I do not think it is any mistake as the religious right gains momentum; the need for false idols grows as well. When it comes to the Duality of Man, we look into the mirror only to see the Lord, not the devil’s reflection. To see the whole picture, to see ourselves as we are, well that is too much for any individual to take, let alone live with on a daily basis.
America has always worshipped false idols and deities, that’s how new religions start. There is, if I can use this word, a progressive evolutionary to all religions. Like a Chinese buffet, a new religion will take a little bit of what’s come before it, change the sauce and some of the ingredients, give a new name, and then it’s ready for home delivery.
I am very worried about America’s newest religion. I’m not talking about Mormonism or Scientology, no, with the neo-modern incorporation of dollars and sense; those two new kids on the block are doing just fine. No, I am worried about American Idol.
American Idol is going through changes that the Catholic Church only wishes they could do- a do-over. A chance to send up revised sails, hoping that America will like the new look of the jib and the J-Lo design.
But Lo, I am worried to my bones. America Idol started right around the same time that George W. Bush came to power. Both the show and the politician seemed to be forged and molded in backrooms and focus groups to maximize and take advantage of the nation’s psyche. The idea was to launch a show/politician so successful and new, that most people wouldn’t know what they were looking at. For a large contingency, the politician and the program were built up to seem like they always had been part of the American fabric. By Year Two, no one would argue of the importance of the show, and its impact on America.
Whether it was the impact of September Eleventh or because of all the discrepancies with recent elections, America in the early 2000’s was ready for a new look, shaking the Etch-E-Sketch, or in the words of the daytime talk shows, “America, you need a makeover.”
Somehow it started. In this new world, experience no longer matter. If you could make it pass the audition, if you could the American people to vote for you, you could make it to the top, very few questions asked.
First of all, I had no clue that America was hurting for talent that there was a need to make a nation-wide search for the new Britney’s and Justin’s clones. Then I was introduced to the music. Dawg, all I’m sayin’ is, I had no idea that there was a pop world out there that was so in tuned with pitch and Jesus. Not being a fan of the Mariah Carey’s of the world or haven’t been to a club for a while, I was unfamiliar with these new beats that didn’t seem to exist in other worlds. Then I realize with new worlds, comes new languages and new customs.
What I’ve learned so far is America doesn’t care where you come from, as long as you sing the tune we’re familiar with. You can be a stoned-out white boy with dreads, but you better belt out a tune that we’ve not only heard before, but already have in our collection, or at the very least, we know his dad.
As long as we’re familiar with some part of you, we’re okay with you not having experience. We only get suspicious when you’re really different, or black.
Not to say Black performers can’t win at our American contest. No, if the mood strikes us correct, and we feel the Black performer isn’t a threat to our daughters, we’ll vote them in, and only really regret it later when they actual sing their own songs.
We’ve turned the corner in America. We no longer expect those that perform for us to have any background to do what they’ve been voted for, to entertain us. A woman can work at her craft for years, playing piano, taking singing lessons and dance, work from sunrise to sundown, and we give her nothing. Put on a dress of flank steaks, ten Grammys.
We vote for the people that capture our attention at the moment we’re in right then and there. When asked later, “What were we thinking?” Because we are all in on it, we say nothing. That is the American way, to move on, not be pulled down by facts and history. It is about what we need in the moment. That moment if needed, can be argued later.
So 2010 is almost coming to an end. Our first decade together of the Twenty-first century, and I wish I could say where we were heading. I could ask why we need a show that tries to pick Americans out of obscurity and raise them to a national forum. Why the need to find strangers and then pretend like they are our best friends for a season?
Because we have no lives and the opposite would mean leaving the house and going somewhere where there is a struggling artist who in the shadows or under a dim bulb on open-mike night is singing their hearts out.
No, TV is easier for us to find our Idols. Just like the Sunday morning services on all the channels, it is much easier for us to have God come to us, then us to He or She.
So good luck Dawg, J-lo and Steven T. May y’all enter a new facet of your careers with the best of chances. But let’s face it; you don’t need experience to be judge on American idol. We just have to be told that we like you.
American Idol feels so American because after ten short years, it has become who we are.
We are a nation that is looking for something and never knows what it is until we find it, buy it and then discards it when we’re done.
Beware of false idols. Somebody should really make that a law.