Friday, June 22, 2007

American Idol

Right, so here’s something I really must have a bitch about ‘cause it genuinely drives me insane, & has lately been the cause of me ending up in a quiet fury following various ventures downstairs in innocent, clearly naïve, search of something to watch which is either interesting and beneficial to my life, or a trashy reality show which serves as light entertainment and a reminder that I should be grateful for my fairly well-functioning brain. But, instead, I return upstairs concerned not only about the lives of the people who create it’s popularity, but the repercussions it could have and is having on the already unwell music industry. “Well, what is this ‘it’?” I hear you say. “quit rambling and get the hell on with it!” you exclaim with exasperation. Ok, no need to raise your voice. The cause of my emotional upheaval is one of a few shows which, if I were a Christian, I would, I think, truly believe had come straight from the devil as part of a cruel but absolutely genius plot to poison society. The current culprit? American Idol.
It was a good idea. It’s undeniably difficult to get seen in the music industry. Hundreds of awesome, talented artists a year probably decide to go for something less risky or give up and take that office job after their last chance demo was to no avail, it was a good idea. So what happened? I suspect that, as with so many other things, the U.S. government for example, something which was potentially an immensely powerful force for good ended up in the wrong hands and was, therefore, turned into something which could dilute the patriotism of a senator. To get to the crux of why I have such an issue with the show, it would serve, I think, to inform you of my finely tuned methods for seeking out music which will influence my life in a positive way:-
-it is absolutely indisputable that the voice must be unique. Forgettable voices, voices that fit into a genre, & voices that you wouldn’t say ‘oh my god what is that voice doing on this cruise ship stage?’ to are not going to narrate inspirational lyrics.
-the artist has got to have a huge amount of character, and an interesting personality and life story.
-the lyrics are central; if I can’t hear/relate to/believe that there is integrity behind the lyrics, the music is pretty much invalid.
-as a direct result, genres such as screamo are more or less ruled out, along with cabaret-type clichéd lyrics (often identified by use of the word ‘babe’/’baby’).
-albums with sleeves that don’t say “all songs written by (artist’s name) except track five which is a phenomenally well done cover or written with someone the artist feels a very strong musical affinity with.” are immediately put back on shelf, occasionally accompanied by a small look of disappointment.
-the only artists not subject to the above rule are those which either not only fit point one but exceed it to the degree of ridiculousness (e.g. Barbra Streisand), or are so phenomenal at what they do in every other area that whether they can write or not is irrelevant (e.g. Madonna).

Now, considering that American Idol has been created to actually breed ‘artists’ who:-
-all have good, very (often actually to the point where they are barely distinguishable from eachother) forgettable voices.
-all have one of a pre-compiled list of I would guess four or five life-stories (ok guys, there’s “I’ve always sung, even as a kid, I would just sing!”, or “well my dad left home when I was five,”, or, everyone’s favorite “I spent my childhood going through my parents’ (insert decent artist you have no interest in) records”-what’s it gonna be?).
-all have zero writing or instrumental capability (the ones who do are quickly removed when the novelty of talent wears out).
-and, not forgetting the most crucial ingredient, all have an inexplicably very high opinion of themselves and no personality. (any with personalities are also promptly dealt with).
you can probably get why I don’t so much like the show. It upsets me-one, because I have to watch songs written my real musicians with passion and talent and personality become irreversibly tainted, along with the charts of the era which I will have to take responsibility for having grown up in at some stage, and two, because I genuinely feel sorry for the contestants. The poor unfortunate souls who win are then promptly chucked out into the charts to a fan base of grannies with no desire to actually buy records and teenagers with attention spans so tiny that they have already become disinterested with you by the time you’ve released your painfully cheesy and irritating debut single (complete with corny music video montage sensitively depicting the emotional roller-coaster of a time you spent on No-Longer-Proud-To-Be-American Idol, of course) and the harsh realization that their good, strong, unoriginal voices do not equate talent and will not provide them with a long standing, rewarding career in the big wide world outside the studio where the critics aren’t followed around by a sweet little woman with something nice to say to make you feel better. But America has bought it. Hook, line, & sinker my country falls season after season for the idea that this time some real talent is gonna be unearthed. And I can do little more that look on with disappointment and disapproval, much like one watches a close friend repeatedly go back to a violent relationship. Actually, no, it’s more like watching someone you no longer wish to be associated with set fire to ten dollars then run into a wall repeatedly before looking ever so slightly disillusioned, strolling off, then returning twenty minutes later with a vague smile and lobotomized look of interest to repeat the process. Please, America, just give up and let the idols find you. Please.

jo

xxx

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

all my heroes are fucking dead.

johazelwoods said...

same anonymous as "fear is weakness" by any chance? not sure if it's positive feedback or not, but either way I think you could do with reading my "life's a bitch?" post..
cheer up, person, you create your world. xx

Anonymous said...

Fear is the mother of morality.

johazelwoods said...

so not the same anonymous then? or are you contradicting yourself? or do you think morality is a bad thing? (which is kind of a contradiction in itself).
??

Anonymous said...

For Master moralists, there is no "good and evil," only the self and battle.

Only strength, power and glory. But also, an open-mind and Truth.

Revelling in slavery is for the weak and timid.

But anyway, Pop Idol is very evil indeed.

johazelwoods said...

ok is that you tom?
lol either way you left out things like love and purpose, and yes, any such programs are the epitome of evil. haha

Anonymous said...

Is burping, shitting and farting, purpose?

And there is no love, just "dispositions"

johazelwoods said...

No, I would call reproducing and attempting to evolve the human race to be purpose, or making any kind of positive change really. No such thing as love eh? I think it's my duty to inform you that you are not giving off the impression that I suspect you intend-while you may think talking the way you do makes you sound cold and mysterious and individual, you in fact draw pity and frustration because I can't imagine that someone who thinks the way you appear is ever happy. What are you so damn angry about anyway?

Anonymous said...

Gods don't need pity.

Anonymous said...

I think the question you must ask yourself is "why do you need compassion"?
Is it simply an extension of oneself to others, or is it an act that satisfies the needs of the "altruistic" person?

I don't believe half of the things I write; I'm only practising.

And I'm only anonymous because I'm Dave from Boston. How wonderful. And I don't have a blogger name thingy. Your page is bookmarked.

Ironic Peace, Love and Respect,
Bye Bye Brit.

johazelwoods said...

I don't think anyone needs compassion as it were exactly, but for some reason being pleasant to others tends to make a person happy, beautifully. Whether it's selfish or not I don't really think is an issue-everyone needs to be selfish at times. Gods eh? Haha... well if there were a God who could type he would be from Boston. I love Boston lol. I must say I'm relieved that it's just practice! I was worried for your health haha.. well thank you for the comments, love, peace, and (ironically) especially the respect and bookmarking, Dave, this was fun :)
Jo
xx