Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Idol

...and soon there will be seven.

I guess I knew alot more about Latin music than I thought. Apparently Latin music is pretty much defined by Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, and Santana. I'm guessing this is the equivalent of defining Hip Hop & R&B by performing the songs of the Fresh Prince, Sammy Davis Jr., and Living Color. Sorry, just being honest.

To say that there might be a shocker this week is not a stretch, but a great singer might be going home.
DOOLITTLE: Sang "Sway." I actually had to look this up to make sure it could classify as Latin. Yes, it was written by a Mexican band leader. I thought this might be a case where an American band leader tried to rip-off some Latin culture by putting bongos in a song and calling it a day - in the same way adding steal drums to any song makes that song Calypso. Back to Doolittle. I'm going to take a page from Simon's book. Imagine that an elementary school has a talent show and the teachers are allowed to perform. Mr. Doyle, 5th Grade, does magic. Mrs. Bocci, Librarian, juggles and rides a unicycle. The students love it. But the highlight is Mrs. Doolittle, 2nd Grade. Everyone has always heard she can sing so they can't wait to see if she is better than her interpretations of 2nd grade classics. Mrs. Doolittle raises a few eyebrows from the PTA with her song choice, but in the end, it was safe enough for 1st graders and 6th graders alike and Thomas Jefferson Elementary goes bananas!!! Compared to the magic act and the 4th grade girls performing Jessica Simpson's "Genie in a Bottle", Mrs. Doolittle was way, way better. But on American Idol, this night ...she was only so-so. There's a real chance she'll be in the bottom three.
LAKISHA: Not good. Not Sanjaya-style horrible. But, not good. I hope, for her sake, they quickly get past these gimmicky weeks - Top 40 Songs That Gwen Stefani Likes and Latin music. Do you know why Whitney Houston doesn't cover Latino songs and why Luther Vandross never cut a country CD? Because it would've sucked. Watching Lakisha have to do this crap makes me sad. She or Doolittle could be in the bottom three ...hopefully they can survive.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE #2: I thought I would hear a Latin classic such as "Livin' La Vida Loca" or "She Bang" before I heard Santana. Guess not. JT2 doesn't interperate the artists he covers, he channels them and impersonates them. Not the worst idea ...Bo Bice and Daughtry each made it pretty far by doing it ...but channeling Rob Thomas doing a duet with Santana won't win you a record contract.

LEGBERG LEGGENSTEIN: There is another show on TV right now called "The Next Pussycat Doll." Interestingly enough, the next Pussycat Doll is right here performing on American Idol. Fox gave a knod to the pervs at home by slowly panning from her feet, up her legs, and then onto her smile. Simon gave her credit for capitalizing on her strengths. Me too. But I swear, if I get tickets to the American Idol Summer Tour and she dares to wear anything but short shorts and/or skirts, I will boo her right off stage. If she makes it to next week - and I'm putting her in the bottom 3 - my wife hit the nail on the head ...she should wear a thong.

BALDY-WHO-SOMETIMES-WEARS-HATS: All I can remember from this performance was the horribly weak attempt by the guitarist to play guitar like Carlos Santana. One thing I like about American Idol is that the show sometimes reminds you how incredible the voices of Whitney, Mariah, and Aretha actually are. When you see someone butcher "Run to You" you can't help but further admire the great voices in music history. Same here with the guitar riff ...sometimes you can't appreciate Santana, Eddie Van Halen, or Ace Freely until you hear someone trying to duplicate something they've played. Bottom line was so bad, I laughed. Bottom line, part 2 ...Baldy will be in the bottom three. This appears to be his greatest talent ...surviving the bottom three.

BLAKE: When he walked on stage I thought, "too bad 311 didn't cover some Latin jam ...he's screwed." But, instead, he went out and had the best performance of the night. He wore a hat to steal the people-who-like-hats vote from Baldy and he definitely stole the suburban-white-pre-teen vote from JT#2. Top 7, here he comes.

LINEBACKER: OK. I think her name is Jordan. She may be the next contestant's name I learn. She was the 2nd best performance of the night. So good, I think she'll steal votes from Mrs. Doolitte, 2nd grade, and Lakisha. I hate to break it down like that, but that's how I think the voting happens. What's odd about this season is that there's no country-guy/gal. If there were, he/she would be walking away with the show.

