as part of the reptile family by me. This was news to me, I'll take your word for it that crackpot scientist believe and preach this shit though. Because I don't care.

I'll even throw in an uneducated guess that this jackass "fact" stems from the fact that Dinosaurs are part of both families. Whoever is feeding you is still confused. Or, it's just you.

   
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]

IAWTP (none / 0) (#33)
by Sgt York on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 02:29:51 AM EST

Opinion is all that matters. Facts are annoying. We should just get rid of them.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Boxing and savagery (none / 0) (#27)
by Scrymarch on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 08:52:03 PM EST

The whole point of boxing is that it is contained, structured by society disciplined by individual will. It allows an outlet for the savage natures of the contestants and spectators without bringing down the things we value in our non-savage moments.

It's the Montreal Quebec Police Facists' fault (none / 0) (#28)
by nlscb on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:38:28 PM EST

They are trying to brainwash the masses so that we will allow George W. Bush to force feed us more of the corporate poutine and smoked meat sandwiches as we dull our brains with imperialist hockey.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

Boxing & Beauty (none / 1) (#31)
by ShiftyStoner on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 11:32:39 AM EST

The rules of boxing aren't pointless. They are there to fill a time slot and get the people what they paid for, a time slot.

Boxing isn't about knockouts anymore. It's a sport. We love cocky savages who can knock people out despite all the rules and risk. But as a sport it's more a grueling test of physical limits.

In a fight you can pull a gun out and blow the other guy away. Or stab him. Boxing isn't fighting it's an institutionalized multi billion dollar corporate gimmick.

In a fight Tyson in his youth could have killed you with a punch to the face. Literally smashed your brain into the back of your skull with his fists.

Beauty pageants are about money to, but mostly they are about bragging rights. The bragging rights of a country state or city. Who can produce the best female specimen.

I say female specimen to put in terms you can understand. You obviously have no appreciation for intelligence values or wisdom in the opposite sex.

Who watches that crap anyways? If you want outright primal stimulation porn is everywhere. If you want the really important questions answered by lustable woman try hustler.

         
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

bah. speak for yourself (none / 1) (#37)
by jubal3 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:25:39 PM EST

We watch boxing, but no no no we aren't bloodthirsty, because the fighters aren't allowed to do certain things. We put women on parade in glorified beauty pageants, but no no no we aren't objectifying them because look, we ask them questions about geography.
I don't watch boxing, it's barbaric and artificial barbarity at that. I don't watch beauty pagents, because they are vapid.....If I want porn I'll watch porn thanks.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
Miss Teen USA, Mike Tyson, and the sad state of the world | 39 comments (32 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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