Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sad...But True

I have a confession. I am embarrassed to admit it but I actually watched some of American Idol tonight. I have seen maybe 3 episodes since America became captivated by the talent seeking sensation, and each time I ask myself, "Why did I do that?"
This was definitely one of those nights as the show was recorded in Seattle. Wow! There are some strange people in this world!
To be honest the show is unsettling to me. Since when is it OK to humiliate someone for what meager talent they possess, what they look like and what minimal intelligence they posses to even think they have something worthy to offer. Now, according to our standard of "rock star talent", they definitely don't measure up. But have we gone too far when America tunes in to watch the "idiots" of our society lose what little dignity they have left? It seems as if our society has lowered itself too far when it finds the public defamation of another human being funny - even entertaining. I don't think its funny or entertaining.
Not knowing what the episode would be tonight, we made the mistake of letting our 7 year old son watch a contestant or 2 try out in front of the judges. Having never seen the show before, he was literally brought to tears when he heard the judges cast insults to those on stage. He says to me, "But Dad, they are just doing the best they can. Why are they being so mean to them?" Is my son just naive or are we just that callous?
Here is the ironic part.
I changed the channel to PBS and watched a much more interesting documentary on the communist party in China. This particular episode highlighted the control that the Communist leaders have over religious and state affairs. Their appointment and removal of civic and religious leaders based on compliance with the party line was overt. In the same way, the control of the media to highlight the good of the Communist party while covering up those events that would not reflect positively on the government keeps the society in a state of apparent control and perceived peace.
Here is the question: Which is worse - a society that has no boundaries or one that is controlled by boundaries? I think it is a choice of 2 evils. Sad...but true.

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