Last night on "Lost" we were introduced to another character taken straight out of the history of political theory. Joining the ranks of Locke, Rousseau, and Hume, we now have Edmund Burke. Unfortunately he was an insignificant character, the ex-husband and boss in the "pre-island" life of one of the more central characters. And he was a creep, and (stop reading if you dont want the ending of last nights episode spoiled) he was promptly killed off, being hit by a bus.
While Im on the subject, I must confess that one of my guilty pleasures over the past few years has been "American Idol." Hokey? Cheesy? Absolutely. But in among all the garbage there are some genuinely great performances by extremely talented vocalists--much better than highly-synthesized mediocrities like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
Well, I dont think I can any longer in good conscience contine to be an Idol fan. It seems that now the audition shows--that is, the episodes based on the screening process by which the judges narrow the pool down to a relative handful of contestants--have become the be-all and end-all of the program. Moreover, these episodes had traditionally featured some of the best and some of the absolute worst of the bunch. This year the audition shows have been nothing more than a procession of talentless wannabees making idiots of themselves for our amusement.
And then theres the general sense of nastiness. In previous years everyone understood that Simon Cowell was there to make unkind comments. Now it seems that everyone--even goody-twoshoes Paula Abdul--has gotten into the act. Its one thing when some braggart is taken down a peg or two, but now were seeing perfectly ordinary people being insulted and, in some cases, brought to tears. Making matters worse, some genius at FremantleMedia came up with the brilliant idea of locking one of the double doors leading out of the audition room. Why? For no other apparent reason than to humiliate those trying to exit the room after having already faced the embarrassment of being told theyre not good enough to appear on the program. In fact, the producers put together a montage video of these unfortunates trying to push open the wrong door. Sorry, I consider myself an aficionado of trash television, but even I occasionally find some standards. "American Idol" is now officially off my viewing schedule.