|If Carol King and Bob Dylan Were Auditioning for American Idol (Part 2)|
|12/12/2018 8:17:48 AM - (cont'd)|
I know that entertainment is something people desire to be uplifted from the daily mundane grinds of their lives, but personally I find distasteful the hype and gimmick exercised by so many of the performers and productions today. Take the glitter away and what do you have? I don't know if this is a reflection of what people really want, so much as a reflection of the state of education, where arts have taken a back seat and given such low priority, that people just don't know how to listen beyond the repetition of simple beats or 2 chords and melodies no more complex than a nursery rhyme. Challenge them with anything more, and they just can't follow it and don't have the tools to even try and explore what a musician is doing beyond the state of simple pop. I remember as a school grader going on field trips to see opera or a classical recital, or jazz musicians coming to our school to give a performance, and felt the pride of understanding what was going on on stage because of the musical education I had, and when I didn't understand it, it challenged me to want to understand. These days, it's not cool to listen to jazz or classical, or anything conceived as intelligent cultural music. Perhaps I speak as a lover of music and a musician myself, and my expectations are too high for the layman, but I think of the benefits given to me by not just music but all forms of art, how it raises my consciousness beyond what everyday life can present, and how it gives me insight into the spiritual sides that can never be defined but is somehow suggested through those who create from the heart.
And yet, knowing all this, I watch "American Idol" in weird fascination over the making of a pop star and the demise of music as an art form, slightly horrified, and realize that the entertainment value is high which is why this program is such a success, and even though my reasons may be different for why I am entranced with the show, alas I realize I am no different from all the others who watch it and am actually contributing to the system, ensnared in the trap of the media.
| Monday's Thoughts -- February 21, 2005|