Friday, April 11, 2008

American Idol, Kvetchfest, the Loss of Salmon, and Montana Oil

American Idol
Although I am somewhat ashamed to admit it I, Luke G., watch American Idol. I know: it's uber-dorky, it supports Faux, it reveals that plastic-y, uncultured side of America that five years ago utterly sickened me, and ultimately, the show helps turn the viewer’s brain to mush. But I gotta say that thanks to my wife, I watch AI and actually like it.

My reasons? Well… Part of me is wishing I was up there on stage singing for a big break (that for me never came, boo-hoo). Part of me is also the hater anxiously awaiting the night that the poser David Cook or that forgettable girl from Oregon finally gets the boot. And part of me likes being just plain mindless. Being a jaded political nut who works for a non-profit I desperately need an escape. What can I say? But excuses aside, this week's AI made me want to puke!
On one level, that obsessive lefty in me finally could take no more: This week Idol "gave back". For those of you that don't know, AI does what can only be described as a telethon. The viewers donate some money and AI distributes it to largely worthy humanitarian causes. AI gets a bunch of stars to come in hopes of upping the numbers. Brad Pitt was amusing, Forrest Whitaker proved how compassionate he truly is, and Teri Hatcher showed that she has no business holding a mic.
What's wrong with millions of dollars being forked out by the public for worthy causes? Nothing, unless you consider that

a) Rupert Murdock could double the donations in one quarter's profits and

b) the corporate sponsor Exxon/Mobile made over $11 Billion last quarter

That's right: as recession hits, well-meaning Americans are donating their hard earned dough while getting fleeced by the oil giants and dumbed down by Faux.
You think that is where I’m going with my tirade? Well, think again.
I swallowed the hypocrisy just like the other viewers but last night I did finally get to the point where I had to change the channel (Gasp!). AI had just gotten done hyping themselves up, Ryan Seacrest had just announced the contestants' opening number, and the singers themselves had begun singing their song: Shout to the Lord.
Now I am pretty tolerant of peoples' religions and, when last week some of the Idols chose Christian songs I didn't connect with them but I certainly thought that it was their choice. And when guest Dolly Parton sang about Jesus I again was o.k. with it: Besides free choice there are plenty of great songs about Jesus or other religious themes. I love a lot of gospel music after all, and who is going to deny the profound depth of "Amazing Grace"? But when AI forced its diverse crew of competitors to praise Jesus in this evangelical song, I felt sick.
1. Not all the contestants are necessarily Christian yet they had to sing. What were they going to do? Protest and get the boot next week?
2. Not everyone watching is Christian. In fact, I was sitting next to my Jewish wife and daughter. America is diverse filled with Muslims, Universalists, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, etc... I'm guessing I was not the only one offended.
3. Today I read that during the telethon the night before AI did the same number, except they omitted Jesus’ name. Apparently the evangelicals got ticked off and to make a statement, AI did a redo inserting J.C.'s name back in. DUMB. AI shouldn't have touched this with a ten foot pole yet they did and then played around with it. That's Fox for you ain't it?
Looks like I just had a ‘fest of my own huh? Well, check out the Willy Week for their annual issue of the same name. As a native of Stumptown I laughed my ass off and then started crying into a 14oz pint of microbrew.
Loss of Salmon
Speaking of crying, the Feds just announced that they are going to do what the scientists advised for a change. There will be virtually no salmon fishing off the Oregon and Californian coasts. They are doing this to help the depleted salmon population recover. I'm all for it but sadly, it also means high priced imported salmon and hence, my BBQ will be relegated to burgers and chicken. I do so love you red meat of the sea but I guess I love you enough to lay-off for the year. But tonight, sushi with Sharon!

Montana Oil
Four dollars a gallon for your gas guzzler at the pump? Erratic weather patterns reeking havoc across the country (flood water anyone?)? Foreign wars, no-bid contracts, & scandalous energy firms? Yeah, it’s the oil baby. Black Gold! And we just got more of it. Any of you hoping for the well to run dry so that that car exhaust would no longer march us closer to extinction or so that our money would be spent on reinventing our society into a sustainable green one smear that hope with tar 'cause you're about to get feathered! Scientists have confirmed that there is a shale layer under Wyoming and Montana that is one of the biggest reserves of oil found to date. Which undoubtedly means a chance for more greenhouse gases, more plunder of the world's resources, more life as usual, and more profit for the barons at Exxon/Mobile (those poor guys deserved a break didn't they?). Praise Jesus and give a Shout to the Lord!!!


Blogger BHUVAN CHAND said...

Many adults in the United States are concerned about climate change, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 47 per cent of respondents think global warming is a very serious problem, while 26 per cent deem it as somewhat serious.

11:55 PM  

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