Heather Havrilesky in Salon.com:
"Passion." What an unsavory word! A perfectly nice word, really, that's been poisoned by the people who overuse it, people who run around announcing to anyone who'll listen, "I'm a very passionate person!"
Unless that statement is uttered by a preteen drama student or a Brazilian or an abstract painter three glasses into a bottle of red wine, it's tantamount to saying, "My head is so full of thoughts!" or "I just love puppies!" or declaring Wallace Stegner a great writer, as if to suggest he was just an unfocused drunk scribbling away in his journal until you came along. It's like saying, in a conspiratorial tone, "I'm such a sexual person" or "Music affects me at such a deep level" or "I breathe oxygen" or "I walk on two feet and eat food and sleep in a bed at night."
Read the rest of the story, about the genuine passion of the contestants on "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Top Chef." Just one more snippet, because it's so good I can't help myself:
Despite the bad outfits, despite the screaming preteens in the audience, despite the "Vote for me!" hamming of the contestants, despite the alienating "Meet your dancers!" routines, with their excess of cheesy, exaggerated grooving, this is a competition that hinges on passion. Each performance, whether it's a contemporary extravaganza of tangled limbs and faux-passionate emoting or a faux-passionate Argentine tango or a romantic, graceful faux-passionate waltz, depends on the real passion of the dancers involved.
Read my own rant, "Our Passion Is Your Problem."