Those supposedly with integrity selling out is nothing new

At first, I was going to defend last week’s column on “Dancing with the Stars” against all the slings and arrows it was getting from the right. But I realized that very few really understood what it was I was really worried about. Then I decided I was responsible for obfuscating what I was trying to say because I got caught up in the background story.

My complaint was about the judges — mainly Len Goodman — because they were compromising their integrity to go in the direction the crowd was going. I thought that was a harbinger of what is going to happen in the Real World.

However, after listening to my son, who called both my concern and the responses “a tempest in a teapot,” I changed my mind. We and others have spent a lot of print and energy on a reality show that is more scripted than reality itself. It is just TV, and that’s entertainment, he told me, and all expectations are null and void. So I got back my sense of humor and irony. Those judges were imitating what is already happening in the Real World. There is nothing new about a professional or an expert who is expected to have integrity, selling out. It happens all the time. Honest profit is admirable. Profit made dishonorably is not. So what else is new?

But I do want to make clear that I don’t think that saying Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s daughter, is a mediocre dancer is a personal attack on her character or an indication that I hate her. It is just an observation of her talent in that direction. At the same time I will say she is an effective crusader for safe sex.

After her public service spot with “The Situation,” the Pope has approved the use of condoms for the purpose of avoiding AIDs. His okay is limited, but it is the first time in history a pope has conceded that much. Go Bristol!

And now to change to the here and now and my own (“boring”) life. On Wednesday the day dawned with more blue then grey in the sky, the sun made an early appearance and it looked like it planned to stay. Even my apartment, where most of my windows are on the north side of the building, was warming up. It has been a long rainy season.

For Thanksgiving I had organized a small group of friends to have our midday Thanksgiving at a little café in Rohrmoser. Everything was a success, at least to my mind, and I was thankful. Then my friend Sandy stopped by as we were drinking our coffees and espressos. That was wonderful, too: the frosting on the pie, as a friend of mine used to say. And the weather held, at least until we were leaving, then, oops, back came the rain.

Everyone had cleaned their plates except me. When I arrived home and put my doggy bag in the fridge, it seemed to me someone in the kitchen had added more. Usually the food in doggy bags is all mixed up when you get home but this was nicely arranged and more than enough for another Thanksgiving dinner. I sent off a mental thank you to the chef.

Then I found in my inbox an e-mail from a very dear friend in the States with whom I had lost touch. Ellen said she had been trying to call me to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving. Soon I was talking to her and so happy to do so. She is off to Washington where she will be working for many good causes. Knowing Ellen is something else to be grateful for on this Thanksgiving.

And to think that when I woke up yesterday (granted, before my first cup of coffee), all I could think of to be thankful for on this day of thanks was that Jon Stewart exists.

And then, at the end of the day, that I have this column where I can write what I want to. Especially helpful is remembering the movie “The In-laws” and the advice Peter Falk yells to Alan Arkin on how to dodge the hail of bullets: “Serpentine! Serpentine!”

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.

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