Idol Chatter

Here at Beliefnet, we’re frequently asked to comment in the media about religious happenings and headlines, and this morning I was a guest on the local NPR station’s “Brian Lehrer Show,” discussing the death of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The other guest for the segment was Donovan, one of the Maharishi’s most dedicated and outspoken celebrity followers, whose name seems always to be accompanied by some variation on the phrase “famed singer-songwriter.” I’d spent the morning refreshing my memory about all things Maharishi, but I needn’t have worried. Donovan, famed singer-songwriter that he is, more than monopolized the conversation, interrupting me and the host, Brian Lehrer, refusing to stop talking when Lehrer tried to get in a new question, and sticking to his own script regardless of the question. Lehrer was interested in the Maharishi’s savvy marketing skills and the reason for his success–and, of course, the Beatles angle–but Donovan wanted to extol the virtues of the Maharishi and his Transcendental Meditation movement and win souls to it.Now, Donovan knows far more than I do about the Maharishi and TM and has much more passionate opinions about it than I do. But it was fairly uncomfortable and a bit humiliating to be unable to get a word in edge-wise. So, tongue firmly in cheek, I’ve added Donovan, famed singer-songwriter, to my just-created frenemies list. Listen to the interview here:

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