Apr 11, 2007

idoling a few points

This isn't a criticism, so please don't take it that way.

But a question...

why do so many people enjoy watching American Idol?

My theory:

We watch the first couple of weeks because it makes us feel normal when we see the people who can’t sing and compare how "awful" they are to ourselves. Sometimes, it seems, we take pleasure in diminishing the value of another because we somehow gain the points they lose.

This shows up in our speech when we start off sentences like:
  • "I can't believe that they..."

  • "Did you hear about..."

  • "You'll never believe the news about..."
Then later on, we keep watching American Idol because we've become hopeful when we see those who have a chance at achieving a slice of a dream that is important to them. Maybe if we vote, we become a part of that... and maybe we get to claim a little bit of that for ourselves, too.

Again... the exchange of points.

How much of our esteem is based on points? Someone gives a compliment and we gain points; someone criticizes and we lose some. So to compensate the whole matter we put ourselves into situations or entertainment that helps make up the point difference. I saw it the other day on a TV makeover show where two "designers" ripped to shreds a girl's identity so they could instead make her over into an image of their liking.

I had to change the channel.


did I just steal some points?


I feel better now.

Nevermind all of this.


Tanner Ridge said...

I've never watched American Idol. Am I bad?

Tony Myles said...

No... not bad.

Smart, perhaps.

But not bad.

Me? I've watched AND voted.

Shame on me.

Larry said...

People start talking about "American Idol" at work, and I just leave the room. It's just sleazy, demeaning and mean-spirited. I haven't owned a TV in 30 years, and the samples I see in various places arouse in me a desire to continue not having one.

Tony Myles said...

There are some redeeming options on TV, but I hear you... the dominant movement in the TV world is definitely counter to the way things REALLY are.