Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miss Teen South Carolina Wants to Thank Biff, Sally and Barf, From the Bottom of Her Heart

The nice thing about being on the road is getting to watch the morning shows.

I am not making that up.

After all, when I’m home—what with dogs to walk and cats to feed and newspapers scattered across the lawn by the delivery guy who drives 80 miles an hour down the street, swerving from one curb to the other like one of those getaway drivers on Bad Boys and tossing out at each swerve a clump of papers held together by nothing more than slim rubber bands that burst on impact—I never get a chance to turn on the television, flip through the perky morning news shows and find out exactly what’s happening in the world that I need to know in order to get through the day.

Thanks to being on the road, however, with no dogs or cats to feed and no newspapers to reassemble, I can find out just what I’ve been missing by tuning into the local Morning Show, with cheery hosts Biff and Sally and Barf all sitting on sofas for some strange reason.

Does anybody sit on sofas any more except people on television?

In any event, what I’ve been missing, according to Biff and Sally and Barf—and I am not making this up—is a “gaffe” that occurred at a recent beauty pageant, when Miss Teen South Carolina had a hard time answering a question.

That's right: that was the lead story.

Seems that when Miss Teen South Carolina was asked why Americans are so stupid they can’t locate the United States on a map, the poor girl said, and I quote from one of the 600 billion blogs that have been written about this important news story:

I personally believe that U.S. [sic] Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the US should help the US, er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.

And that’s what I’ve been missing, according to Biff and Sally and Barf.

Now, "Miss Teen South Carolina" is, by definition, a teenager. Also, she was on a stage, presumably, in front of an audience.

With television cameras running.

And I don’t know many teenagers who could express a more intelligent answer to the question of why Americans are so stupid they can’t locate their own country on a map than what Miss Teen South Carolina came up with, on a stage, in front of an audience, with television cameras running.

If she'd been running for office, say, or had already been elected to office—now, that might be news.

On the other hand, if she was a former Vice President named Dan Quayle, Biff and Sally and Barf might not have noticed, for Quayle frequently gave incoherent responses to similarly simple questions, as with this gem:

What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

Do we really expect more of our teenagers than we do our Vice Presidents?

Nevertheless, based on my brief, channel-flipping exercise before heading out to get some work done today, the morning shows actually serve a higher purpose than some might suspect.

That’s right, I said “higher purpose.”

And that higher purpose is this: by bringing into our homes each day a set of talking make-up dolls named Biff, Sally and Barf—whose lives are clearly so empty and devoid of meaning that you actually find yourself feeling sorry for them, trapped on that sofa as they are, with a video of the incoherent Miss Teen South Carolina running on big screens all around them—the shows prove that no matter how depressed you are by your lot in life at that particular moment, and no matter what self-destructive thoughts may be passing through your mind at that particular moment, and no matter how much you want to swap lives with somebody else at that particular moment…there are at least three other people on earth whose lives are even less meaningful at that particular moment than yours.

And they are sitting on a sofa together.

In fact, I have no doubt that right now, as you read this, Miss Teen South Carolina is watching her local morning news program with a thankful tear in her eye and a grateful lump in her throat.

And she wants to say, from the bottom of her heart,

“Thank you, Biff, Sally and Barf!”

She’s feeling a hell of a lot better about herself already.

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

© 2007 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


antlord said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I was sent a link to the video from a friend and after I watched it I thought to myself that at least the first part of her answer was quite clever. People can't find the US on a map because they don't have maps and perhaps have never seen one. She felt compelled to give a longer answer and that was her downfall.

Idaho_Spud said...

We as a nation are screwed. The *news* has been co-opted by Donahue, Oprah and Springer.

Edward R. Murrow v. Katie Couric. Nuff said.

reevj said...

The level of inane nonsense that passes for what's seemingly important with many of our citizens in this country has reached a level I would have thought unimaginable. And it seems to be ascending even higher peaks. One needs to have a hell of a sense of humor nowadays I remind myself when I often forget and get caught up in the stupidity all around.

whydibuy said...

Yeah, my daytime tv epiphany came way back when the flu caused me to miss work for the first time in about 6 years. Flipping through the channels, I happened apon a talk show that had apparently developed into an onstage melee with people attacking each other physically. I thought " wow, this'll make the news tonight ". Then I find out it happens nearly everyday on this show. It was the Jerry Springer show.

Bruce said...


here's the 'do-over'

jimmy105 said...

I wouldn't mind trading brains with that little dimwit. At this point in our countries history the saying "ignorance is bliss" has arguably never been truer.

lexis said...

Actually, this has even become "news" in Germany...

http:// www.spiegel.de/panorama/leute/0,1518,502480,00.html

lexis said...

Actually, this has even become "news" in Germany...

http:// www.spiegel.de/panorama/leute/0,1518,502480,00.html

Mark said...

>>...a set of talking make-up dolls named Biff, Sally and Barf—whose lives are clearly so empty and devoid of meaning that you actually find yourself feeling sorry for them...<<

Hey, assuming "Biff, Sally and Barf" are on a network, they're probably making high six-figure money (if not more than that) for four or five hours of work a day, and the rest of the time-- due to their TV recognition-- are snagging multiple dates with great-looking members of the opposite-- or, perhaps for some of them, same-- sex, scoring hot tables at restaurants, and hanging out in the gym... If I were them, I'd be "feeling sorry" for the real world!

Sarah said...

The answer to why a pretty, blond, teen-age girl's on-stage incoherence is more 'news' than Dan Quayle's or George Bush's similar garble is pretty obvious: Making fun of pretty, blond, teen-age girls is, well, fun-- even for people like me, who have no particular beef with pretty, blond girls.

Making fun of adult men who have years of speaking experience, the best speech writers money can buy, and hold the most powerful positions in the world... Well, it's damn hard to do. I mean, kudos to Jon Stewart for managing it, but for most of us, if we tried it would induce a fear paralysis that would leave us incapable of carrying on our daily lives.

I mean, consider this gem:
"Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those — changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be — or closer delivered to what has been promised."

Are you laughing? Okay, how about when I remind you that that was Bush's 'plan' for privatizing Social Security, and it almost passed?

Nope, thinking about this too long will make you want to go hide out in an off-the-grid cabin someplace f-a-a-a-r away. Not exactly what the sponsors of morning shows have in mind when they plunk down their advertising megabucks.

On the other hand, if I were a lot younger I might be looking at that pretty blond girl and thinking, "Damn she's cute... Maybe I should I should rethink my position on hair dye..."

Sam E. Antar said...

What makes America great is the fundamental right of every citizen to be stupid.

Am I making this up?


Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO & convicted felon)

Jake said...

Doesn't it mean something that Quayle is now a big shot at Cerberus?

Dharma said...

Well there's a lot going on in beauty pageant's such as Miss Teen USA. Although it's a shame for her to miss such a question, the important thing is, she probably did her best because there was sense in the first sentences of her answers. I guess it was the pressure being in a big crowd that made her mind go blank. She can just work on that and trying to be more educated on current events wouldn't hurt either. Adults make mistakes, much more with teens.

Dharma, Turning Winds said...

I guess it's alright to make mistakes that we can all learn from and never do again.