THAT (that) wrote,
THAT
that

Conned Again

I read an article that made it sound like something interesting was happening on American Idol; this guy named Adam Lambert.  Like Charlie Brown convinced by Lucy that this time she wouldn't yank the football away at the last minute, I thought, "Well, you never know, I should keep an open mind," and youtubed it.

"AAAAAAARGH!"  Fooled again.  That show is the archenemy of music.  It's like some evil masterminds got together and hatched a plot to create an explosion of crap so foul and false that it would forever exile the art of singing to the commercial realm of the blaring, vapid spectacle.  The acceptance of its contest winners by the market is an utterly damning  indicator of the wretchedness of our popular culture.

If you watch American Idol and think it's really good... don't tell me.

I get that his appeal is that he's gay, that somehow that's revolutionary.  I'm 100% for performers coming out of the closet so America can get over itself.  Except that he's not even out.  Elton and Ellen already broke that taboo and still have careers.  I think the drama derives from the fact that American Idol, like the Superbowl or the Oscars, is considered a barometer, a christening of what is acceptable to the vast, dumb herd of Wal Mart shoppers who are driving the SUV that is our consumer economy.

But that's what drives me insane about the show; it's all about audience identification with the social cohort of the performer, chiefly communicated in hair and clothing choices.  It teaches people to a.) think of music as a competitive activity like jet-skiing, and b.) to see themselves as loyal consumers of one or another "brand" of lifestyle.

In other words, it's not only an assault on musical expression, it's doing real psychic harm.
Tags: songwriting
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