2003-07-08 | 6:44 p.m.

The time has nearly arrived for "America's next Top Model" (insert trademark here) to be crowned!

Oh, the excitement!

This bit was actually published on the show's site : "The final 2 girls face their most daunting challenge: walking the runway in one of New York's top fashion shows. One wrong move in front of the massive audience of celebrities and fashion-world royalty will mean the difference between glory and shame."

Did you get that? The difference between glory and, yes, SHAME. Now, I never really thought about shame as an antonym for glory, but I must admit I am loving the drama. I am also eating up this fashion-world royalty imagery.

Perhaps I am simply finding comfort in the complete lunacy of this show?

Well, as I recently learned by viewing VH-1's special on the past 12 years of "The Real World," we [meaning the viewers who get suckered into this nonsense] like to relate to the characters [meaning the suckers who are picked to create the nonsense] so that we feel better about ourselves.

If this logic contains some nugget of truth, then it is no wonder America has embraced reality television. Think of all the self-loathing drinking benders or hours upon hours spent at the psychologist that have been spared thanks to reality TV.

Thanks reality TV! I owe you one.