Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

08 September 2011

Toddlers, Tiaras, and 9/11

Well, I'll tell ya' what --
Even though I,
as a 437 year old woman,
was born during the Renaissance,
right now, I feel
like I was born in the Dark Ages.

while I was looking for the Public Television Channel,
I stumbled onto another channel instead --

Now, I have to tell you --
I don't watch my television much.
People who watch TV a lot
know where their PBS Channel is,
especially if it's what they want to watch,
and they also know where TLC is,
and they probably know what their programming is like.

I know neither because, well,
I don't watch TV.  Instead I practice
this rather arcane past-time called reading
and I write a hell of a lot;
when I do watch TV, I always have to look
for the right channels,
and I sometimes end up watching something
I never intended to watch,
simply because it's so stunning -- sometimes stunningly awe-ful --

Tonight I was looking for a show 9/11 and faith & doubt on PBS, 
and instead, I came upon 

Now I realize most of the television-watching world
knows about this show,
and I know
some of the members of the television-watching world
actually thin that beauty pageants are good
for four year olds.

But honestly,
dear Pageant Mom,
if you've come upon my blog,
and you if you think I'm going to applaud you,
you'd better find another blog to read
right now.
Because I'm going to make you kind of angry.

I cannot, under any circumstances
applaud this:

I can only be appalled by it.

When I started to watch it,
or several minutes, I thought it was a news program like 60 Minutes
covering some scandalous crime against children,
and then, when I started looking for more about the topic on YouTube,
I realized that I was watching an actual TV show about children's pageants,
that has been on for years.  It's a show with followers,
and some of the girls on the show
have become stars.

The more episodes of this I watched,
the more I decided the creators of this program are brilliant,
in a very sick way.  They are pulling a two-way scam
designed to manipulate the minds of a vast number of viewers with only one goal in mind:
to make money.

First, they've creating a show where parents who think
that it would be just grand
to have a child in a pageant,
can watch and affirm that what they want 
is just a fine family past-time:

while at the same time this is a show 
for folks to rip apart; 
it's a show for parents who need to convince themselves 
that even though they really have made mistakes as parents
they are not that bad;
after all, they would never do that:  

In some cases,
the actions of the parents are so outrageous,
that I can't help but wonder if they're acting from a script.
No one could do anything like this
if they really cared about their children --

Furthermore, the show has created a totally new subject for talk television ~ ~

~ ~ ~ and honestly, it doesn't take a great intellect,
it doesn't even take additional reading,
to agree that these parents are abusing their children.

It's a fabulous way, in the end, to entertain a large part
of the American population,
without asking them to think too hard.
And people obviously do watch it, every week.

And meanwhile,
some of us commemorate 9/11,
and we continue to wonder
how it could have happened to us,

It was easy -- the USA was looking the other way,
when it was attacked 10 years ago.

And it still is.

We need to see and remember;
we need to know the true reasons it happened,
and we truly do need to educate our vast population
that continues
to look the other way.

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I think the pageant scene is child abuse, pure and simple. I pity those kids for the awful lessons and values they're learning.

PENolan said...

Speaking as a preschool teacher: