Friday, March 13, 2009

The Reality Show That is Our Government

The more I follow politics, the more I realize how closely it mirrors reality shows.
Take, for example, American Idol.

We watch and laugh and cheer as the good singers are weeded out from the bad. But the producers put in a few real crazies, just to peak our interest. Barney Frank? Al Franken?

Using the term "reality" isn't exactly accurate, is it? I mean, are people like that in life? As I've been watching and developing favorites, I've noticed how my opinions and likes are being manipulated by the producers. A few of the singers that got through to the first public vote I didn't even recognize. Had no idea who they were, because I'd been so saturated with Danny Gokey's tragedy, Scott MacIntyre's blindness, and Lil Rounds' three kids. Just like politics. The sob stories are brought to the forefront to wring pity out of us and justify massive spending (voting).

And what about the judging? Randy (Harry Reid) Jackson softens his blows of truth with the use of creative dialogue and mumbo jumbo to avoid the wrath of the public.
Paula "Pelosi" Abdul is always there, smile plastered on her face and clapping passionately, only addressing the positives and smoothing over her criticism.
Kara, Kara, Kara. I'd had such hopes for you. I'd wanted you to be another strong voice of reason on the panel. But I see you've been swayed to become little more than Randy's echo. Who are you? Of course! Olympia Snow!
And Simon. The man everyone professes to love, but when he speaks the truth (like how ugly Lil Rounds' outfit was or how inappropriate Jorge's song choice was), he's booed and dismissed. I wish I could attribute this attitude to anyone in Congress. I know the Republicans are trying to stand up and do the right thing. Maybe Simon Cowell is the Republican minority, voicing itself wherever it can before the negativity of the other side silences them..

There's Ryan Seacrest, the pressman for all of them, making the judges' opinions sound like Gospel, and trying to convince the voting public to steer towards the voices that the judges deem worthy, not the ones we are particularly drawn to.

And this week, with the addition of judge veto power, it has all come full circle. We as the public cannot possibly be trusted with such a monumental and important decision as who the next American Idol will be. After all, we passed on Chris Daughtrey and Jennifer Hudson, right? Like neither of them have had a career since the show. No Grammys. No Oscars. Poor them! Nope. So the judges have been awarded the power to let one contestant return during the course of the season. Who will that be? Of course it will be Bill Clinton. No one can seem to make him disappear.
How stupid are we? Why should we get a vote? Why should we get to choose? Sounds sneakingly familiar. . . . What is it? Oh yes. A stimulus package. No, two stimulus packages that only the elite are allowed to know what they contain and yet affect everyone else.

And who is playing the role of the DNC? Of course it's Clive Davis, the man who chooses who gets the golden recording contract. The DNC handpicked that gem we currently have running our country. Can"t wait to see where that's headed.

And Mr, Obama? That of course is last year's winner, David Cook. Everyone thought he would be the next Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. Turns out he's a little more Taylor Hicks than we thought. Good luck with that.

All of it can be manipulated by the powers that be--who will be in the running to win American Idol. But they can't make me buy the music, and they can't make me listen to it on the radio. Here's the big difference between AI and our government: The government can make me pay more taxes and make me enroll in nationalized health care. But what can they never do? They can't make me like it. They can't force me to tolerate Barack. And they can't make me teach my children that their philosophies and policies are the only ways to solve our country's problems.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all about a good dose of reality TV. I never miss The Amazing Race, Survivor, or American Idol. Even though I feel slightly manipulated, I really like Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, and Matt Giraud. Survivor's Taj makes me laugh with her alliances. And the lawyer bro and sis on the Amazing Race, although slightly annoying, make a great case for smart people in this country. But I like to watch reality TV for its entertainment value, not as a concerned citizen, worried about our country's future.

We're in for a huge backlash, people. Be ready for it. It's coming.
Maybe Simon will be able to oust all the fakers this time.


  1. I love this post!!! Love it, love it, love it! The similarities are creepy similar.

    You and Snarky Mama are on the same page with Adam Lambert. I like Matt Giraud, but honestly I'm not feelin' any of them really. Not like I felt for Chris Daughtry.

  2. similarities are creepy similar...did I really write that? Oh well, you know what I mean...right?

  3. Excuse me--David Cook is like Taylor Hicks? You do realize his first post-AI record went platinum in only a few months. All of his post-AI concerts have sold out within hours, if not minutes, and he still has a staggeringly large fanbase that have not wavered an iota in their fervor for all things Cook. Teen idol in the Broadway version of Grease Cook is not.