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Schlichter: “Sarcastic Prickery is Conservatism’s Chief Value”

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One of the things that led to my obsession with Big Hollywood was the tendency of its contributors, in its first weeks, to read closet-conservatism into every movie or television show they liked, and closet-liberalism into every movie or television show they didn’t like.   I find the psychological need to have everything around you validate your beliefs fascinating, all the more so when it’s taken to the extreme of a person seeing the narrow, petty world of American electoral politics written over last night’s episode of House or whatever.

For example, who, in his right mind, watches American fucking Idol and sees a paragon of Randian virtue?  You can be all about the Protestant ethic and the capitalist spirit, and you can enjoy some crappy karaoke.  I won’t hold either of those  against you, really.  But when you try to argue that they complement each other, you only end up 1) cheapening both and 2) looking really stupid.

Three of the judges are almost always positive.  Randy Jackson, a producer who calls people “Dawg,” usually says something along the lines of “You really worked that out” or “Every week, you get up there and bring it.”  Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter, mostly urges the singers “to show us who you are.”  Paula Abdul, who looks astonishingly like she did back when she was making records in the 80’s, absolutely loves everything about everyone.  Her critiques are rambling, often incoherent affirmations not only of the singers’ performance but their essential beings – “That was beautiful, moving, heartbreaking, and I can feel that your inner beauty shining through and look, there’s a squirrel and I have a hat.  I love you.”

None of this could be considered criticism.  It is mostly validation, criticism’s arch-nemesis and the bane of anyone actually trying to improve himself.

It’s the fourth judge, English expat Simon Cowell, who makes “Idol” so conservative and so refreshing.  Because he just doesn’t care.  And it’s glorious.

“That was bloody awful,” he will casually observe.  Then the camera will pan to the 22-year old singer slash Hooters girl as her jaw drops in the face of an undeniable truth no one has ever dared tell her before.

“But singing is my dream,” she’ll protest.

“Get a new dream,” Simon will reply without a hint of emotion, “because your singing is a nightmare.  Go home.”  And they usually do – the audience tends to vote off those not making the Cowell cut.

So… if we’re applying this to politics, what I’m getting here is that Schlichter thinks democracy works only when the plebs use their votes to reaffirm the half-coherent ramblings of a prissy, constantly-angry white-guy arbiter, and to ignore the black dude (with his confusing lingo) and those silly, naive chicks?  OK, well then maybe the show is kind of conservative after all.

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Written by dieblucasdie

April 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

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