It’s not that I think I’m too good to watch American Idol or anything. I mean, I watch Survivor and love every stupid catty minute of it. I watch a Robin Hood show in which Little John wears jeans and they have Maid Marian dressed in, like, a cardigan she bought at H&M last week. I am not immune to the charms of cheese, and most of the movies I really love are absolute crap (American Pie II, no joke: “He happened to notice there’s an abundance of weiner here.”).
It’s that I tried to watch American Idol and it was so bad, so cheap-looking and badly produced, that I wanted to stab my eyeballs out and bleach my brain. So I haven’t been watching American Idol, but I’ve been reading Jacob writing about it because I’ll read Jacob writing about cereal or even the Bush administration.
And here, he pretty much nails celebrity philanthrophy and why it pisses me off, and why it’s simultaneously hard to be pissed at it:
So far here’s what I’ve got: I am glad that Sting wasn’t there. It’s pretty cynical to trade on the misfortune of others when you’re part of the very multinational conglomerate that depends on keeping them down; it’s pretty awesome to do something to make a change, even if it’s something small. What makes me feel cynical is patting yourself on the back for doing so, when what you really need to be feeling is not fake bullshit Hallmark pride and a sensitive Phil Stacey kind of feeling that you cannot name, that will fade by tomorrow morning, when your real life starts up again. What you need is a holy Sanjaya kind of anger that doesn’t stop until you’ve accomplished the job, today and all the days that come after that, until the end of your life, and that’s how you know you changed the world.