Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol

I am so sick of American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, and whatever the fuck else mind candy is out there causing cerebral diabetes.

Everyone within 100 miles of me is all warm and runny about some loser named David Cook whose talent is so marginal that the only way he could garner any attention from anybody was to subject himself to layer upon layer of humiliation and hyper-criticism from a drugged-out has-been and an ego-maniacle, narciccistic, aging hipster-wannabe for weeks on end for the sole benefit of a huge corporate profit machine that will chew him up and spit him out like the useless, talentless, leftover pulp that he is.

In over two thousand years, nothing has changed.

Reality TV has the same purpose as the Gladiator contests. Keep people focused on brutal entertainment so they won't revolt against the brutal oppression of their government.

While you were blissfully being enthralled by "American Idol" and "Dancing With The Stars", there was actually a presidential primary election going on.

There is war in Iraq and Afgahnistan.

American soldiers are being killed and wounded every day.

Billions of your tax dollars are being spent overseas while you shop at Dollar General and clip coupons for Price Chopper.

Gas is approaching $4.00 a gallon.

There was a tsunami in Myanmar. Something like 22,00 dead, another 41,000 missing. No big deal.

An earthquake in China. Maybe 51,000 dead.

And you can look at a fellow human being with a straight face and say you think that who wins American Idol is important to you?

Seriously? This matters to you?


Anonymous said...

Just FYI, that China death toll link is 10 days old. It's now at least 41,000. So yeah. 32,000 more.

Other than that, agreed.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

We don't agree on a lot of things, but I'm with you 100% on this one.

Never mind religion: TV is the opiate of the masses.

meesha.v said...

I never watch reality TV except for the Daily Show, however, there is only so much bad news you can digest before stopping giving a shit.

Stinkbait Boucher said...

wait - who won? I skimmed through all of your numbers and stuff to get to the meat and you left me hanging.

emawkc said...

I agree with you XO. People give things like reality TV and summer blockbuster superhero movies way too much of their cognitive attention.

Nightmare said...

Dear Astrowanker,

Yes this is sad that our teletubes have been used for the evil of American Idol and the likes, personally I blame the Beatles. They caused all this shit with their long hair and crazy music! If Ed Sullivan hadn't had them on, well lets just say Percy Faith would have had a much longer career!

travel said...

Who the fuck peed in your coffee or bourbon or whatever?

Doc said...

preach it.

Keri Oki said...


It pains me to do it - but I have to...99.9% of the time I agree with you -- this time I respectfully offer a counter view :>)

I do, in fact, care about David Cook and American Idol. And not because I'm stupid, ill informed or a victim of the mass opiate that is television. And actually not just for the baseless jokes I can make about my relentless attempts to chase down the hottie.

I care about it - because I am quite simply human.

I struggle each day wondering where my life is going, which roads I choose are right and which are inescapably flawed. And for the past months -- watching a come-from-behind kid from KC show his flaws, emotions and dreams motivated me to do the same.

I know it's fabricated. I know there are bigger things in the world - but I also know 97.5 million voters found something inspirational in American Idol and as an active political junkie I'm lucky if I can get 97.5 of my closest friends together to even engage in an intelligent discussion about the current primary.

Is one the fault of the other? I don't think so. But both serve as strong reflections and foils of the other.

Just because you watch Idol doesn't mean you don't care about the rest of the world. What some would see as immature idolation may actually be immensely indicative of a country that was founded on dreams and visions and a bit of cheesy emotion -- that today isn't offering a lot for people to believe in.

In other words - this country was founded on cheesy emotionalism -- the belief that believing could actually move and raise mountains - and that there was something better in each of us.

If today that something better rings true while watching television is it really any different than the pamphlets of the Revolutionary War or the rhetoric of the today's presidential campaign? Probably not. And there's room to make an argument that Barack's success is his ability to tap into that simple side of each of us.

SO I say -- go on -- cheer for your Idol and care about the world. Because sometimes action starts in the simplest place - our hearts and no amount of logic can ever match that. Perhaps we can learn something from the American Idol experience -- if you understand people and emotions on a basic level first, then you can inspire deeper levels as well -- 97.5 million votes would be amazing in November, 97.5 million volunteers to help with the devastation in China would change the world --

I care about American Idol because I do take an interest in politics, war and the devastation that goes on all around us each day. And because I do care about those things, I am inspired by the childlike dream state, however contrived it is -- I can feel when I see David Cook win.

That doesn't make me stupid. Or uninformed. Or even wrong. It makes me, above all simply human.

Faith said...

Keri Oke said: "...97.5 million voters found something inspirational in American Idol and as an active political junkie I'm lucky if I can get 97.5 of my closest friends together to even engage in an intelligent discussion about the current primary."


"...97.5 million volunteers to help with the devastation in China would change the world..."

Ok, Keri, you DO know that that's the number of total votes and not the number of viewers/different number of people voting, right? Because, as I understand it, some people vote multiple times. The number of viewers was actually way down this year, probably due to the tiredness of the whole darned thing. The following article discusses it:

So, might want to dial back your America, Land of Dreams! diatribe a bit. ;)

I watch Bravo reality shows. Fox can suck my big left toe...

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

Dammit! I cannot get that link to work! ::stomps feet::

MoxieMamaKC said...

I believe in multi-tasking. I can enjoy politics, current events, be an activist AND enjoy the junk food of my tv watching all at the same time.

I agree with you on so many things, but not this time.

Mindless television has it's place in society and in mental health.

Some people read, knit, play sports, etc. to let go of their usual stresses...Who cares if American Idol is the opiate of the masses...By taking it off tv, the viewers of that show aren't going to care any more than they already don't about things that actually matter in the world...sad, but true. You care or you don't.

Heather said...

I'm also on the Bravo love wagon. At least after Top Chef, I can go look up the featured recipes for my own use.

Other than that, "reality television" sucks.

I keep thinking about the world Stephen King wrote about in Running Man. Entertainment based heavily in "reality television", with the poor masses clamouring to be on them, and the well-to-do folks leering at them. Talk about life imitating art.

Maybe more people care about AI and other fluff television because it's easier than giving two shits about the victims in Burma or China.

travel said...

Here's what you have with David Cook. You have a bartender who went with his brother to cheer him on, not intending to even participate, and ended up winning American Idol. Now, come on, what's more of an American story than that? And, on top of that, he's a top notch entertainer AND from the Kansas City area. You bet I was a watcher and I'm happy for him.

Others choose to be entertained by Iron Man or Lex Luther and that's great, just different strokes for different folks. Doesn't mean we don't care about world issues.

Nightmare said...

And another thing! Why isn't there more skin on TV?? huh? would it kill someone to come up with a TV show about naked people? I mean really! We need to see some seriously nude people on the TV when is that gonna happen?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I don't know.. I read all these counterarguments and I'm still not getting it.

People sit around gorging on mass media and get all warm and fuzzy over it while society crumbles. It's reminiscent of the orchestra at the gates of Auschwitz. If we close our eyes and hum along maybe when we open them again everything will be all right.

You think?

Time is the one commodity you can never exchange or return. Once it's pissed away, you can't get it back.

If the American people put as much interest and energy into working to fix this fucked up country as they do watching Simon what's his name berate people who can't sing, I bet we would have accomplished something by now.

Instead all we have is a new American Idol.

Joe said...

I agree with Satyavati. TV is the opiate of the masses.
I couldn't give two shits about American Idol. Hell, its baseball season.

Eolai said...

If I could jump in the middle and play peacemaker, might I recommend the Naked News