The Zen of Miss South Carolina

August 29, 2007

CNN used the phrase “Internet Sensation” to describe the much-linked-to clip of Miss South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, responding to a pageant question. I suppose this is accurate. Most Internet Sensations are about celebrating stupidity and pretending to be ironic about it. Certainly Miss Upton is an Internet darling, for now.

You’ve heard of this already, no doubt. Because I have a blog, I am obligated to write about this Internet sensation. Those are the rules.

Rather than give you another YouTube link, I’m offering you a transcript.1 Miss Upton was asked why a fifth of Americans are unable to locate the US on a map of the world. This was her response:

“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

I recognize a lot of the words, but…

Here’s the thing, though. I think this is brilliant. This is a moment of clarity, a petty epiphany. She has become like unto a zen koan. Upon being asked the question, she became the question. And the answer.

Meditate on that, grasshopper.



  1. Dude, blew my mind you totally did.

  2. HA! Love it! What a nice welcome back to the US gift this is!

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