Have you noticed just how low the 'common denominator' has become, these days? Or perhaps it's just me.
It's TV that triggered this particular post. Everything from the commercials to prime-time to cable: it's really tricky to find shows worth the time. I do really appreciate much of it: travel channel, NetGeo, food channel, of course, & HGTV.
Now prime-time is a game show festival, some run 2 hours. Holy cow. Prizes are Huge, though it's very difficult for contestants to grab the really big ones. And the contestants are going into them as if they are make-or-break earth-changing events. (Yes, I know, anyone who actually wins a millions dollars will be changed.)
But no one ever seems to notice that anything they win is more than they came with. It's a game.
Even Oprah has jumped on this particular wagon. I'm waiting to see if she repeats - or how she repeats it. At least her contestants didn't even know there was a prize this first time around. That little secret won't ever work again, so I wonder.
I even liked American Idol in the beginning. But the repartee between the host and judges grew old many moons ago, and only the teenie-boppers decide who wins. What a weirdness. And the contestants seem to think (and maybe they're right) that the way to score points is with a catchy comeback. Where is the real musician who wants to hear the critique, learn, improve, and be better. And yes, there is some good critique happening. No, not from that fluff in the middle, I truly don't get her. Like her? yes, why not? Value her opinion? No. She rarely offers a comment that will educate a musician. She wants 'em to feel good.
The other two really do have useful things to say, but now it is a game to boo their criticisms unless they are flattering. Getting sooooo old.
And standing ovations no longer have meaning. Sigh...
And then, just when we're down to some really good musicians, the creators of this phenomena turn the decision making over to 'the fans'. Oh, boy: interactive TV.
Now even my favs, like Food Network and HGTV just can't leave the competitions alone.
It's really weird.
We know a young woman here, age about 25, who sings really well, plays guitar, and composes some really good stuff. Around here, she's the Karaoke Queen. We've done a web site for her, put her up on YouTube, raised money, taken her to competitions, and coached for success. How's that going?
Well, fine - as long as someone else is doing the work. She'd love to be on Idol, or Nashville Star. And she'll go - if someone just covers the travel and the hotel and the food and the, and the...
Don't get me wrong: she writes & sings everyday. It's not that she does nothing; it's that she does nothing to advance her career. She has made two CDs, in Nashville no less, because there was someone to foot the bill. She 'sat in' briefly with a popular band in El Paso, but "can't" move there.
She won't even get off her duff and put together a local band, because, "they won't be able to go with me...".
Guess what? She's not going anywhere.
She's the Karaoke Queen, using someone else's equipment, singing her little heart out, and taking turns with the other wanna-be's and non-singers who show up for Karaoke around here. It would be so tremendously sad if I didn't know that she was choosing this life.
Bless her little heart.
I'm guessing these are just some of the dying throes of a soon-to-be-former TV watcher.
I'm fearful that what I see indicates a trend in thinking (or not thinking) of a vast number of Americans who are just too tired, too lazy, too depressed, too distracted, too - something, to see ourselves clearly.
And of course, the winners are all those folks behind the cameras: the networks, the sponsors, and all the retail outlets that carry that stuff we just have to have, now. Shoot, last night I cooked dinner in the spam of time it took for ONE commercial.
(OK, the salad was already made and I was only grilling tuna, but still...that should not be possible.)
OK - end of rant - exhale, sigh...ommmmmmmmmmmmm