American Idol, The Voice, The Biggest Loser, Dancing With The Stars...take your pick. I’m disgusted with all of them.
Most any type of reality show makes be gag. Just yesterday I saw a pitch for yet another category to add to the genre...a former Playboy Bunny/model/actress/Vegas performer having a baby. Since when do women give birth while being televised, wearing false eye lashes and hair extensions. Really? If you think that’s reality, you need your head examined.
What’s even more disturbing is the popularity of such programs. It’s apparent we, as human beings, thrive on watching others being judged, laughed at, put down, hurt. People are being compared to what’s unnatural, not every day living.
But especially disturbing to me are the televised, highly-staged talent contests that let celebrity judges and then good old America vote on you destiny.
With shows such as American Idol, “judges” sit on a panel, listening to contestants perform. Note to self: Silicone, plastic surgery, hair with no split ends and make-up perfectly intact. Seriously? Some contestants perform with enormous hope, others a bit hopeless. What’s even more disturbing, are the producers ability to throw someone in the mix, with not-so-natural talent, as the sacrificial lamb. Even in the comfort of my own living room, I’m embarrassed and sympathetic. There appears to be no empathy, no consideration. Judges have been known to walk off, laughing uncontrollably at self-conscious contestants.
We’re all judged enough in real life. I don’t understand the need or the necessity to go on national television, appear before a small group of experienced professionals, to encounter certain critical regurgitation. Seems every where we go, we’re exposed to what’s sexy, ideal, who’s talented and who’s not. Who really is the authority? I think performing in a seedy bar would be convincing enough.
In the beginning, did The Rolling Stones played harmoniously? Probably not. I’m certain Jim Morrison (The Doors) wouldn’t set foot in front of the false intentions of harsh Simon Cowell or busty Mariah Carey. Can you imagine such raw talent being groomed under the direction of a small few? What direction would Morrison have gone with the judges pumping him full of their ideas of what success should be?
I recently read a statement by Dave Grohl, original member of the 90’s grunge band, Nirvana and founder of the popular band, the Foo Fighters. It’s candid, but truthful.
“When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, ‘Oh, OK, that’s how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight fucking hours with 800 people at a convention center and… then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it’s not fuckin’ good enough.’ Can you imagine? It’s destroying the next generation of musicians! ...Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old fucking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll fucking start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. Because that’s exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some shitty old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-ass shit, and they became the biggest band in the world. That can happen again! You don’t need a fucking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol.” - Dave Grohl
Here! Here! I’m with Dave.
Maybe I’m a bit old school, but I’ve always believed if there’s something you really want, nourish the inner calling by trying, practicing, experimenting. Feel free to get it wrong before you get it right. Have fun while learning from mistakes, figure out what works, what’s successful. I never imagined one’s quest for success and acceptance would be made via ignorant television. If you want to sing, act, write, paint or perform, do it...minus the judges, cameras and television audience.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and last night I heard it: “MOM! There’s a spider in the bathroom! Come quick, kill it.”
If I was the character Fern in the classic “Charlotte's Web,” poor Charlotte wouldn’t have had enough time to finish the “SOME PIG” message before I took a shoe to her. I am not a fan of the spider species. Just writing about it makes me twitchy.
I’m pretty sure spiders are on the hunt for me. They are waiting for me to enter the garage, the basement, remove the laundry from the floor and scurry out.
Any time I enter a room, I scan the walls. I assume any sort of black spot or dark mark is an eight-legged enemy checking me out.
Like a old-lady in Cadillac, I am constantly on the defensive. If we happen to be talking and you look over my shoulder and say “Oh my God” I will automatically assume there is a spider right behind me. If you then tell me not to move, I will assume there is an arachnid on my shoulder having a laugh.
I’m unsure if this phobia is nature or nurture, my mother has the same reaction to the things. I grew up watching her scream for my dad to come to her rescue. Even better was watching her take a broom to a cringing character in a ceiling corner.
After getting married, my then-husband tired of the “there’s a spider!” game and I was “gently encouraged” to kill them on my own.
My boyfriend discovered if he wants to save one he better capture and get it outside before I catch wind of it.
Of course, first I have to make a spectacle of my spider stand-offs.
Boyfriend found it particularly fun to listen to me yelling and begging for help when once I almost put my hand on a juicy, hairy one in the laundry room sink. Having secured its position on the white porcelain basin said spider cornered me in the room thus forcing my hand - literally - to smush, screech, cringe and deposit in the toilet, apologizing profusely. “I’m sorry,” I addressed Mr. Spider. “But really, next time don’t let me see you.”
And then I did the "Eew Eew Eew" dance.
Now, see here, I am a lover of many things. I will scoop up a lady bug and put her to fresh air freedom. I will steer a moth out the front door . I’ve rescued bunnies in shoeboxes. I am the first to pull over if I see a stray dog in the road.
But so help you if you are a spider. Stay outside and I will give you your space. But come into mine and you are toast.
Unless, of course, I miss the squish like I did last night, sending my daughter to slam the door shut behind her and tuck a towel under to prevent spider-friend from crawling out for a late night visit to her bedroom.
Until next time, Mr. Spider.