Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is 'American Idol' Socialist or Fascist Karoake? I Just Can't Judge

Once or twice a year I turn on "American Idol" so that I, as a highly experienced arts and media critic, can rail about the demise of so-called American "values." This year, being somewhat different, I decided to use Facebook to cull some comments, but, due to the good tastes of my friends there, all they could really say, in a nutshell, was, "Why waste your time?"
Actually, the question I was asking was somewhat more cerebral this time, too, since I was asking, "Is 'American Idol' socialist karaoke?" The answer I finally got, being corrected on this, was, "actually, Dear Douglas, it's fascist karaoke."
Next, after receiving this revelation, my mind wandered off into the country music bars of the early 1990s, the era of Bush I, as I considered the horrors of attempting to keep my own feet to country and western line dancing.
I was, at first, coming back down to earth, much, much later ... very concerned about the role of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler in all of this. I'm less concerned now. The old bird needed a rest, I decided. What better place to put him out to pasture.
No need to wonder now, considering far more important matters about such things as: Is Tyler the new giant bringer of super bad news to the dreams of America's youth now, replacing what ever Simon used to say? The three "American Idol" judges are so about business now, which it truly is, like they are in charge of some national trust or something ... To think there was any sacred about the "pop process" is a waste of time, too. Since there was never anything sacred about it. It's just like politics. Which is to say, it's mind boggling.
Why waste the bandwidth, right.
So what, like a million other people, you saw Aerosmith in 1976 ... or so, maybe 1977 ... They played Tempe Diablo Stadium ... a dusty ballpark in Phoenix ... I think it was $10 to see Aerosmith, with Bob Seger opening, maybe Jeff Beck and Jann Hammer ... Lynyrd Skynyrd was supposed to be fourth on the bill, but one of the guys got in a motorcycle accident ... anyway, Aerosmith didn't play "Dream On" due to an equipment malfunction.
And so, my point was going to be: When I was watching "American Idol" on that night: There is this guy, singing it right back at Tyler, the haggard old sellout now, "Dream On! ... Dream On!" ... and I can't figure out why I'm feeling so sick inside ... I think people would pay for the drugs if Aerosmith would start being a real band again, instead of endorsing this ridiculous bastardization of the pop process!
Why don't they all just go play music on the road themselves, these judges? Jackson, the X Journey guy, I believe, who I saw open for ELP in Phoenix way back when, could just use his cell phone and probably dial up all the sound they might need, and then Tyler and JayLo could be the answer to the Black Eyed Peas. I'm not sure what the fourth guy has, talent wise ... maybe he could just keep shuffling the groupies in and out of the various chambers of horror.
Fascist karoake, indeed ... 50,000 kids waiting in line for each city, as if they might as well jump off the bridge and start working at McDonalds if they can't make it ... Really? Really? Tyler should tell each one of them to go grab a guitar and start playing the bar circuit, like real musicians would. Learn to play their own songs, and so on.
If I was any of those kids, with the way the hoaked up pressure is put on them, I'd need counseling for the PTSD, because they are led to believe their lives are over, their dreams are crushed. If anything good came out of all of this, it's the realization that FOX TV, with almost every popular television show that ever became an instant hit, did so by playing off one simple ingredient: fear.

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