Guest Post: Taming Insanity

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!

Taming Insanity

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.


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16 comments for “Guest Post: Taming Insanity

  1. June 4, 2010 at 8:12 am

    LOL!!! I actually have to admit that since I married Husband I have given up Idol. It was too annoying to watch with him in the room… he’s a vocal performance major and would basically trash me for even thinking about watching. It was just easier to turn it off. But pre-Hubs? Oh yeah. I watched Idol.

  2. liz
    June 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

    this was so awesome. and i don’t think you are a nerd, klz. even after your admission.

  3. June 4, 2010 at 9:06 am

    court of public opinion! That’s awesome.
    I really and truly don’t watch American Idol or even Canadian Idol.
    But I have been sucked into Dancing with the Stars in the past however.

  4. June 4, 2010 at 9:11 am

    MacGyver LOVES AI. Except, he never even saw the first season, when it was an acceptable show to watch and before Seacrest ate Brian Dunkelman.

    The entire show makes me cringe.

  5. June 4, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Well, I hope we can still be friends after this…I didn’t watch American Idol this season. Couldn’t get into it. And you know what? I didnt’ miss watching 3 hours every week of the same thing!

    But as usual, fantastic writing and I still heart you even though you watch the Idol.

  6. June 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I don’t watch Idol. I watched about a week’s worth one season when a local guy was on it. That was plenty. I am not big on reality shows as a whole. I watch Survivor and that’s the extent of it. I just can’t get in to them. Never seen an episode of Dancing With the Stars, the Bachelor, or the Bachelorette (is that how you spell that?). I prefer dramatic TV like The Vampire Diaries.

    Plus, who needs to watch those shows when all of the celebrity rags cover them over and over anyway? I’ll let those people get paid to watch them and then skim their articles. Or even better, I’ll read FB statuses.

  7. June 4, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I have the exact opposite experience! People at my work were always referencing Idol and I felt like a loser/outcast for not watching, but sadly I’m far too lazy to invest in a show that’s on multiple times a week – not to mention, I find watching people sing somewhat boring.

    Hm, now I feel even more of a dork!

  8. June 4, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Haha! I used to be a wide-open AI (and Wayne Brady) lover. This was when I considered myself to be pretty young and hip! Now that I am old and a huge loser I don’t watch AI…I watch the biggest loser instead…telling, isn’t it.

  9. June 4, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I tried. I TRIED.

    I wanted to be able to talk with my friends. To connect. To feel validated.

    But the problem is….I sing.

    I sing…umm…well? (Is it totally stuck-up obnoxious to admit that?)

    So does Himself.

    And well….it hurts. Not everyone. A few voices have knocked our socks off. But the bad ones, well, they are painful. Only somewhat because they’re hard to listen to. But mostly because it’s like my WORST NIGHTMARE as a singer: singing in front of a panel and singing SO BADLY that the judges are either texting or under a desk.

    I can’t watch. It’s almost as bad as the bees.

  10. June 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I love american idol…although at points this season i found myself fast forwarding through the people i did not care for…i know not a true idol fan…but i did like LEE! i totally predicted he would win…i had that chicago vibe going on!
    great writing girl!

  11. June 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Too true. I’m mainstream and boring and loves the Idol! I’m not even cool enough to know that it’s not cool. I didn’t know I should be keeping it secret all this time. Thanks for pointing that out! Lol.

  12. KLZ
    June 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks again for hosting me! I need somewhere to reveal my secret.

  13. June 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    MamaSox was robbed.

    On that note. I never had to hide it because the birth of Jason coincided with Season 1 of AI. So I always blamed my Idol watching on that whole family fun thing you just said.

  14. June 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Ha! I have been out of the Idol loop since season 3. Now that I watched last season I felt like I was part of the nerd herd.

  15. June 4, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    How bad is it when you say…those glasses look just like Tori’s…as in Tori and Dean?

  16. June 5, 2010 at 11:06 am

    First, loved the Mom-In-A-Million post at Taming Insanity from a while back – and I look forward to reading more!

    Second, KLZ, this one’s a keeper. We’ve all got out bootleg addictions don’t we? Why can’t people own up? And I love Television w/out Pity. I used to daydream about how cool it would be to write for their site.

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