Friday, January 19, 2007

It's Friday, and I DONE be OUTRAGED!

OK - this makes sense to me. I already told my mother she was NOT ALLOWED to watch "AI" (even though she wouldn't watch it, I feel like throwing my weight around from time to time just because...and she feeds my ego so it's all good.)

The clip I've linked to today shows the infamous "Bush Baby" clip from this past week.

However, it then shows the ladies of "The View" and my "buddy" Rosie O'Donnell discussing this. Rosie is upset about the cruelty of Simon Cowell, and rightfully so.

But WAIT A MINUTE...Didn't Rosie make fun of Donald Trump's physical appearance (i.e. his hairpiece)? Didn't she imitate the sound of his voice in a non-compassionate way? No apologies there.

Furthermore, isn't SHE the one who uttered the Asian slurs in another episode? Yes, she apologized for them, but she uttered them first, thus creating the need for apology. OH, and don't forget speculation on Clay Aiken's sexual orientation and Paula Abdul's sobriety...

There's an awful lot of this mocking going on via Rosie...I'm guilty of it as much as anyone else.

I don't like that part of myself. I try to channel it towards celebrities b/c they've chosen to have their every move documented. As a commenter of mine stated when I wrote about the whole Clay/Kelly/Rosie thing, "all publicity is good publicity" because they get noticed. They stay in the public eye, which is one of the keys to success when you're a performer.

But I still slip and make snotty comments in the private sector.

I've been victim and perpetrator. I'd like to think I'm more tolerant than I used to be, but I still screw up.

But Simon's cracks (as well as Rosie's) seem to be more calculated. And that's what's so nasty about it.

This stupid "AI" show has been around long enough that people understand the premise - people sit around in their livingrooms to watch the bad singers, then watch the suspenseful rounds of elimination until one person emerges as the American Idol. Blah.

As far as AI goes...yes, you can say (as would the show's producers) "Well, they signed waivers, they know what they're in for..."

Uh - huh. How many of those contenders are actually going to have their wits about them to read the things? They're just dreaming of a chance at fame and fortune. They're nervous, they're excited, they're anxious...they're not thinking everything through. The contestants should read the paperwork, but the producers have a responsibility to make sure the auditioners understand what they're signing before they do so.

Comedians take a risk with their humor - you can't make everyone laugh - you can't expect everyone to "get you". While you say what everyone else thinks, it can come back and bite you in the butt, whether that butt is small or sizable. It's happened to me, and it will no doubt happen again. It's gonna happen to Rosie too.

That's how lawsuits happen, folks.

Another possible outcome?

Let's take in this quote from Philip Bump in "The Huffington Post" blog...

Who needs Jack Kevorkian when you have Simon Cowell?

The inevitable conclusion of the last season of American Idol is going to be the suicide of a rejected contestant. There's no question about it. Watching the utterly devastated faces of young people who were emotionally fragile when they first came in, you can sense the amount of hope and expectation that have been mustered by people who may generally have little to hope for.

The difference, of course, is that the actors on the show are not paid and are not the self-aware Ricky Gervais. Many, even of the ones highlighted by the show, are painfully awkward and clearly taking an enormous emotional risk. Many bring with them family and friends to provide emotional support. Not much the family can do, of course, when their proper role would have been to 'accidentally' misplace the car keys earlier that morning. But a disconsolate and broken-hearted twenty year-old person is still a person who took a huge risk and experienced the heavy downside of that gamble.

Ya know...if you want to see a good movie that covers this general subject (a celebrity driving a person to a devastating act), rent/watch "The Fisher King".

It's a Terry Gilliam film ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas") with Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl (among others).

Bridges plays a man who is a "shock jock" a la Howard Stern. He has a frequent caller who is "on the edge", mentally speaking. Bridges - for laughs - tells the guy to just shoot up a bunch of people (or something like that - I can't remember the details). Bridges isn't thinking about anything but his shot at TV stardom - he's up for a sitcom role that could make him a household name. He's already got a memoir on the shelves. His life is sweet.

Meanwhile, the frequent caller does just what Bridges tells him to do - he goes into a club and shoots up the whole place, killing several. Needless to say, that carelessness kicks Bridges off his pedestal. Three years later, he's working in his girlfriend's video store, he's an alcoholic, and he's riddled with guilt.

I'm not going to give the whole movie away, but somehow, Bridges' character meets up with Robin Williams, who plays a homeless man. Turns out Williams' character was at this club the night of the murders, and his wife was one of the victims. He went insane as a result - he was a professor and lost his job, lost his home, lost everything. How's THAT for six degrees of separation (give or take a few)?

Wonder if I should send Simon and Rosie copies of this?

Let me know your thoughts - I don't wanna be in a vacuum today!