Before I get back to the travelogues, I need to digress…
This year, American Idol has really fallen out of favor with me. I was wondering why I had lost interest; maybe it’s the lack of talent, maybe it’s the judges, maybe it’s the over-hype.
This morning, while surfing the Sunday morning news shows, I stumbled upon a terrific interview from around 1982-Ed Bradley interviewing the late, great Lena Horne. Here was a woman of prodigious talent and beauty, who came to Hollywood when racism was rampant and who was treated like a second-class citizen. But through talent and guile, fought and found her way. Watching the interview, re-broadcast because of her recent passing last week, I was struck by her spark, and dignity. I felt a little melancholy at the end of the story, mostly because there’s no more Ed Bradley and no more Lena Horne; I didn’t want this piece to end.
I know I’ll never feel the same about Ryan Seacrest or Ellen DeGeneres and their interviews of the American “idols”. In today’s society, where we have no patience and expect instantaneous results, I have come to realize that AI is a frivolous, forgettable exercise when compared with the success of someone like Lena Horne, who found her place through true talent and perseverance, fighting injustice and making the world better by her presence.