Last night, we recorded a podcast on pageants with Michelle Vlach-Ing, co-founder of Miss Asian Oregon, and Christina Fa, activist from California. Download it here, or hear it below:
It is 22.8 mB, 49:55 long. I was able to do a direct transfer to mp3 from GarageBand, so this time I won the battle of Mac Powerbook vs. Byron. The pageant is just two days away, and we wanted to get this up fast, so I didn’t get a chance to edit much. It’s almost raw footage. As always, thanks to Instant Conference for use of their recording platform.
I’ll let the podcast speak for itself, but I do have a few comments (as usual!):
1. I’m obviously biased, and so we didn’t get an unbiased moderator. (I tried to be unbiased, but…well, you’ll hear it.) Plus, we planned this whole thing only a few days ago. Thanks to Christina for dealing with our quick production, biased moderator, and amateur setup!
2. In the course of the podcast, Christina mentioned that it was unclear whether Frank Chin supported our pageant. It occurred to me afterwards that she wasn’t copied on all of the correspondence, and after going back and reading his e-mails, he was even more pro-pageant than I originally remembered. It was Frank’s idea to create two events on two different days, so with Frank Chin’s permission, here is an excerpt from that e-mail:
Please don’t mount opposing . Combine the pageant and Curtis’s film casting a critical Chinese-American eye on the American concept of feminine beauty.
A series 9th century opera beauties painted on the insides of glass to make their skin glow with the light of life. Posters of similar beautiful women posing with soap, or a pack of cigarettes, or a cigarette show there were talented and beautifulwomen in China aware of their short time with beauty just like women here.
This the first ChineseAmerican Beauty Pageant in Oregon. You know there were others before 2009. Irene Tsu was declared Miss Chinatown USA of 1960(?) The 60’s of , Nobu McCarthy, and Jerry Lewis in GASHA BOY, Miyoshi Umecki the SAYONARA girl with Marlon Brando. in SOUTH PACIFIC, Lisa Lu with James Stewart in THE MOUNTAIN ROAD
The use of beauty is an animal thing. The last lines of the BALLAD OF MULAN: Two rabbits hop side by side/Who can tell who the he and who the she?”The move against a natural, and instinctive behavior is a religious question. There is nothing immoral about a beauty pageant. Oregon knows that their beauty driving the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker to go beyond licking the chops is beauty beyond the law.
Please! It’s in nobody’s interest to shut down the pageant.
3. The point that I wanted to make (and I think I did say it somewhat) is that we’re not all the same. Some people like to be visible; some don’t. It goes back to that whole geeks/jocks dichotomy that we discussed before. People take on different roles in society, and this pageant just happens to focus on intelligent women who have presentation skills. It doesn’t imply that women without presentation skills are less important or intelligent; it just happens to focus on those who have it.
I for one could never do politics. I’m not jockish enough, and my own presentation skills are so-so. But does that mean that jockish politicians are bad? If politicians speak while writers write, does that mean that politicians are somehow superficial or lacking or inferior? Essay writing contests, spelling bees, music competitions are great, and they help create a platform for people who write essays, know how to spell, or know how to make music. This is a competition for young women who know how to speak, walk, create a presence, and stand behind issues that they feel strongly about, skills that are necessary in virtually any career that requires visibility.
Anyway, enjoy the podcast, and as usual, sound off like a WOWO below.