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Sunday, April 28, 2013

American Idol makes me cry

Yes, really. For a number of reasons. First, I cry every time I watch this programme (that, together with X-Factor) because I remember the years when I was without any television and every time I watch it, I regret the decision to have started watching the TV again. True, American Idol and X-Factor are the only programmes that we watch with my boyfriend, but even these rare evenings are better spent with a book, something which won’t tell me what to think and how to feel. Second, yesterday I was indeed crying when we watched the pre-recoded evening of the song contest. One of the themes they used this year to make audience tearful was visiting the children’s’ hospital. And no, I didn’t cry because of seeing the sick children (for this, it is sufficient to check my Facebook newsfeed), I cried because of the hypocrisy of the production team. One contestant was especially spectacular in the making by proclaiming that when she entered the hospital, ‘she felt at home’. Okay, she is probably still too young…to understand that sick children are used for commercial purposes, nothing else and nothing more. The country made its choice when, instead of focussing on the fact that Clinton abolished welfare as a federal issue, it was paying all its attention to his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Much more entertaining, of course. But using all kinds of causes for publicity is, obviously, not just a prerogative of American Idol. Take the UK as an example, or any other country where TV contests inundate all possible and impossible viewing time. I don’t watch the Voice anymore, but I read the review of it by Charlie Brooker for this year. He says that one can watch the Voice while waiting to die. Well, I would go further and say that one can die while watching the Voice. That’s what happened to me last year. I died from boredom. But what was interesting in his article is the comment on how we praise disproportionally something about which we don’t really care in real lives, thanks to the TV. There was a contestant who apparently sung well and is working with special needs children in his off TV life. And so the judge,, for that matter, told him that he represented all people who worked with children and cared about them. Ha-ha-ha. Or take the X-Factor several years ago and their song’ The Heroes’, reworked to represent soldiers dying during wars. You know what, if you really care about soldiers, don’t send them to your stupid wars. And don’t start wars so that the rest of the population embraces the reality TV capitalism and start watching the X-Factor….or American Idol.

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