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Ralph Greco, Jr.
Since when does anyone’s opinion matter all that much to command such ire from the public, insults from a judge, ousting from a radio network; what the hell ever happened to sticks and stones? Yes, California beauty queen Carrie Prejean’s remarks were seen and heard by a bunch more people then will ever hear our opinion on the subject of gay marriage, yes Imus had a radio show (which I might ad, he has again) and poor ol’ Mel was drunk at the time, but really, aren’t we entitled to our opinions? Isn’t every man woman and child in this land totally free to make a total free and absolute ass of him or herself (if what you feel they say or did does bring them donkey status) and not be vilified, crucified, loose their job over…if what they say, is, their opinion?
I am not defending defamatory speech, but I am defending, in fact I am championing opinion, especially when they deter from public opinion or incite controversy. I like heat, turmoil, the tug-of-war of loud disagreement. I detest towing-the-line, walking-on-egg-shells discourse that leads truly to no discourse at all. I don’t want everyone to agree with me, how boring would the world be if everyone did? In fact, it does the country no good at all if we march blindly into a milk-toast wave of political correctness, which we saw way too much of in the past three decades.
The question of course, at least for me, is: is Miss California under undue scrutiny because of her unpopular remarks-her opinion-about gay marriage given during the question/answer portion at the Miss America pageant on 4/19/09? Is she being tarred-and-feathered because of these remarks, and extra attention given to her semi-nude photos and other behavior supposedly at odds with her contract because she is now a pariah?
We loose the point if we ride a slippery slope. Yes, nude photos-actually failing to notify the pageant of them-which Miss P. posed for way-back-when and speaking out on behalf of organizations opposed to gay marriage both violate the pageant’s contract. But rumors abound over nude photos of these girls all the time, supposedly Miss Rhode Island has a few racy ones herself (though, to be fair, what is there to do in Rhode Island other then take racy pics?) and I wonder, if Miss Prejean spoke at a battered-women-rally, but this said rally was supported by a Christian organization, would there still be an uproar? Wouldn’t the pageant see this as a violation of Prejean’s contract, though not speaking directly about gay marriage but for an organization that, by its very tenant, opposes it? Is it the organization or what the girl is saying? Can’t we stretch intolerance a little bit further so almost anything could be seen as a violation of pageant rules if we truly dislike the girl in question or what she says?
I postulate, nay I state unequivocally, that Prejean came under the scrutiny she did because what she said about gay marriage is unpopular to mainstream, don’t-ever-offend-a-soul media. I champion the pageant’s right to kick Carrie Prejean to the curb if she violated their contract rules as I do Donald Trumps’ right to keep her, which he has. (Trump heads the parent company that owns the pageant and by the same rules which the pageant evoke to get rid of Prejean, ‘the Donald’ gets to have the last say on the matter).
And if Prejean wants to speak publicly in the future about same-sex marriage, she will have to go through the Miss California USA pageant officials. As co-executive director of the California pageant Keith Lewis says, Prejean should answer honestly about her views (that’s pretty big of him!) but pageant officials will help her “fine tune” her response so that it “is accommodating to both parties.” She is their representative after all.
That word ‘accommodating’ scares me witless though. That’s the milk-toast-ing, legislating of language that has been coming down the pike, from both sides of the political spectrum, for decades. It is nothing more then another way to control you and me and control, if you believe it or not, is what all these originations, from religious institutions, to politicians and TV talking-heads, to pageants are about; controlling you so you accept their opinion, ideals and world-view without a dissenting one of your own. Even how you phrase you opinion is now fodder for the mill, as pageant judge Perez Hilton remarked, the man who asked the question about gay marriage in the first place: "The way Miss California answered her question lost her the crown, without a doubt!" The ‘way’ in which you answer? Are we now not only damning what is said but how it is said?
And how can one loose a pageant, job, what-have-you because of an opinion?
The irony shouldn’t be lost on anyone, especially Mr. Hilton here, that protesting the spirited, boob-enhanced (And what’s with that? Who cares if she had her boobs done and how does that counter her Christian values?!) Miss California is about as intolerant as those who have damned his lifestyle so much he feels he ahs to defend it so vehemently
But hey, that’s just my opinion, what do I know?