Re: American Idol
Listen, can we talk for a moment? We have much to discuss. I know I'm sometimes awfully critical of you, and I know you maybe think I don't appreciate you. I mean, considering I've lived here for over 20 years and I work for the government and yet I'm still not a citizen... I can see how you might feel that way. Especially since you have this weird habit of electing absolute assholes for President, which is a little irksome.
But let's not dwell on the past, OK? I'd like to talk about more pressing issues. I'd like to talk about American Idol.
Seriously... could you stop? Please? I mean, let's be honest here - this show is not about finding talent. It should be noted that I haven't watched any of this show since, I think, Season 1 when Mrs. TK was marginally interested in it. But I've read a great deal about it, and my morning radio show talks about it a great deal. My understanding of it, based on that small amount that I've watched, is that it's basically broken into two parts:
Part I - The Trainwreck: This is the part where you show a bunch of no-talent halfwits who will do basically anything simply for 60 seconds of fame. It's the most degrading, demented and embarrassing thing I've ever seen outside of a Mexican donkey show. It's an orgy of distaste. You get a group of desperate, neglected mouth-breathers who've probably failed at everything, and put them on national television so that they can be relentlessly mocked by three of the most venal, unpleasant people you could possibly put in a room together.
You've got a drugged-our has-been pop star, a snide, not-nearly-as-clever-as-he'd-like-to-be British dickhead, and a bloated, obnoxious, wanna-be-street jackass who thinks saying "Dawg" a lot gets him some sort of credibility, when in fact it makes him look like a moron in blackface. For fuck's sake, you played Bass for Journey - AFTER they were good!
All of this put together makes for an hour of some of the basest, most depressing television I've ever seen... worse than watching lions eat their young, footage of roadside bombing victims and The Simple Life.
Part II - The Popularity Contest:
Theoretically, this could be the part of the show that is vaguely tolerable. However, it's ruined by a number of things. Allow me to elucidate:
1. It's hosted by a no-talent, saccharine failure of a human being, who thinks that hair gel and a rictus, corpse-like smile somehow makes him appealing.
2. The band just sucks. 'Nuff said.
3. The judges are still there, and while they aren't as disgustingly vile as they are in The Trainwreck, let's be honest - they have one main objective, which is to make people cry. Don't give me that bullshit about inspiration and constructive criticism - these "judges" wouldn't know constructive if it fucked them. They give absolutely no practical, useful advice, instead trying to one-up each other so that they can be the focus of the next Entertainment Weekly article. And I can't begin to tell you how completely and utterly disturbing it is for someone to strive to be in a brainless rag like that.
4. The music. OK. OK. I am willing to admit that sometimes, the performances can be quite... decent. But the song choices? We need to talk about the song choices. First of all, let's put aside the fact that the singers are, at this point, generic, cut-out caricatures of pop-stars ("The Rocker", "The Country Singer", Go Fuck Yourself). Why do you have to completely abuse perfectly good music? And don't give me that bullshit that the singers are trying to "express themselves". Bite me. I don't believe for a moment that they are in any way responsible for those arrangements. There's no way that shark-mouthed, helmet-haired asshat came up with his arrangement of "Imagine". You know how I know that? Because Eva Cassidy performed it the exact same way years ago, and did it with more soul and beauty than every Idol contestant put together has ever had.
And now... now they're steadily devouring The Beatles catalog? Is nothing sacred anymore? John Lennon is, as we speak, abandoning his peaceful ways and staging a riot in Heaven.
OK. So anyway, America. Can we stop with the American Idol? Because its popularity really concerns me. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that it's the most popular show, since this country also elected George Bush... twice. But the truth is that Americans will watch anything that you hype up, that you saturate them with. And I can't help but feel that if you gave a really good show the same amount of promotion and production and advertising and hype, people would watch it. And then... you know what you'd have?
You'd have millions of Americans watching something good. Something important. And maybe, just maybe, that would get them to start paying attention to other interesting and important things. Just think what would happen if you really, really tried to popularize some of the great, canceled shows like Firefly or Veronica Mars. People would get into them. And that would lead them to other, better things. And maybe they'd want to learn more.
Maybe, you could make people want to be smart, instead of sitting slack-jawed in front of the TV, wiping the drool from their chins as crying, no-talent howler monkeys screech in front of a group of has-been, beastly judges.
Maybe you could do something useful for a change. Instead of trying your damnedest to make people stupid.
Anyway, it's just a thought.
Listening to: The Clash - Career Opportunities