Thursday, February 21, 2008

Idolizing the Single Mother and other thoughts on American Idol

Ok, I admit it...I enjoy watching American Idol. I've been watching it regularly for the past several seasons, and there are more than a few reasons as to why I found myself getting hooked on the show:

1) I'm a musician myself, so I do enjoy watching and listening to musical performance. I appreciate expressions of artistic talent, even if I don't particularly like the style or genre of music being performed.

2) Simon Cowell is a beacon of unashamed, brazen masculinity starring in prime time, network broadcast TV. There is no better example of the masculine, straight-line, logically based, in-your-face brutal honesty of Mr. Cowell; especially when it is contrast to Paula Abdul's(and to some extent, Randy Jackson's) emotive, feminine, feel-good, attempts to "soften the blow" of honest criticism.

3) It is certainly entertaining for it's "freak show" aspect of the see how clueless, narcissistic and self-centered to the point of delusion so many people are in todays society is almost frightening. But it's even more entertaining to see such clueless delusion shattered by the unapologetic critique by Cowell.

I can sing on key and carry a tune. I have performed with a live band on more than a few fact, I used to be in a band that got paid to play Hawaiian music for Weddings and Birthday Parties. But I KNOW that I DO NOT possess the kind of dynamic vocal talent necessary to even be competitive with the other contestants, let alone win. I cannot believe how clueless so many people are when it comes to the self assessment of their own talent and abilities.

Needless to say, as much as I enjoy the competition of American Idol, there are a couple of things that drive me bonkers about the show - and it mainly has to do with the 'production' and 'marketing' of certain contestants by giving an "in-depth" look into the lives of the contestants and hopefuls. Some of the stories are certainly touching and do create emotional attachments to these personalities, inspiring viewers to root for them.

One can certainly feel moved when watching the contestant who's Father passed away 2 days before her audition choke up while singing. It's blatant emotional manipulation to drive ratings...but I'm fine with it when we do have a legitimate reason to sympathize with a "humanizing" story like that.

But what drives me insane is how so many of the contestants proclaim their single mother hood as a badge of if it one of the biggest achievements for young women today to achieve! They are to be admired and worshiped for their courage! Their strength! Their bravery! Afterall, it's so admirable in todays day and age to breed out of wedlock bastards without Fathers in their lives!

Worse yet, the "in depth" features that often depict the day to day struggles of life ALWAYS place the single mother in the role of victim of the "deadbeat boyfriend."

There is no better indication of proof that our modern day society is Matriarchal and not the "Patriarchal Hegemony" the feminists constantly whine about. When Single Motherhood is celebrated, lionized and glamourized by media and society-at-large, it's safe to say the so-called "Patriarchy" is either dead or in it's last throes.


Kim said...

LOL, we think alike, HL. I'm a fellow American Idol watcher and recently did a blog post on a couple of comments made by Idol hopefuls that I found disgusting.

Uzem & Luzem said...

Personally, I couldn't care less about their personal stories but I too have noticed that single moms these days seem to be more proud of their status than ashamed of it. That’s hardly surprising though because most females have no shame and think that everything they do is just groovy.

To their credit however, at least they chose not to kill their kid, unlike most females who, in the same situation, wouldn't even think twice about it.

I also noticed and was turned of by the extreme false confidence of many of the hot girls that was apparent from the moment they walked in the audition room.

Whenever Simon said, 'You're not as good as you think you are' it was always to a hot girl. By his standards, it was a fairly subtle way of cutting these girls down a few pegs – something they desperately seemed to need.

It seems that a few of the girls who were cut despite having more talent than some who made the final 12 were let go because the judges were turned off by their rotten personalities (for example, the blonde who Simon called 'precocious' and who couldn't accept that she was being cut, stating that she even skipped singing the national anthem at a ball game just so she could audition).

BTW, IMO, there's no need to justify why you enjoy watching AI although I think I understand why you felt the need to. Anyone who dismisses AI - or any other talent search for that matter - as just another reality show only exposes themself as just another non thinking ignoramous.

If it wasn't for that show, Elliot Yamin would probably still be stocking shelves in a pharmacy and Chris Daughtry would probably still be working in the parts department of an auto dealer.

While both of those jobs are honest work that no humble man would be ashamed of doing, when you can sing 'Open Arms' at least as well as Steve Perry (as Elliot Yamin did) or 'What A Wonderful World' arguably better than Eva Cassidy (as Chris Daughtry did), you should be singing for a living not doing blue collar work.

Thanks to AI, millions were able to enjoy their singing and they were able to quit their day jobs which is as it should be for people so talented.

Uzem & Luzem