Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Are all incidents of racism so bad?

A lot of negative feedback is made against expatriates or residents of a country. in these instances its worth reflecting on who is the racist. Often you will have a foreigner making a statement about a country or its people, and some local citizen labelling them a racist because they have passed a negative judgement.

It is most often the proud nationalist that is the racist, more so than the person who makes a positive statement which is regarded as a 'generalisation' out of context. Logic is afterall based on generalisation and differentiation. Its natural to make generalisations when engaging in a discussion of culture and its behavioural traits. Only is blatant dogmatism inappropriate.
Andrew Sheldon

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Miss Universe 2008 - Australia will win

Recently my GF texted me a link to the Miss Universe 2008 Pageant- see
Who can resist a peak at the best looking girls from around the world. Well what I think is interesting about such a pageant is the possibility for the contestants to be representative of the people, since they would have won contests or pageants in their own country, which means a lot of people in their own country would think that they are beautiful and that their values embodied theirs. Its not a perfect measure of course because people can only judge based on the judges questions and maybe they had a poor choice to start with, particularly for the smaller countries.

Anyway based on my assessment of the contestant videos presented on the website, I judged the following to be the best three. You might think that I am biased because I am Australian, but actually I do not tend to identify much with Australia, and tend to think this girl (nor I) are typical. By far she was better than the other candidates. Miss Jamaica was great too, but stuffed up on her ethical values, even though I liked that she engaged with people that way. Colombia was only slightly better than the other runner-ups.

1. Miss Australia: Attractive, smart, positive, assertive, sincere, goal-orientated
2. Miss Jamaica: Smart, masculine, positive, assertive, analytical, honest, altuistic
3. Colombia: She was genuine, cute, fairly attractive. Not intellectually strong though.
Other runner-ups were
4A. Miss India: Not attractive, but smart, goal-driven, pretentious, emotive
4B: Nigeria: This women is very attractive, but lacks depth
4C. Norway: Positive, attractive, warm, but superficial.
4D: Guam: Smart, cute, positive, sincere, emotive, not great looking, but ok. Short.
4E. Trinidad: Sincere, fairly attractive, warm, superficial.
4F. Dominican Republic: Not great looking, positive, sincere, uninteresting
4G: Mauritius: Very attractive, positive, superficial
4H. Panama: No English, but warm and friendly. Confident.

I have not ranked the others but here are the reasons why they did not measure up:
1. Bahamas: Warm, superficial, not deliberate, sincere
2. Albania: Attractive, ok English. The morbid accent, superficial. She 'would like to be the cherry on the cake'.
3. Angola: No English
4. Antigua: Superficial, pleasant, not special
5. Argentina: No English
6. Aruba: Not deliberate, superficial, emotive, 'she bites her nails'
7. Belgium: Superficial, vague, tragic
8. Bolivia: Superficial, grounded, masculine
9. Brazil: No English, ugly
10. Canada: Superficial, ditzy, plastic, uninteresting
11. Cayman Islands: Very positive, masculine, superficial, but nice genuine girl
12. China: Superficial, materialistic, pretentious, spiritual, cold
13. Costa Rica: Superficial, attractive, but not interesting
14. Croatia: Tragic, healthy, superficial
15. Curacao: Too young, uninteresting, cute
16. Cyprus: Masculine, tragic, superficial
17. Czech Republic: Superficial, vague, uninteresting, though fairly attractive
18. Denmark:Attractive, superficial, not goal-orientated, uninteresting
19. Ecuador: Attractive, vague, superficial
20. Egypt: Superficial, insecure, emotive - but perfect if you are a manipulative man
21. El Salvador: Hate the hair style, not interesting, not attractive, superficial
22. Estonia: Workers Party hairstyle, cute in a stern way, sincere, not interesting
23. Finland: Panic attack candidate, superficial, emotive, materialistic
24. France: Good to see a French person speaking English, vague, superficial, attractive, but she will age badly. Too self-indulgent.
25. Georgia: Terrible mouth & teeth, uninteresting, superficial
26. Germany: Attractive, superficial, uninteresting, cute
27. Ghana: Unattractive, cute, positive, pity about the face, otherwise ok.
28. Greece: No English, no presence.
29. Guatemala: No sincere, plastic face, no English
30. Honduras: Ugly. No English.
31. Hungary: Uninteresting, superficial.
32. Indonesia: She looks great, though softly spoken, sincere, grounded, anxious, insecure
33. Ireland: Ditzy, emotive, superficial, uninteresting, too young
34. Israel: Pretentious, superficial, not so attractive
35. Italy: Not attractive, ditzy, uninteresting, poor English
36. Japan: Not attractive, well-spoken, little English
37. Kazakhstan: Attractive, uninteresting, insecure, too young
38. Korea: Attractive, sincere, positive, uninteresting, childish
39. Kosovo: Too young, ditzy, uninteresting
40. Malaysia: Smart, bitchy, demanding, spoilt, superficial, pretentious. Miss Ugly.
41. Mexico: Attractive, superficial, sincere, young
42. Montenegro: Pleasant, sincere, grounded, masculine face
43. Netherlands: Weird body twitches, boring, uninteresting
44. New Zealand: Boring, traditional, colonialist. Uninteresting - very 1950s.
45. Nicaragua: No English
46. Paraquay: Not attractive, no English, buck teeth.
47. Peru: Friendly, no English, confident.
48. Philippines: Superficial, materialistic, uninteresting.
49. Poland: Boring, unattractive
50. Puerto Rico: Ok looking, smart, positive, warm, a bit of a sentimentalist (emotive), uninteresting
51. Russia: Warm, smart, but not so nice voice, uninteresting
52. Serbia: Not attractive, cute, superficial, too young
53. Singapore: Warm, ok looking, superficial
54. Slovak Republic: Tragic, superficial
54. Slovenia: Superficial, positive, not so attractive
55. South Africa: Not smart, superficial, not goal-orientated
56. Spain: Warm, superficial, emotive, not goal-orientated
57. Sri Lanka: Attractive smile, superficial, not assertive
58. Switzerland: Not attractive, warm, superficial.
59. Tanzania: Not very attractive, superficial, too young
60. Thailand: Attractive, well-spoken, no English.
61. Turkey: Superficial, too young, not very warm, poor English
62. Turks & Caicos: Smart, not very attractive, boring
63. United Kingdom: Superficial, too young, materialistics
64. Ukraine: Ugly, has a square head.
65. Uruguay: Attractive, not sincere, no English.
66. United States: Insular, not very attractive, superficial
67. Venezuela: Attractive, warm, superficial, uninteresting, too young
68. Vietnam: Poor English, not very attractive

Some candidates did not even speak English, so of course they get considered. If you want to be Miss Universe you have to speak English. Duh! International language. Maybe some figure they will be more real in their own language. The Spanish candidates suffer most from this. The other problem was that a lot of the candidates are too young. Not likely to be interesting unless you are over 25yo, and then some.

Andrew Sheldon