I have always been mystified by the popularity of "American Idol." How does a glorified karaoke contest become one of America's top rated shows? What's next? Dial-in bingo? (Wait. That could work. If anyone gets rich off of that idea, I want a cut!) And of course, I have no idea who this Taylor Hicks or Nanny McPhee or whoever are. Hell, I only know one of the judges, Paula Abdul, because back in the day a friend of mine used to wear a Paula Abdul t-shirt.
He once wore this shirt to a signing by Glenn Danzig, late of the mighty Misfits. Glenn, not being a particularly tactful fellow, asked my friend "Are you wearing that shirt because you like Paula Abdul's music, or because you want to (bleep) her?" My friend indicated the latter. "Cool," replied Glenn approvingly.
Argotnaut's sister has pointed out in her blog ("Dr. Lizardo" link to the right) that, supposedly, more people vote on American Idol than voted in the last Presidential election. I'm not sure if that's true, but I wouldn't be surprised. Why? Because you actually have to GET OFF YOUR FAT ASS to go vote in an election.
Thus, as was pointed out in a recent episode of "The Daily Show," Bush's 33% approval rating actually constitutes a majority, because only 64% of Americans voted. Ouch.
Are Americans unable to shift themselves off their lard butts because they are lazy? Some would say "damn right" but I say "far from it." It's because Americans are beat, cashed, bushed, bleedin' knackered. We're working longer hours than ever, for less real income, fewer benefits, and still with only two weeks of vacation if you're lucky. Plus, we're up to our ears in debt because everyone has been convinced by (admittedly effective) marketing that we need iPods, an SUVs, PCs, TIVOs, HDTVs (upon which to watch "American Idol") and more than one of just about every other unnecessary acronym you can think of.
So the obvious real culprit is our vaunted "work ethic." If we just stopped working so hard, imagine all the benefits! Lower stress, so that we might be able to get as healthy as the British, who smoke and drink more than we do and eat less healthily than we do but are still healthier. Smaller houses, because we couldn't afford them, thus saving resources, wetlands and the environment. Ditto fewer cars. If we were lucky, maybe even fewer leaf blowers! And we would have more time to cook healthy meals instead of chucking some prefab slab of preservatives into the microwave. We'd have time to spend with our families, or on stress-reducing hobbies, or maybe even to read a bit more, learn a bit more, and realize that the guy in the White House oughtta be tossed out on his ass.
Okay. So the economy would go into the crapper and we'd lead the way into a global economic depression. But you have to take the bad with the good here, folks. So to hell with the "American Work Ethic!" Let's just all be the lazy bastards that already seem to be the stereotype anyway!