American Idol: The Sad State of America

Last night, millions tuned in for the first installment of series 2 of reality show #768: American Idol. The first show, which is much more “America’s Funniest Home Videos” than “America Idol,” is a crack up. It features the brutally honest Simon Cowell, the sweetheart Paula Abdul, and the smooth Randy Jackson judging a number of tone-deaf idiots and a few decent singers along with the occasional exceptional voice.

Despite illustrating that most people have no business even trying to sing, there is a single lesson to be learned: if you don’t want to be judged, don’t friggin try out! How many people need to call Simon an asshole? How many need to tell them they’re wrong? If you have a shitty voice, why go to the AI try-outs in the first place? Is it because too many of your “friends” have encouraged your crappy crooning and led you to believe you could carry a tune? Because most of these people couldn’t carry a tune if they had a backpack to put it in.

I was most impressed by two individuals – one guy who clapped off the Sinatra classic “Fly Me to the Moon,” did a fantastic job. Another girl sang the Toni Braxton number “Unbreak My Heart” and did a swell job. I was also glad to hear a girl try the song “Fever,” which was a very hip square.

Most TV is utter crap, and yet, I’m drawn. American Idol is even worse, because it painfully showcases the delusions that most Americans harbor – that they are talented, that they have some right to succeed, and that they are better than average. If you want to feel good about yourself, watch Meet My Folks, where they dig up scandalous little vixens. If you want to feel smart, watch Fear Factor, where you can bet some idiot is eating a pile of squid poop for the chance to bungee from a blimp into a poolfull of hydrochloric acid, and if you want to feel stupid, watch Jeopardy. But if you just want to feel good ol embarassed for your fellow countrymates, watch American Idol.

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