January 27, 2007

"American Idol:" Case Studies in Sociology

If you’re one of the millions who watch the wildly popular American Idol I trust you will appreciate what I am about to say. Week after week in these early stages of tryouts, we are “treated” to a montage of Americans who, with stars in their eyes, gyrate, rotate, vibrate, juggle and dance with a song in tow and a dream of being the next pop super star.

To be sure, many show up just to say they went and I have to believe that many more are totally putting on when they act upset and shocked when they are told they can’t sing. Tear, sobs, wails and expletives often accompany the star struck entertainers, supposedly crushed to the core, when they are told flatly--they stink.

But what are we to think when the others, who are truly awful by any objective standard of talent, are honestly shaken to the core because—apparently for the first time--someone is honest with them? The fact is, being judged for the actual quality of their performance and not quality of their desire obliterates the bubble of self-esteem inflated over the years but a culture of mediocrity—and worse.

Everyone seems to loathe Simon Cowell. He is blunt, no nonsense and sometimes downright mean—all true. But meanness aside, his assessment of talent,

more often than not, is dead on. And contestants leave in tears or cursing or both insisting these professionals who make their livings assessing real talent, have “no idea what they’re talking about.” And why? Because they have never been told they are anything but fantastic! Great! Awesome! much less that they have no talent what so ever.

What we see in American Idol is the fruit of a hollow generation where no one was ever cut from a team, few if any have ever been allowed to “fail” and all were given an abundance of ribbons, awards, and trophies.

And so this generation of deluded adults struggle through life bewildered why everyone doesn’t bow to their demand for success; a demand founded on the perilous sands of false compliments and worthless awards.

When God was kicked out of our schools, truth also packed its bags and children were left to find meaning in cheap diplomas and certificates of participation. But the real world does not function on the measure of one’s sincerity no matter how hard one works if that which the hard work produces is still below average. And it cares even less about one’s self-esteem. So, instead of a red carpet, they get a pink slip having been set up for failure in the absence of truthful criticism. These young adults are left shattered—the product of a life constructed on deceitful “Way-to-go’s” and “Atta-boys.”

God allows us to ignore Him and His wisdom for life—but we do so at our own peril. “The sins of the fathers are visited to the third and fourth generation” and its up to us to stop the delusion.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

(Proverbs 27:6) The young people of today have been given the kiss of death in so many ways. Will we love them enough, to speak the truth in love?

1 Comments:

Blogger eliallen said...

You are such a clown--only you could connect Simon Cowell's cruelty with the Bible verse, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." You must be able to justify anything. Obviously you can, because in the above blog, you write that those interested in entertainment are, "mentally impaired, with small lives and even smaller IQ's." You then proceed to write, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word that is good for EDIFICATION..."

Chris A.

1:32 PM  

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