Thursday, April 07, 2011

America: Did you refuse to look in the mirror?

I don't know what kind of nonsense Jacob was perpetrating with his remark last night. He said something like: If I'm in the bottom three tomorrow, it won't be because I sang badly; it will be because America refused to look in the mirror.

Let's unpack this...

He was singing Man in the Mirror, which recommends that we start changing the world with the man in the mirror, i.e. ourselves. So, if we, as citizens, refuse to look in the mirror, and decide not to "make it right" then, what? We have no other reason for voting for him? I thought we were supposed to vote for our favorite singers? I didn't realize we were responsible for pushing someone through because then we won't be a racist.

Besides, Jacob has not been in the bottom three so far, so I'm not sure why he's worried about it now. People seem to love him and vote for him. Maybe the passing of Thia and Naima really ticked him off, maybe their boot had the stink of ethnic cleansing. And he felt he needed to call us out. I'm pretty sure it wasn't race that got those two off the show. They kinda sucked ass.

I'm not offended that Jacob played the race card. I'm offended that somehow he thinks this show has some sort of social significance. That the voting here is a bellwether for the state of the nation. It's not. It's tweens and cougars voting their fingers to the bone. These groups are important, for sure, just not what I'd call a cross-section of our country. Get over yourself, Jacob. This show is pro-wresting set to music. .

I'm also offended that he asked me to dig deep into my soul before I decide who to vote for on American Idol. Doesn't this kid know that watching this show means forgetting about your ever-living soul for 3 product placement packed hours a week? Doesn't he realize that the people who win this show are the people who say "yes, ma'am/sir" the most and the loudest? That only the best trained show dogs win?  How does the winner of American Idol really reflect on this nation? I'll tell you how: It doesn't.

I believe that he is so wrapped up in what he is doing that he has no perspective. What he said was unnecessary and those who do vote are going to make him pay. Or not. Maybe they'll be challenged to save the last brown person to prove they are not racist and he'll be carried off the stage on the shoulders of the other contestants as they sing "We Shall Overcome." Stranger things have happened. Still, it's unlikely.

In the mean time, let me speak directly to AI contestants: This isn't as important as you think it is. Think about it. Do you know the names of any of the top 10 from any other season, even last season? Can you even name all the winners? I can't and I've been an avid fan since episode one. Think about that fact and consider what you might say going forward. Fans of this show do not like it when any contestants, regardless of their diversity, get too big for their britches and fans usually send them packing. So, stay humble and respect the institution. If you'd like to change the world, I suggest you join the Peace Corp or the Red Cross or the Black Panthers. Don't use AI as a forum for change. Not only won't you be able to affect change, you'll also get voted off. It's a lose-lose situation.

Enjoy your time in the sun and try to parlay it into bigger and better things. And then you can use your fame to change the world, like Bono did. But don't make the mistake of thinking that what your doing here is going to have a lasting impact on the American zeitgeist. It won't. I'm just trying to save you some time.