|Mallory Hagan, Miss America (right)|
[Mallory Hagan, 23] told The Associated Press in an interview after her win that it was her mother who encouraged her to tackle the issue of child sex abuse in her platform -- the issue she will promote during her reign.This is not Australia's prime minister setting up a royal commission. This is not the British police writing a damning report of a television personality's predations. This is not a variety of inside-the-beltway priests calling an institution to heel. This is not the Boy Scouts' secret files made public.
This is mainstream and middle class. This is the land of the great unwashed -- an enormous segment of society that loves its scrubbed icons. This the land in which people talk with each other over Thanksgiving turkey. It is also the land that drops a dollar or two in the Sunday collection plate, both literally and metaphorically. This is the land of plain Janes who have flag poles in the front yard. These are the sheep the 'shepherds' hope to harness and 'guide' and keep in line. And when it comes to child abuse, that guidance has relied on a lot of secrecy, a lot of cover-up, and a lot of suggesting that child abuse was unusual and special and contrary to enforced, sheep-like understandings.
But now ... what now, when one of the scrubbed icons takes up a topic and direction the 'shepherds' had done their damnedest to divert, deny, and camouflage? What happens when it is not longer just one little boy who says the emperor has no clothes? What happens when a vision of hope falls into a trough of hypocrisy ... an ordinary hypocrisy, a hypocrisy that is assumed as part of the great unwashed consciousness? A belief system in its own right?
-- Three-quarters of Corsica's Mediterranean coastline is untouched ... a land 90 minutes from Paris ... a land the well-heeled might long to build a dream house on. It is as beautiful as Corsica is corrupt. France may posture all it likes about its gorgeous possession, but it is mob violence and an assured income for that mob that puts Corsica out of reach. And separatists don't ease the blood-letting of bombs and shootings in this paradise.
It is so achingly beautiful that even a poor man might become greedy.
But beauty bares its fangs.