Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Idol

I watched the first season of American Idol, and I actually like Kelly Clarkson's last CD. But I wouldn't say I'm a fan by any means. I suppose if I bumped into them on the street, I'd recognize Ruben Studdard and Fantasia and Taylor Hicks (or is it Taylor Dayne? No, wait, wrong decade.) Oh, and, um, Carrie . . . Underwear? That can't be right. Anyway. I did watch the season premiere last night, mainly because I wanted to see if Paula Abdul would be sober. I think she was, but maybe Randy "Dawg" had taken some of Simon Cowell's meanie pills.

I have to confess, I burst out laughing quite a lot while watching horrid people sing off-key or juggle or twitch and then get pissed off when the judges didn't like them. I mean, really, what planet are these people living on? They actually think they're talented. Talk about a serious disconnect between self-perception and reality. Trista, who sang that "If I Were the King of the Forest" song from the Wizard of Oz, actually made me pee in my panties. Dude. How annoying it is to go to the bathroom and find a little spot down there.

But once the show was over, I found I had a bad taste in my mouth. A part of me feels empathy for these people, who are being made great fools of in front of all of America, Canada, and wherever else the show airs. Why is this entertaining to us? I know, I know, it's the "it's funny because secretly I'm relieved it's not me!" agenda behind some humor. But if we're aware of our tendency to do that, why do we persist? So I kinda felt like I'd retched on my own shoe, having let the crappier part of my human nature be appealed to.

But still, it's soooooo funny!


The other thing was, this was the first time I'd watched American Idol in Spokane, and local Fox News came on right after the show, and darned if American Idol wasn't the lead story. The lead story. And the newscasters kept coming back to it throughout the entire half hour. "Six people injured in bad crash in Spokane Valley . . . but first, another look at some of the bad auditions on American Idol!" Huh?! Why on earth is this news?

Then again, I suppose I'd rather watch innocuous local news (Broodmare Gives Birth To Two-Headed Foal) than the stuff I was treated to daily in California: gang wars, rapes, drug busts, murders, protests gotten out of hand, dirty cops, and then more gang wars, rapes, drug busts, murders, and 5 minutes of sports & weather.

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