Vital Idol

idolIt has even spilled over into my musical endeavors, forming new breeds of guilty pleasure that eat away at another side of my dignity. Below are some music and television choices I cannot be proud of, but can no longer hide from.

 

 

 

Since the invention of Tivo, it has been easier for me to grab hold and secretly enjoy my guilty pleasures on television. No one has to be around when I watch. And I can record them in sweet discreetness. Like every American with Tivo (which is the best invention since the toilet), it has changed my life. My existence – and I blame no one but myself – is often guided/ruined/saved by the television show American Idol. It has even spilled over into my musical endeavors, forming new breeds of guilty pleasure that eat away at another side of my dignity. Below are some music and television choices I cannot be proud of, but can no longer hide from.

Music

Kelly Clarkson | Television and marketing executives molded her into a well-oiled, album-selling machine. In reality, she represents everything about music that is horrible, calculated, and cold. She is a puppet of big business and producers, jumping as high as they ask. She has backup dancers. Regardless, I love Kelly Clarkson. Sometimes, when I don't feel like caring about my integrity and when no one's looking, I'll throw in her album Breakaway and blast it. For what it's worth (and my justification is obviously flawed), "Since U Been Gone" is a great song, practically written to perfection with the right studio editing and an amazing hook. And I jam to it like a teenage girl in her dad's Miata.

Ska music | Repetitive, out of style, stupid, and often wallowing in its own unique clichés, ska music still finds its way into my stereo every so often – probably more than it should. Just about every band is the same: over five members, frustrating horn section, reggae verse, punk chorus, "pick it up, pick it up"; it's irritating stuff. But on a sunny day, say the first nice day after a long, gray winter, there is nothing better to hear than "I Can't Wait" by Hepcat. Or maybe, and god help me, a Reel Big Fish album. I've never claimed to be 100% classy, but I was my most impressionable in the middle to late '90s as a teenager. To not be enveloped in the ska and punk music of the time would be a crime to my childhood…right? Yeah, I wouldn't buy that one either.

 

Television

American Idol | As a social experiment, it's brilliant. As a representation of the talent in our country, it's horrible. As a television show, it's addictively terrible. The contestants, even when they can sing, are singing horrible songs. The theme weeks, such as the "Songs of Engelbert Humperdinck" make me cringe yet look on with delight. Watching American Idol is like watching NASCAR: it's only viewed for the wrecks. When they happen, I'm like a junkie who needs his fix. It's only when you let your guard down, you start actually caring about the contestants. And that would never happen to me…no way. OK, maybe Bo Bice, but that's it. And Taylor Hicks. And Constantine Maroulis. And Katherine McPhee. But Chris Daughtry can go to hell.

MTV dating shows | Date My Mom, Parental Control, NEXT, Exposed – they are all basically the same stupid show with the same format. Enter some douchebags who will show how douchey they are and then they will compete over a girl/guy/whatever. The shows are proof of the severe decline of intellect in our country and for some reason I can't stop watching them. NEXT is probably the best, as not only one or two douchebags get to compete, but five, allowing for maximum doucheage. One show is filled with enough cheesy one-liners to last someone a lifetime and only promotes stupidity and horrible people. Then why do I watch it? I honestly couldn't tell you. Maybe as a contrast of my life to theirs. Maybe I just like watching assholes on TV. I'm drawn to it like a moth to light. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? | Chris Schott

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