Thursday, February 01, 2007

Under the Microscope

We sit, two nights a week, and watch American Idol. A whole lot of people are watching American Idol, like it or not.

The show itself is a pretty good microcosm of what seems to be happening to American society as a whole: There are people you'll like, those you'll dislike; there are some real lunatics appearing on those auditions, and every one of them is convinced that they've got what it takes. But with one problem: who decides who is the greatest?

Now I believe that having a positive self-image is a good thing, of course. And I guess it's ok to think that you're really as great as you'd like to believe you are. But I think this show gives a great example of an underlying problem that's really taken root in this country.

However, the problem, as I see it, is that no one can admit that maybe they're not good at something, or maybe they didn't try as hard as they could have. If every one of us was an accomplished athlete, or amazingly talented recording artist, there'd be no room on the music store shelves or the playing fields. Reality is, some of us have to be good at other things. While I do concede, again, that a positive self-image is a good thing, part of fitting into society is the realization that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and not everyone is going to agree with our assessment of ourselves. We don't seem to be very willing to accept reality. We don't do well with criticism, even when it's constructive.

The American Way seems to be, "I'm The Greatest, and if you don't agree, well then, you're an idiot."

We don't face facts.

How many contestants have we seen who, once rejected, launch into tirades, condemning the judging abilities of the folks in charge? It seems to have become a major facet of our social personality in this country. We don't accept our own limitations, or the consequences of our actions.

Look how parents react to their children's accomplishments or lack thereof. Kid comes home with straight "F"'s, it has to be the school's fault. Never mind that Little Johnny prefers to spend every waking moment playing with his X-Box, and Little Johnny's mommy and daddy have never figured out who is supposed to be in charge in the household. Nope. He failed History, Mrs. Teacher, you must be doing something wrong.

We have lunatics, disguised as parents, wreaking havoc on the fields of children's sports. Imagine: every one of these kids is as good as Peyton Manning, but the damned coach is too stupid to realize it. And the fact that Peyton Jr. can't throw the football farther than 4 feet just goes to prove how bad Coach is.

And it's not just parents-kids. A US Congressman gets caught sending sexually explicit emails to an underage Aide, and blames substance abuse for his actions. Hollywood "celebrities" try and compensate for a lack of talent by engaging in completely idiotic behavior, then check into rehab. And we're then told that this is admirable behavior, and that these folks are heroes for combatting their issues. What issues? The fact that one might just be a complete idiot? In my world, maturity is the solution to the problem, not a fancy Rehabilitation Center.

We always had a national pride in our Underdogs. Willie Loman was a hero of sorts, because he toiled on, day after day, despite the reality that he would never be great. Cinderella stories inspire us, but Cinderella overcame the odds, struggled against seemingly insurmountable adversity, and emerged victorious. She didn't tell us to kiss her ass and just give her what she wanted.

Failure is ok. It really is. It should either inspire us to try harder to get it right, or accept our limitations and go in a new direction to achieve greatness. But the key point is to accept that maybe we aren't the best, and need to work on things a little, rather than attacking everyone around us who doesn't see it our way.

You get to be "The Greatest" by being "The Greatest", not simply by deciding you are, and berating others into accepting it.

Deal with it, and move on to your next level of greatness.


  1. Anonymous3:40 PM

    secular progressives suck! ly cass

  2. And what, may I ask, inspired this entry?


  3. Anonymous7:25 PM

    I loved this entry. And I absolutely agree.

    Lady M

  4. I agree. I hate that people act like this.

    I love to sing. But I'm not the best or even in the top 10,000 in my STATE.(I'd say 100,000 but you saw the American Idol auditions here lol) But I'll keep singing because it makes me happy.

    I'm great at sales and marketing, not my greatest pleasure but it's my talent. So I'm going to school to educate myself further and become better at this. I know it's my strength.

    People have to know their weaknesses as well as their strengths and embrace it all for part of who they are. If you're not the best, oh well, you don't have to be. Try something new.


  5. You are so right on Jimmy. There's a reason why we are all different. If we were all the same we'd live in some Hitler/Marxist type society. Can we say socialism/communism?

    Our failures should teach us to try harder or go in a different direction.

    The contestants who fight back are a product of broken homes and bad parenting. Kids these days are lacking respect......I see it all the time and it makes me sick.

  6. Hi Jimmy!
    I like American Idol but I'm in total agreement of your well written post. I do not watch the auditions because I find it sad that it's more about making fun of these people.

    Young people have such a sense of entitlement! My own kids, who I have raised to earn their own way, feel they need help...jeez!

    Thanks for your vote ;) HUGS


I love comments. I won't lie about that!