Dancing, Divas, and Indigestion

Talked to my mom last night, and she was a little bit riled up (seems there's a bit of that going around in our family lately). "Can you believe what happened on Dancing With the Stars? I'm so mad I can't see straight!"  she said.

I'd been waiting for this tirade, because just Sunday she was talking about how much she hoped Brandy would win this year's coveted mirror ball trophy.

However, in a rather controversial results show, Brandy and her partner were "sent home" while Bristol Palin remained to dance in this year's finals.

If you're not a Dancing With the Stars Fan, you probably don't know or care who wins this ballroom dancing competition.   I happen to love this show - it's the only reality show I watch, but I have a secret dreamy desire to be a ballroom dancer and I'm fascinated with the whole process.  I also like the way it showcases a persons ability to learn a completely new skill and push themselves to the limit of their capabilities.

So in some ways the fact that young Bristol Palin, a socially awkward girl whose only claim to fame is her infamous mother and her own teen pregnancy, has been able to execute these complicated dance routines with some degree of aplomb, is exactly the reason I like watching the show.  After all, this is a girl who has never performed, never done a musical, theatrical, or athletic thing in her life, and she's produced a fairly adequate performance most weeks.

Kudos to her for all that.


Bristol remains on the show due entirely to viewer votes.  Her judges scores, which account for 50% of the dancer's rating, have consistently been the lowest overall.  Yet each week, the viewers votes keep her "alive" while ever more competent dancers are sent packing.

And therein lies a much more insidious problem, one that far surpasses the momentary angst my mother (and poor Brandy!) are suffering.

The American people are completely hoodwinked, boondoggled, brainwashed, and enraptured, with the whole Sarah Palin phenomenon and Bristol is riding that coat-tail all the way to her ultimate prize - the Mirror Ball Trophy.

The really scary part is that I think this silly dance competition is an indicator that Bristol's mother actually has a chance to attain her ultimate prize - the Presidency of these United States.

God help us all.

My daughter in law (a naturalized American citizen) pooh-poohed this notion at dinner last night.  "The American people are too smart for that," she said.

I wish she were correct, but I'm afraid she isn't.  Too many American people have become like sheep, blindly following whoever and whatever seems the most interesting, entertaining, and popular.  Whatever Palin's appeal  (and I have no idea at all what it could be) it's widespread and pandemic.  I read this morning that the premier of her reality TV show garnered the highest ratings ever for its network.

That certainly qualifies her to be the leader of the free world.

"She's not smart enough to be President," my daughter in law continued, and this time I wholeheartedly agreed.  Palin's sartorial experience qualifies her for the highest office in the land about as much as my medical experience qualifies me to perform brain surgery. (I'm great at putting on band-aids and removing splinters.)

Part of Palin's appeal seems to be her "regular Jane-ness" - she's just like you and me, so she understands the problems of the common man.  Well, call me crazy, but I think I'd like the leader of the nation to be a little bit smarter, stronger, savvier, and well-respected than the average man on the street.  After all, this is a person who holds the future of the entire world (literally and physically) in their hands.

The big Finale of Dancing With the Stars occurs next Monday and Tuesday nights.  Will it be the preview of things to come in November 2012?

We'll see.

If so, I may find myself on the lookout for property in Outer Mongolia, because I think I'll want to get as far away from the devastation as possible.

Unfortunately, I'll probably have to go through the full body scanner in order to get there.