American Idlers

Yesterday I went to see a friend perform live at an open mic showcase in the lower east side. It was an interesting night. However, I came to a rather obvious conclusion based upon some of the other acts of that same interesting night. There are people who are purposely attempting to become pop stars. This is a no-brainer if I'd only stop to consider today's entertainment, Making the Band, American Idol, and other shows that turn nobodies into pseudo-stars overnight. It shouldn't surprise me then, when a girl heads on stage half-naked with back-up dancers at an open mic. The back-up dancers, shocked me more than the see-thru nylon bodysuit. All she needed was a headset microphone and flashy lights. Of course the song was generic and the performance was an insincere attempt to ironically "dress up" the otherwise boring song.

The notion of chasing fame is not a new one, I'd just never experienced it in person before. Half of the acts in this open mic event were doing just that, purposely promoting themselves to become the next copy of whatever pop artist is currently the representation of their respective genre. I'm not angry, nor am I passing judgement, I'm only a bit confused. I don't understand why someone would purposely want to become that big. I guess to me, I only see the bad side. Tabloids, Paparazzi, E! Hollywood stories, stress, claustrophobia, or even simply not being able to do everyday things without people freaking out about it. To each is own, "one man's waste is another man's soap." I suppose being rich and influential is enough of a compensation but thats only if you're poor. Once you're rich and influential, where do you go from there? No Human is satisfied once they're dissatisfied. All it takes is one grievance to get the dominos tumbling. Any brief moment of accomplishment is only going to bring about more confidence to attempt new accomplishments; ones you never even desired before becoming rich and influential. And the higher you climb the harder you'll fall, and if you fall too early, you'll try so hard to get back up and in the Entertainment Industry, which drools out new versions of what's Popularly Acceptable weekly, you'll find that you've been replaced even before you fell.

But Fame and The Pursuit of Fame is a talent. It really is, its hard work to be safe and relevant during an entire career. It takes energy, innovation, and an uncompromising will to try to "make it" in the commercial music industry. My problem is that I usually expect an artist to use this energy, innovation, and uncompromising will on their music itself. I don't care about the gimmick, because more than anything I listen to the music, not the recording, not the video, or stage extravaganza. But listening alone, is no longer enough, we have passed that point where listening is stimulating enough; we need that television from Back to the Future II, the one Marty's son is watching with like 12 channels on at once. We need phones that can be used as the media equivalent to the swiss army knife. Ours, is the ADD-Age, in addition to not being able to stay interested in one thing for too long we need a sum of everything at once. Sadly, its nearly impossible to thoroughly appreciate anything through such simultaneous over-indulgence.

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