Monday, April 24, 2006

Can Extreme Makeover Home Edition save America?

Extreme Makeover Home Edition is the nicest show on TV.

Each Sunday night, they take some family's busted old house, or a building that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, or some ediface owned by someone deemed worthy of a new house by someone who nominated them for the show, and they build them a new one.

A handful of designers, and thousands of workers, both professional and the happy-go-lucky enthusiastic neighbor, work their magic for one week while the family is sent on vacation, and then when they get "home", it's not the place they left, and everyone cries.

Including me.

Kids get fantastic, fantasy bedrooms. The kitchen is right out of some fancy design magazine. Granted, the product placement is not exactly subtle, but who cares if they're giving away stuff to people who could really use it. Sure, Kenmore appliances. Awesome. Thanks guys. Last night's episode even showed how they built a new barn for the homeless horeses that lived at the home/animal shelter that they were rebuilding.

It's so painfully touching that it gives me more faith in my people that I usually get from reading the NY Times.

Because today, Mr. Ken Lay takes the stand in the Enron trial.

Lay will most likely tell everyone that he had no idea what was going on, that all of the scams and fraud, rape and pillaging were done by someone else. Being in charge, he, of course, would have had no idea that the books were as overcooked as a 7-Eleven hot dog.

How, in a country that claims to have liberty and justice for all, can such a sordid character get in front of a jury of his peers (if by peer you mean people who are significantly poorer...) and say that he had no idea that the ship was sinking is beyond my comprehension.

Rather than read the news about Enron's evil pirate leaders, I recommend "The Smartest Guys in the Room", a book and documentary in which employees talk about what Enron was really like. I trust those guys more than Lay and Skilling.

Because if they can get away with this, then there really is no justice in America, even if sometimes, through the kindness of strangers, people get to live in houses they never even dreamed of.

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