Waves of ambient heat from the spotlights are burning the skin on his furry forehead. Still, Farfour is glad to have been chosen to judge this year’s Miss America contest, even with all the media controversy. That Miss Palestine was allowed to participate – with the Geneva Conventions as justification - strikes many pundits as an example of blatant tokenism. Some would add that it’s an example of blatant tokenism in bad taste.
That being said, he is only one of the four judges, and the others were all chosen the traditional way – by who they know and how much money they control. Farfour is the first Miss America judge to be appointed using Nevada’s new MAVC law – Minority Advancement Via Culture – approved in a state ballot referendum as Proposition 208. So here he is, standing beside three North American media moguls – trophy brides at their sides, face-lifts ready to explode under the glittering TV lights.
Robert Iger leans over to tell the other judges that Miss North Carolina – a crowd favorite – is about to perform in the talent part of the pageant.
As the notes of Miss Carolina’s brand-name plastic recorder fill the sound studio with the pleasant chords of Pop Goes the Weasel, Farfour wonders if pageant-noob Miss Palestine has remembered to put vaseline on her lips so her smile is as large and natural-looking as the others.
Miss North Carolina’s song is over, so it’s time for her to drop the recorder and put on her thinking cap to answer a question from one of the judges. Her question is about maps and education, and Farfour tunes in near the end, just in time to hear her say, “…could really help America grow!” to thunderous applause from a crowd of retirees and visiting soldiers from Iraq and other recalcitrant colonies.
Now it’s Miss Palestine’s turn.
A performance artist who has studied at the London School of Economics, Fatia Pharoan – twenty-year old Miss Palestine – hopes that her thoughts and talent will compensate for her lack of cosmetic surgery enhancements or blond Aryan hair.
“Tonight, America, I want to talk about cup-holders,” she opens, as she mounts a unicycle suspended on a wire string about 30 meters above the glamorous stage.
As she rides the unicycle across the tightrope juggling flaming model cars, she recites her slam poetry: “America needs cup-holders because we are a bored and dehydrated people. Our cup-holders are never close enough or plentiful enough anymore. Our coffee is never strong enough or close enough not to spill. We are drinking ourselves to death in our glass bubbles….”
As she stops suddenly at the word “bubbles,” she jumps from the tightrope and a small parachute made of Afghan silk opens, softening her landing. Momentarily frozen – as if in pain – Fatia suddenly rises from the stage, smiling and radiant. The performance is over and another success.
“I didn’t like the amateurish bikini wax,” comments Canadian mogul Leonard Asper, as he prepares to give her a 3 out of 10. “Christ, if you’re gonna be on Miss America, you get a decent professional wax job. Know what I mean, mouse?”
“You’ve been judging these contests for a number of years,” Farfour respectfully remarks, as he writes his ’9′ in black felt-tip marker. “Who do you think is going to win?”
“Well,” Leonard scratches his chin, “Miss Kentucky’s got nice lips.”
Tags: beauty pageants, celebrity culture, colonialism, consumer sexism, farfour, hegemony, media concentration, mouse, neoliberalism, palestine, qatzelok, revenge, talentless bimbos, talentless rich people, text