The Scholar who wasn't

The problem with evenings in the summer is watching television is just about a wash; there's usually nothing on TV but cheap shows the network puts out there to see if they'll do well and make big bucks [I'm pretty sure that American Idol was a summer show, and Fox was OK with it after season 1]. So at eight o'clock last night we tuned into the finale of a reality series that we had only glimpsed at throughout the summer. It was called The Scholar, and it was a competition among graduating high school seniors for a full-ride scholarship to the school of their choice. These were some of the best and brightest from all over the nation. The girl who eventual won the competition was rather affable, but of all the top-notch colleges in the US to attend [Harvard, Yale, Columbia], she picked Pomona College. I had to look it up on the internet this morning because I had never heard of it. Looks like a good school, but still, interesting choice . . .

But that wasn't the fascinating thing about last night's show. Throughout the cheesey competition, the students were trying to impress a scholarship committee comprised of admissions personal from several high profile schools [sorry friends, no Cincinnati Christian University representative]. To whittle the field down to the final three, the remaining contestants were to answer three interesting questions from the committee. One was, "What's your greatest weakness and how have you/can you overcome it?" That's cool. Another was, "What fear keeps you up at night, personal and global?" Getting deeper, but my favorite was, "if you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?" Now that's a good 'un.

I immediately told Kelly that I'd have a little talk with Jesus. She asked if I'd try someone else because I'd eventually see Jesus in heaven, but I would like to talk with Him anyway. One of the students even picked Him. The contestant stated that no one has influenced the world like Jesus and he'd like to meet Him in person so he could clear up any miscommunication of His message two-thousand years later. Although I personally wasn't a fan of the guy who answered, I really respected his answer.

Then there was this girl from Idaho who dominated The Scholar throughout. She was extremely intelligent and had what it takes to win the competition. So when the interview came and she was asked what person, dead or alive, she would like to meet, her quick response was:

Angelina Jolie.

Brilliant. Extremely brilliant. The little girl attempted to explain her answer citing all the humanitarian work that Jolie was performed, but I was so dumbfounded that I couldn't pay attention anymore. It could be one of the most ridiculous statements in reality TV history. Even the next morning, I can't believe it.

Do me a favor and mentally scan the 10,000 year [or whatever your guess is] history of the earth and think of the billions of people who have dwelled here. There are people who shaped the history of the earth like no one else. Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his twenties. Constantine made Christianity the dominant world religion with the Council of Nicaea. Muhammad mixed together a bunch of religions to start Islam and the world has never been the same. I'll even give you Adolf Hitler because the actions of his insanity has shaped the world politics for the last sixty years. Even if it was a humanitarian the girl wanted, she could've called out William Booth or Mother Teresa. But from all the people in the history of the world that she could've chosen, she went with the star of Tomb Raider. Great choice, smart girl. Wonder why you lost the competition.

I'm sorry if this has sounded harsh, but I really want to help the poor girl make her dream come true. So here's what you do: fake a severe illness and write a letter to Angelina saying that you're dying wish is to meet her. Then she'll show up at your house immediately. I saw it done on the Brady Bunch when Bobby wanted to meet Joe Namath and I'm pretty sure Arnold did it on Diff'rent Strokes, but I can't remember if it was with Muhammad Ali or Mr. T. Either way, you'll get to meet her and your life will be complete. In the meantime, you'll want to think of someone else to name in the history of the world that you'll want to meet.

I hear that Steve Buscemi does some great work with cats.