16 November 2008

An American Idol Fatality

It had to happen some time.

American Idol contestants come in different stripes. Some are genuinely talented individuals -- the ones who make it through to the final rounds -- and they're looking for their break in show business. Grabbing for your chance at a jackpot, the good old American way.

Some (especially among those eliminated in the early rounds) aren't cut out for show biz at all, are aware of this, and are another sort of American 'type.' They expect Simon to say something derogatory and they enjoy their moment in the spotlight.

A third sort though isn't "in on the joke." They ARE the joke. They aren't any good, but have somehow built up the fantasy that they are. Some of THESE in turn give the impression of being mentally ill.

And for much of the show's fan base, they are the attraction.

So now a former contestant is dead, apparently of a deliberate drug overdose

When she was on the program, she gave an off-key version of "Proud Mary." Randy Jackson said: "That was terrible. What was that?"

Simon Cowell criticized her braces, "I don't think any artist on earth can sing with that much metal in your mouth."

Paula Abdul -- who appears to have been the object of the contestant's fixations -- described herself as "speechless ... that's not a good thing."

Now she -- Paula Goodspeed -- is dead. A victim of whatever inner demons may have driven her, and of an environment that doesn't help ill people deal with their demons, but serves them up as a feast for millions to snigger at.

Just another high-profile instance of "the tearfulness of things".

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.