Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have a fundamental opposition to talent contests, whether they are Olympic gymnastics or Country Fair sing-and-dance competitions, whatever. I’m not in opposition to competition. In fact I think competition is a necessary, and healthy form of expression. Competition that can achieve measurable results, that is. Who can run the fastest, jump the highest, throw the farthest, score the most points etc. But I do not think it right, or fair, to pass judgment on someone’s creative talent, to declare a winner, and a whole bunch of losers, based on politics or a judges bias, their taste in art, music, or performance. Even by a panel of judges. It’s for these reasons that I do not generally watch American Idol, arguably the most popular program on television. However, as a lifelong observer of human behavior, I must admit I am compelled to watch the first episode of each season, the first couple of episodes even, depending on when they have sorted out all the ‘good’ contestants from the ‘bad’. When all the ‘legitimate’ competitors have been chosen, that’s when I stop watching.

On the first episode this year I was struck by the number of men (boys?) who came to the competition expecting to win based solely on their feelings, never mind that they couldn’t sing. I was also appalled. Some felt they were pre-ordained to win, because after all, they had these really deep feelings, and that should count for something. Others felt they deserved to become the next American Idol, not necessarily because they were good singers, but because they traveled all the way from the east coast and waited up all night in line. It just felt fair that they should win. Life should be fair, hurts their feelings when it’s not. Many could even cry, before, during, or after the performance to prove how much they wanted, and deserved, it. Having feelings, and what’s more, being sensitive enough to show them, should qualify one to win, make one deserving of winning, right? Huh?

Males were crying all over the place, wearing tears and feelings like badges of entitlement, like signs of their humanity, like the sensitive little boys some mothers, prima-donna fathers, and society, had hoped they would grow up to become. Males (not men) ruled by feelings, males who would be no threat to the status quo, or to women, males who could be controlled. Otherwise unarmed males, having not been armed with confidence, honesty or courage, now armed only with feelings, the weapon of the weak. Oh yes, and the accompanying anger that can be wielded when their feelings don’t get them what they want, or think that they deserve.
I’m sorry, but how did things get so twisted? How is it that our males have become so emasculated in such a brief time in our history? Well, I could probably sort it all out for everybody, but no sense in making all of my readers angry with me.

Feelings, whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings. Feelings of love.