Tuesday, March 13, 2007
[I posted the following comment at Tom the Dog's You Know What I Like pop culture blog the other day, but it bears repeating, so I'm repeating it, despite its utter irrelevance to crosswords - unless RYAN SEACREST ever appears in a grid ... it can't be long now]
Why I Watch "American Idol," by Rex Parker
I watch "American Idol." Religiously (it's what you're supposed to do; that's why the word "Idol" is in the name). There is much to hate about the whole phenomenon that is "AI," but I have to say that at its core it is pure: people sing, live, and they can or they can't sing (mostly the latter, but occasionally, gloriously, the former).
OK, so the voting is ridiculous (dominated by texting 'tweens, from what I can gather) and every "original" song ever sung on the show has been spleen-searingly horrible and Paula Abdul doesn't deserve to be making $7.25/hr let alone the truckloads of money she's currently getting paid for her few weekly minutes of amiable, drug-addled stammering ... Hmmm, yes, on reflection, there is a lot to hate. But, three things to love: a. the unedited immediacy of it (again, you can sing or you canNot); b. the occasional fantastic singer (there are at least two this season); and c., if you aren't into the positive, then dig the negative: "AI" is a great cultural mirror, in that you can tell what's wrong with society by examining the voting results. Currently, the voting results are reflecting back "RACISM" - in that no white singer has Ever left the show before his/her time, while very good black singers (plural) get prematurely ditched Every Single Year (happened to Jennifer Hudson, happened again this past week, etc.). So, racism = bad, but a show that shows America just how totally f-ing racist it is? Oh yeah, that's good.
In case I have any lingering hipster cred left after that impassioned defense of "A.I.," allow me to squander it by saying [again, it turns out] that I hated "Seinfeld" and liked "Friends."
At least we can all agree that "According to Jim" is proof of the existence of Evil.