After this emotional rollercoaster I said that I would never submit to such cheap manipulation again. And I've been pretty good about it since then. But now I must confess that I have come to love the guilty pleasure of Top Chef, and I've been feeling bad for poor Radhika since Wednesday night. It all reminds me of Thomas Merton's words on the subject of television, which I know I have reproduced here before:
I am certainly no judge of television, since I have never watched it. All I know is that there is a sufficiently general agreement, among men whose judgment I respect, that commercial television is degraded, meretricious and absurd. Certainly it would seem that TV could become a kind of unnatural surrogate for contemplation: a completely inert subjection to vulgar images, a descent to a sub-natural passivity rather than an ascent to a supremely active passivity in understanding and love. It would seem that television should be used with extreme care and discrimination by anyone who might hope to take interior life seriously. New Seeds of Contemplation, 86.