Friday, January 20, 2006

#226 - Cure for the Common (American) Idol

Kimberly of Number 2 Pencil is incredulous after witnessing this week's Americal Idol season premiere.

Now, I have never (willingly) watched American Idol. What I know of the show I have gleaned from various news reports, as well as the cameo appearance Simon Cowell makes in "Shrek 2." That's what I know. And that's all I care to know.

There was a time that I was fascinated by talent shows. When "Star Search" was big news, I enjoyed listening to what passed for "talent" since I was still full enough of myself to believe that I knew what really constituted "talent." Most of what I saw never qualified. Flash-in-the-pan stuff, for the most part. Pretty girls with big hair and voices that were canned copies of some gospel choir in Atlanta. Very few of the winners ever stayed famous for more than a few months after the show. Chuck Barris was probably the only guy who understood the value of bad (or no) talent when he produced "The Gong Show."

But this is the age of entitlement. Today's generation only knows that someone - it doesn't matter who - owes them, and owes them big. I have no talent, but you have to put me on your show. I have no idea what terrorists are all about, but you must listen to my opinions of why we should leave them alone. I cannot perform basic algebraic functions, but you owe me a diploma and a leg up on the college of my choice. And everything I know I learned on TV or in the movies.

Don't tell me this isn't true. Everything they do is colored by what Hollywood (and, by extension, the entertainment industry at large) perceives as being erudite. In Hollywood it is not enough to question authority; you must also have a complete disdain and contempt for authority figures. It is not enough to disagree with traditional family values; you must also do everything in your power to legally destroy the family unit.

So when we see spectacles of the type Kimberly (and the legions of "American Idol" fans) witnessed the other night, we needn't look very far to discover the source.

Neither does it require much energy to find the "Off" button on the remote.

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