SANJAYA: This week he morphed into a Latino stereotype. This may be the week that he, at least, finds himself in the bottom three. You see ...VoteFortheWorst has it right there in the name: "worst." Thing is, Sanjaya wasn't the worst this week. Aside from the Idol producers secretly paying him to quit, the best thing for them would be for Sanjaya to suddenly learn how to sing, perform, and start taking this seriously. What fun would it be if, by the end, Simon and Randy warmed up to him and then he actually starts selling millions of CDs. The "joke" wouldn't be funny anymore. I don't think he'll get voted off (if the rumors of all of India voting for him are true), but I would not be surprised to see him there (finally).
Predictions ...bottom three will be Baldy, Leggy, Sanjaya (Doolittle could replace Sanjaya). Booted ...Baldy.

Monday, April 09, 2007

274% Increase in General Theories

Do you know what's wrong with the country? American Idol. And do you know what is soooooo right with this world? American Idol. Stick with me ...I'll explain.
I read an article today that medical prescriptions for drugs used to cope with ADD and ADHD are up 274%. That floored me. A buncha Grumpy Old Men* will use that headline in the same way I will, now.

* Grumpy Old Men defined: Politicianesque critics; out of touch; unwilling to embrace new ideas; your Uncles (if you are a middle-class suburbanite)

Yes. ADD and ADHD is real. Many people have it. Treatment is great. However, we all know many people don't have it, but are diagnosed with it and given medication. Ask any teacher and they will probably tell you they have 1 of 2 kids in their class that need it, but 2 or 3 kids who's parents are using Ritalin to get out of actual parenting.

Believe it or not, I know someone who buys Ritalin from a friend just because Ritalin makes them feel better. This person doesn't have ADD ...he just wanted to quit drinking coffee. True story.

It ain't hype to state that we are an overly medicated society. Example 1: John Doe is fat ...hey ...take a pill. Example 2: Jane Doe has high blood pressure and high cholesterol ...hey's another pill. Question that should be asked: Can a person lower his/her blood pressure and cholesterol through diet and exercise? Answer that should be given by a doctor: Yes ...but you'll have to change how you live. Typical conclusion: Screw that!!! Gimme the pill.

I'm goin' somewhere with this me.

Personally, I work hard to control my cholesterol and blood pressure (and probably my undiagnosed ADD) with diet, sleep, and exercise. My resistance to taking meds is not isolated to those categories. I actually avoid meds for colds, flu's, allergies, and pain, too. That's mostly just me being crazy (I know that). I do this because I don't like chemicals in my body. I theorize (and gravitate to studies and theories that support my views) that with enriched flours, hydrogenated oils, and countless unnamed chemicals in our food, we poison ourselves daily.

Now we come to the payoff.

We don't care. We want to be happy and we want to be happy, now! We want to be famous, now!

Want to lose weight? There's a pill. Want to eat a salad? There's a bag. Want to be a famous recording artist? There's a show.

Guilty. I watch (and love) American Idol. Who doesn't? I love it and I hate it all at the same time. Just like I love and hate pop-music. American Idol shows you, first hand, what the teens and twentysomethings think. It is sad. Parents tell their kids how great they are, all the time, insulating them from all of life's dangers and heartaches. These kids then conclude they are the next Mariah Carey. Why? Because Mom said I can sing. Mom doesn't tell them about the real work and dedication that almost any artist is forced to put into their craft. The extreme sacrifice it takes to succeed. Kids-Today* think success is a 13-week mini-adventure. I actually read an article (I can't find the link) where a trend is finding parents calling their 20-something college-grad's boss to negotiate a raise or ask for more vacation. Yes. The article sourced multiple occurrences. It's actually a "trend."

* Kids-Today defined: anyone younger than me who I determine just doesn't "get it*."

* "It" defined: Whatever my opinion happens to be at that specific time.

But it also depresses-slash-scares me that I cross busy intersections with these same crazy people. I thank my maker that you rarely see an airline pilot or chief surgeon on Idol, standing and singing with crazy eyes, tone deafness, and completely lacking a grasp on reality.

Luckily, these kids won't be taking my job - oh wait ...unless they live in India. Oh wait ...that's Sanjaya!!! Good lord ...our next pop-icon-American Idol is being outsourced, too.

The end.