Here She Is, Miss Neurobiology

Joe takes a swing at the pageant industry


Hey Joe: Are you alarmed that the recently crowned Miss Missouri, Hazelwood resident Lindsay Casmaer, is an Ivy League graduate with a degree in neurobiology and works as a Washington University researcher? What gives — pageants are suddenly smarting up?

Kathie Lee Gifford, Greenwich, Connecticut

I'm glad you brought this to my attention. I applaud Casmaer. Proving there is more to her than just a body is refreshing. I applaud you also for paying such close attention. Since American Idol, all sorts of similarities have surfaced, and the judges have become increasingly sickening. Television shows like So You Think You Can Dance and America's Got Talent are gimmicks that generate big money. Casmaer, without the slightest notion, opened a can of worms by exhibiting mental skill. If there's truth in the words "role model," then she is a shining example.

I've never cared for pageants, and this dates to when black ladies were disallowed. I've never thought swimsuits (or similar attire) were necessary to judge a lady. With the bikini thing en vogue, ladies are only a step away from being stark naked, just to win the approval of some old geezer. This is sheer exploitation! Strip joints and massage parlors evolve from this. It floods TV right before the watchful eyes of children, whom we claim to love so much. I'm sure every lady who finds herself in a situation that requires the baring of skin has a reason for being there. The bottom line? Money!

I wonder if one day women will galvanize. Presently, I don't believe they know their power. Without women, this country would go down the drain. Who wants to be around a bunch of hard legs all the time? Whether women realize it or not, they have been short-changed by men in positions of power and reduced to sex objects. If women had been given a fair shake, there wouldn't be such a big outcry about Hillary Clinton running for the presidency. If women secede from the church, it would sound its death knell. What would happen to organizations like the religious right that target homosexuality yet remain mum about men who endorse women to parade around naked in these so-called pageants?

Seems to me that this wing of Christianity would use its "morality" to see that these young ladies keep every stitch of clothing on during their competition. Otherwise Viagra, Cialis and Levitra will continue to soar financially, owing to the sexual dreams of these old geezers.

Casmaer has demonstrated that she is a brainy individual by her choice of study. I'm sure the other young ladies who appeared on stage with her are quite brainy too. If so, they have more experience than the judges, who have no more than opinions. After undergoing the pageant experience, these women are prepared to teach disciplinary traits to politicians, clergymen and judges, who are out of sync with promoting a higher standard of morality. If successful, it might save young ladies in the future from needing to feel comfortable with performing naked before audiences to make a living.

Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn?t know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman?s Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.

Perhaps Henry?s most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they?d arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.

Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.

After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.

Direct questions on any and all topics to [email protected]. If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

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