A couple of weeks ago, KLZ over at Taming Insanity was kind enough to let me guest post and defend myself in the face of (mostly self-inflicted) (but entirely true) accusations of uncoolness. I did this in response to her gut-bustingly (is that a word? It is now.) funny posts about how she, her sister, and her mom occasionally tortured her dad by doing things like getting tongue rings and stuff.
So, I was really looking forward to her guest post. Then she sent me this piece of brilliant comedy and reminded me again how freakin’ unhip I am because I don’t watch the right tv. That’s right. I don’t watch American Idol. Never have. Except for one time when it was on at a friend’s house and some doe-eyed redheaded boy who looked like the love-child of Rick Astley and Howdy Doody was singing and missing every high note by about a quarter of a pitch. I was curled on the corner of their couch whimpering and asking how they could bear listening to such terrible, terrible music. I thought I was demonstrating superior musical sensibilities in my eschewing of Idol but apparently not. Apparently I’m just a dork. Sigh.
Anyway, KLZ is not a dork and actually knows more than she’s letting on about popular tv talent contests. So, read on!
The Great American Secret
I’ve recently begun watching the people in my life more closely.
Perhaps this is because I’m a mother and I look at how people’s actions might impact my child more. Or perhaps it is because I am sober more frequently.
I’ve noticed something. Something that most of them have been trying to hide from me. Well, not just from me. From society. From themselves.
They are watching American Idol.
Now, I’m sure many of you may watch the show as it is good family fun. It’s got something for everybody, right? A jerk, a comedian, a guy who repeats himself ad nauseum. Couple that cast of characters with attractive young people getting their hopes dashed and you’ve got yourselves a hit.
But here’s the thing: when I was young and hip….oh, who are we kidding, I was never young and hip. But before I had a child, we would never admit to sitting around watching American Idol. We were living in the center of museums and culture and BARS! Never would we debase ourselves by focusing on something so trivial! We weren’t watching anything as mainstream as American Idol. Psssh, no way, no how.
Admitting you watched American Idol was like admitting you thought Wayne Brady was cutting edge. It just wasn’t done.
But lately, I’ve been noticing little slip-ups.
A friend will say, “Oh, this is just like the jacket Lee had on last night.”
Then they blush and change the subject.
In the past, I’d say “Lee who?” but now I know. They’ve been watching Idol. And they’re rooting for Lee DeWyze.
There are more insidious clues too. Like my super cool neighbor who posted on Facebook “Lee had better win or I’m going to lose it.” Now, that first comment you can perhaps deny but the second is hard evidence. Anything posted on Facebook can be used against you in the court of public opinion.
I could never understand how it was the most popular show in the country. Now I’ve realized: my peers are liars. There wasn’t a time when they were resisting the siren song of Idol. They have been watching it all along.
They are squirreling away with bootleg TVs in basements so that no one will know they are addicted. Surrepitously they check Idol related blogs to see who is favored to be voted out. They are texting their votes in for their favorites.
The worst part is: I’ve been doing this for years. I count myself among those with an Idol habit. I hate telling people I know what’s going on on Idol. You see, I’m addicted to Television Without Pity. So I have read their Idol recap for years to know what’s up. Then I search YouTube for any performances that were said to be particularly good or bad. It’s the lazy man’s way to find out what’s happening on the teevee.Plus, I’ve been able to deny actually watching the program.
But I didn’t want people to know I was so nerdy. Especially about the Idol. So I hid it.
We could have been talking about this stuff all along. But then we would have to face it: we’re just as mainstream as Idol. And that’s not something I can deal with.
Now, please excuse me while I go watch the TV in my closet to see how Crystal Bowersox is doing.