Steve Crescenzo is an angry man. Maybe as angry as Angry John Sellers. Sometimes, he’s angrier, like now. Crescenzo runs a blog called Corporate Hallucinations that is full of hilarious rants against…well…corporate culture, I guess. His latest gets to the core of what we all know deep down in our hearts but sometimes have a hard time articulating: Why American Idol is Bad For You.
Quite simply, it’s because Idol is warping our minds for what constitutes “good” music:
About three months ago, I was riding in the car with [son] Zach when “Rosalita” by Springsteen came on. I cranked the radio, and afterwards said to Zach: “That was Bruce Springsteen. Awesome, wasn’t it?”
And do you know what he said? DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID? He said, “I don’t know, Dad. He has a funny voice.”
A funny voice? The Boss? Who would say that?
Then I realized who would say it: A child who is being raised on “American Idol,” that’s who. A child who thinks standing on a stage singing other peoples’ songs in perfect pitch is “music.” A child who thinks Paula Abdulla knows anything about rock and roll. That’s who would say it.
Of course, we’ve always had cultural barometers that seek to define what is popular in America—and by extension, what is “good.” I mean 100,000,000 Bon Jovi can’t be wrong, right? And we’ve always had media to monitor these barometers and report back what the masses have deemed good or bad. And…we’ve always had outliers and anomalies that buck the system. Conventional wisdom would suggest Bob Dylan‘s unique voice wouldn’t immediately place him as a top seller, and yet…
Crescenzo seems to think Idol has somehow rigged the system though and is now the de facto taste maker and arbiter of all things good. I don’t buy it—I have more immediate reasons for hating American Idol, like because the music is awful—but it’s a funny read.