i am back with great news. mayuko, my english speech contest trainee, just won her regional speech contest, which means we get to go to the prefectural speech context in tokushima city next wednesday! this is exciting, because if she wins the prefectural contest, the national contest is held in tokyo, and nobody from this area has ever made it this far, so she has a shot. there were 13 other contestants, and 2 get to go to tokushima city. mayuko's pronounciation was as close to perfect as possible for a native japanese speaker. the content of her speech, an interesting essay on the origin of names and appreciation of your own name, helped as well. i was sure she was going to win from the moment she finished her speech, and even though a lot of the other speeches were quite good, the students' pronounciation was no where near mayuko's. so i am very happy, and all of that hard work, endless repetition, and english practice paid off!
in other news, have you heard about all of these "outburts" in the news recently? first was joe wilson's shameful "you lie" scream at president obama during obama's nationally televised address to congress on health care, and then serena williams exploded at a line judge over a terrible call and dropped out of a big tennis tournament, basically giving the victory to her opponent. now we have kanye west, who's job it is to be a "jackass" (president obama's words) stealing the mic from MTV VMA winner taylor swift, and hastily suggesting "ima let you finish, but beyonce had one of the best videos of all time". it does kind of not make sense that you can lose best female video and then win best video of the year, like beyonce did, but kanye was the definition of rude for ruining swift's moment. which brings me to my thesis, and the point of why i am mentioning all of this trashy, pop culture nonsense.
it's pretty clear to me that all three events were staged, and that all three were carried out along pretty distinct lines of racial hatred. first, joe wilson was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the health insurance industry, and egged on by his supporters at the awful, low brow town hall meetings, to let obama know how he felt about the legislation. it doesnt matter that wilson was wrong, because his goal was to get a rise out of obama, which he luckily didnt. there was a camera fixed on wilson the moment he had his "spontaneous outburst", catching his mouth wide open and his finger up, which is suspicious because the photographer was not from south carolina, and nobody knew who wilson was before this. so in a sense, this "outburst" wasn't the planned feature, the idea was to rattle obama and get him to perform his own outburst. joe wilson is a long time notorious racist, and of course thats enough reason for him to talk back to a black president.
things went more smoothly in the case of serena williams, who got a fault called on her by a tiny asian line judge for no reason, giving her opponent the point. the judge either wasnt paying attention or was paid off, and i dont know any other way to explain how the judge heard "im going to kill you" when serena only said "i'm going to shove this **** tennis ball up your ***." like that would kill you. i find myself wondering why serena didnt think that the racket would be a more efficient thing to shove, but that's beside the point. serena should have won the tournament, but decided to quit, citing that she couldn't play with blind/corrupt judges on the court. its harder to make the case of staging for this one, but the announcer had it right when he said "you just can't call that".
lastly, kanye's faux personality has always been about stupid outbursts, egocentric nonsense, and then the followup apologia. gawker has an ok article about the possibility of the most recent one being staged, which is almost worth reading. i cant imagine kanye being granted access to the stage, being given swift's microphone by her without hesitation, and that they already had a camera fixed on beyonce for her reaction without kanye being paid by some producer to make an ass of himself at someone's expense, so people would care and notice that MTV still exists, and so people would watch the jay leno premiere the next night, where kanye just happened to be already scheduled to perform and also go to have a nice dr. phil style sit down with leno, lamenting his own actions.
so we have:
white man is openly paid to interrupts black, doesn't get a response
asian girl is either paid to or blindly makes terrible call on black tennis player, gets a large, intimidated response, which is exaggerated, which causes tennis player to quit
and black man interrupts white girl during her award acceptance speech, claims she should not have won, shrugs and returns the mic to a stunned white girl
it's a trilogy, folks. it always happens like this. what's very sad is that the pop culture moments everyone cares about are not even legitimate happenings anymore, they have to be staged phoney events that take on the guise of reality, even though they wouldn't be any more pertinent to our daily lives if they were legitimate, spontaneous happenings.
but still, if mayuko hadn't won today's speech contest, i would have grabbed the mic and said "ima let you finish, but mayuko had the best speech of all time"...
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