Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pesel America'i

I’ve been watching the tryouts for American Idol, care of Jetblue, and I’m inclined to agree with the Buddha – life is suffering.

Now, I really like this show, as I’ll explain, but I just don’t understand how they revel in torturing people who’s lack of singing talent is clearly the least of their problems. It feels like they’re having open tryouts for professional boxing, and can't get enough of it when some poor little weakling climbs into the ring and gets the snot knocked out of him.

Seriously, though, I do like this show. I began watching it because my son likes it, and it has grown on me as the seasons have gone by. Despite all of the weirdness, mediocrity and desperation, there is a genuine drama going on here. In a sense, the professional sports which I’ve watched all my life is also a form of reality TV, with all of the running drama and focus on the players. Or, to put it the other way around, reality television is just sports for a wider audience – and although the scenarios are contrived, it still seems to trigger of the joys of rooting for your team and the suspense of winning and losing.

And, let’s face it, 'Idol' is chock full of life lessons. The biggest lesson, of course, is that, while it’s great to have a dream, it’s also good to try to keep some grip on reality.

But this is not the only wisdom.

For parents, the show has given us the great axiom “Neither a Simon nor a Paula be.”

From Simon, though, we learn the value of being brutally honest. Of all the judges, Simon’s opinion is most valued because he never, ever gives false accolades. Personally, I’d rather work for a Simon than a Paula. You may not like what he’s saying, but a compliment is a compliment, and what he says is actually useful.

Randy, (who has more musical talent in his little finger than all the past winners combined), who has a nice, balanced, normal personality, reminds us how boring that can be. But it also reminds us that when you’ve got a bunch of extremist crazies around, (e.g. Paula and Simon) it’s good to have a real pro who knows what’s what.

And from Paula, who is just a complete sweetheart – I don’t care what anyone says – we learn what happens when you put too much Bourbon in your Coke.


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