Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some Random Dragonmaster Thoughts

OK, Mortals, listen up! There is much to grumble and smooch about, starting with the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. As ever, your Dragonmaster had a thrill looking after me favorite Brown-Hair'd Mermaid, Debbie D, who was nice enought to reunite me with her friend Serena the Sea Princess, both of whom cheered me on as I battled to steer their float (without getting involved in anything resembling a malpractice suit, thank goodness!). Anyway, 'twas a doozy of a journey, and thankfully, neither of us stuck around for the 3rd annual Mermaid Parade Ball (I will, however, entertain the idea of boggying thither next year --- if Dick Zigun will willingly put up with this foolish old beetlehead!).

Anyway, breaking news to let you lot in on, from this morning's New York Daily News. Pay attention:

She may have been kicked to the curb everywhere else, but Miss America has made it back to television. Country Music Television, that is.

The Miss America Organization and MTV's CMT have reached a multi-year deal for the legendary contest to run on the cable network in 2006, meaning that "There she is..." may one day be sung with just a teeny little bit o' country twang.

That's the good news. The bad news: Because of the late date for the deal, the pageant will be forced to shift from its traditional September berth to January.

"After thorough discussions and negotiations, we are confident that Miss America has found the perfect match in Country Music Television and MTV Networks," said Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization. "By moving Miss America to cable, we hope top give our show the proper promotion and attention it deserves."

The deal was a long time in coming. ABC dropped the pageant last year after failing repeatedly to fiddle around with the event's format in order to make it more appealing to younger, more reality-savvy audiences. Among those recent tweaks: allowing contestants to wear more revealing bikinis. But none of the new adjustments helped, and the show drew only 9.8 million viewers in 2004, the all-time lowest for the show since 1954. None of the other major broadcast networks were interested in the pageant, either.

"Miss America appeals deeply to the American heartland, and is therefore a logical extension for CMT," commented Brian Phillips, the network's general manager. "As or music base continually proves, CMT's audience just loves honest, authentic storytelling."

Well, there was no reference to a location for the telecast in the announcement of the CMT/Miss America deal. The Miss America Organization, however, has a deal with the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors' Authority through 2006 --- provided that the show airs on a major network.

"Our hope is that Miss America will continue to be crowned in Boardwalk Hall in 2006 and for many more yeras to come," said Jeff Vasser, CEO of the Atlantic City CVB. "We still need to look at everything, and hope to meet with them within the week."

The 80-plus-year-old Miss America Pageant has long been a staple of Americana, and last year was poised to mark its 50th television anniversary. But viewer interest in the event had waned over the intervening 15 years, prompting longtime TV home NBC to dump the show before Disney-backed ABC, likewise unable to revive it, bailed out as well.

Under the new deal, CMT will have the rights to the show until 2007 and options to air it up to at least 2011.

Well, the fact that Miss America is to have a new television home is all well and good, but let your Dragonmaster ask this: Will they even remember Miss America 2007 when the pageant airs? I've often suspected that this problem, more than any other, has been the instrument of Miss America's recent downfall: that few people, if any, bother to remember the reigning Miss America at the end of her so-called "year of service." Call me a bump on a log all you want, but I'm old enough of a Mage to recall those halcyon days when the operative word at a beauty pageant was precisely that --- beauty! In those days, beauty queens were our ultimate dream girls. Now suddenly we want to be Paris, or Paula, or (ick!) Britney! Bah humbug!

And while I'm thinking about it, know this, dear Tom Cruise: Stop picking on Brooke Shields as if you don't have anything better to do. Oh yeah, while I'm at it, know this as well: Scientology and the movies don't make for a very good mix, Tom. And why is this, you ask? Two words: Battlefield Earth! Learn, my dear Thomas, from Travolta's failure. The last thing I or anyone else wants to see is Spielberg's career crushed into nothingness because of your magnificent obsession with Mr. Hubbard's wisdom. And if you're thinking about wanting M-I:3 to happen, I'd seriously consider reining me butt in if I were you. Otherwise you can count on this foolish old beetlehead not feeling the need for speed any time soon. In plain English, sir: We need Spielberg to stay the most powerful man in Hollywood. That ain't gonna happen unless you start zipping it, Tom. I trust, then, that you will comply accordingly.

Well, enough of my random thoughts for now. I'll let you know what's happening as far as ID4 goes anon! Later, medieval dudes and dudettes! (Heh-heh!)

As ever,

Master Blackwolf