Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"They've gotta cut some good ones, I guess . . . "

. . . quoth the rather large, more or less tone deaf would-be American Idol with the scratches and bruises on her arms from a wrestling match with inanimate objects in a darkened fitting room.

This is why I'll never be a great writer: I simply can never look away long enough to make a note of anything. I stand there, transfixed (yes, that's the third time I've used that word here in a week; it's officially embargoed until further notice) by the trainwreck compulsion. I swore tonight was to be a writing night (I'm working on what I hope will be a much larger project -- not only offline, but in long hand (the ladies in the audience shriek)), and right up to the point I was to sit and write I did everything exactly as planned. Unfortunately, my plate of pasta lasted five minutes too long: Seinfeld, the last ten minutes of which I'd tuned in to pass the meal, ended and there I was still with more food on my plate. AI started, and I was lost.

I assume there are about a billion people blogging about AI, and that sort of thing is most certainly not on the agenda here. I will note, however, that it dawned on me while I watched that the show really embodies two competitions. We are all familiar with the principal competition to be dubbed American Idol. But tens of thousands of people audition, and at least some fraction of them simply must realize that they are competing for something else entirely: to be bad enough in an interesting enough way that their auditions will make the first episode. Which makes each one's indignation at being mocked all the more absurd. But I suppose that's part of the act, too: be a credulous mess in the audition room, then be righteously indignant to the camera on your way out the door, and perhaps in so doing increase the value of your stock enough to stay off the cutting room floor.

Warhol wept.

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