Idolizing American television

By Christina Coloroso

As much as it pains me to admit it, I too have watched a few episodes of “American Idol.”

The only episodes I enjoy are the season openers, where the judges evaluate millions of untalented, clueless, wannabe contestants who are so terrible that I wonder how they have made it so far in life without someone actually being honest with them.

Other than those precious hours of hilarity, I can’t stand the show. Here are some of the regular aspects of “Idol” that irk me: judges that can never seem to get along, cheesy music and dance ensembles, constant product placement and advertising, questions concerning the sexual preference of host Ryan Seacrest and how easy it is to tell exactly who’ll win from the very beginning.

Oh, and I also hate how obsessed with the show many of its viewers have become. Get a life.

Thanks to a recent report by the FOX News Network, I now have another reason to despise the show. FOX reports that more than one-third of “American Idol” followers believe that the act of voting for their Idol favorites “counts at least as much” as voting in the next presidential election. Thirty-five percent feel the same way about the Grammys.

Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

I know what you are thinking, “Well Christina, it’s the fault of all those out-of-touch, corrupt politicians. They just don’t know how to make politics interesting-especially for young people in this high-paced technological world.”

Well, you’re wrong.

Here’s the real problem: Americans are too apathetic and ignorant about their government. They purposefully distance themselves from a process that requires their active participation, and then they complain that no one is working hard enough to reach out to them. Without being educated as to what the system can provide for them, people form unreasonable expectations that no politician could meet. They are setting themselves up for disappointment, and that is not the fault of politicians.

Second, how many of you are seriously displaced enough to confuse a glorified talent show with the valuable system by which we select representatives of our nation, our values and our future? Even if you don’t get as teary-eyed as I do thinking about placing that sacred slip of paper in the ballot box, “American Idol” is hardly a suitable alternative.

It’s a dumb show, guys. And I’m pretty sure that the whole thing is rigged from the beginning so that your votes do not make one bit of difference.

Who else can we blame, though? How about the media? Certainly they could do a much better job motivating the average American to care about issues of importance. Maybe they could even cover more in politics than just affairs and investigations.

But with so many of you seated on the altar of the next “American Idol” each week, the media will never change. They are giving you what you want. If you change what you want to see, they will have to change their coverage. That’s the answer, not the other way around.