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Opening Arguments

A tale of two women

I have dismissed the Olympics as anything but the noble competittion of amateurs they are claimed to be. But I've gotten caught up in the Dara Torres story. Who wouldn't? At first, everybody thought it would be a nice nostalgia story, 41-year-old mother, retired from swimming, comes back for one last shot at the Olympics, the old lady might even make the team for a record fifth time. But she started kicking teen swimmers' butts, and suddenly it's a very real story of perseverance and achievement.

I have announced rather proudly that I take no notice of those silly reality shows, yet this summer I find myself semi-hooked on "America's Got Talent." The atrociousness is more varied -- instead of just awful singers, there are awful dancers, awful jugglers, awful comedians and just plain awful people who defy description. And there are the surprising performers who pop up. Last night there was a ventriloquest who actually brought something new to that art form and a guy who made amazing hand shadows. And there was Queen Emily (watch video), the last performer of the evening, who came out and just knocked everybody's socks off.

Be careful of what you publicly mock, I guess is my point.