Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flashback: American Idiot! (or "When I think I'm out (of ammo against fools), they PULL ME BACK IN")

(Eric in 2011: Inspired by the Bieberite Grammy fan-tantrum, another flashback to another music-related fit, tied into the now-in-a-long-decline American Idol. This early entry was written before I got over my jones for ALL CAPS SHOUTING. It was also well before Clay Aiken came out, by the way, making at least one joke doubly hilarious (or obnoxious) when viewed in hindsight.)

Chaz was kind enough to bring this to everybody's attention. Apparently, after Clay lost the American Idol finals on Fox, a few thousand diehard supporters decided to write the FCC demanding an audited recount, since they thought the voting was FIXED.

(For those of you who haven't experienced this before, Evil E mode is now engaged...)

The fact that thousands of my fellow countrymen have built this American Idol cattle business up into an ominous JFK-style conspiracy against effiminate-looking pasty-white skinny boys while they seem perfectly alright with the idea that the "justifications" for the most recent war are falling apart like wet toilet tissue is a bit unsettling. These letters are still entertaining to read, especially the ones who think they're talking to the Fox producers instead of the FCC. People who can't figure out who can't figure out who is at the other end of an e-mail address that ends in fcc.com probably don't need to be taking very much anyway.

Some of the best lines: PEOPLE SHOULD BE HONEST AND TELL THE TRUTH! Although being honest by lying is a helluva trick if you can pull it off.

Even the OSCARS hire outside accounting firms, that independently verify. Gee, you don't suppose that's because the Oscars are a highly respected industry award with a huge amount of history on the line, while Idol is a frickin' game show. Maybe when AI has been on the air for 70 years, you can start making comparisons like that. "EVEN the Oscars" would imply that Anonymous Dork puts AI on a higher plane of existence...man, I love that type of uneducated chutzpah.

In a letter that was not only sent to the FCC, but cc:ed to Fox, MSNBC, Paramount, and the Drudge report (yeah, this'll top that Clinton scoop as a career-maker): "My support goes completely to Clay Aiken! What talent! What a remarkable human being and a role model for all of us!" Okay, let's make this one multiple choice:

  • A) "MAKE LOVE TO ME, CLAY! RIGHT HERE ON THE PIANO! HOLD ME TIGHT UNTIL YOU SNAP MY BACK IN YOUR MANLY ARMS!"
  • B) "I'm establishing the Church of Clay to further my belief system! We'll be doing personality tests on random people in the street, and advising members not to have anything to do with the Rubenites under pain of excommunitation! Scientology?! What's that?!"
  • C) "Now that I've seen perfection, I have nothing to live for! So I'm going to flog myself to death with this copy of the latest Rolling Stone! And I'm taking you with me!"
  • D) Eric, PLEASE move on...it's getting late, and you're getting stale. (Answer Key: If you chose "D", you get your wish)
At the end of the same letter: I'm voting with my wallet and they can't take that vote away from me!" (letter writer feels for wallet, watches as a pickpocket darts down the street yelling "RUBEN! RUBEN!") "Aw, dammit, not again..."

"I didn't think that controversy would be something that would come up because after all, this is just a TV show. And what did it matter anyway? But it does, when it challenges my beliefs of fair play and honesty, two things which are very important to me." Important enough to be swayed by the plight of a photogenic stranger in a contest you see on TV who still gets to make records and be on talk shows even though technically he LOST? Pardon me for not crying myself to sleep tonight. And anyway, we all know that fair play and honesty are a huge part of the recording industry, right? You can stop laughing any time now.

The line that really made me do a double take, though, was at the bottom of this last letter: How does FOX and/or the production company want to be know among viewers? Is honesty and integrity important or has making money always been the issue here? HELLO? When has THE FRICKIN' FRACKIN' FOX NETWORK EVER BEEN ABOUT INTEGRITY? Or anything OTHER than making money? Remember, this is the same network that ran hours and hours of videos of people caught screwing on hidden cameras and bears mauling kids before they bit the hook on the reality TV trend. Really folks, the Simpsons can only carry your credibility so far.

For what it's worth, I went to an actual locally-owned record store (NOT AMAZON, you lazy tools) the other day. There was a stack of Clay CD singles by the cash register, while they were down to their last Ruben. I should've pried a bit more into how the sales were going, and I just might the next time I go there, but the point remains: a lot of people in this country need to grow the hell up. It really is only television.

And yes, I say this knowing I just wasted a big chunk of blog real estate lacing into people lacing into a lighter-than-air TV show. Never said I didn't have room to improve. Just look at this haircut, for instance...

--Original Post: July 12, 2003.

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