Thursday, April 27, 2006

American Idle, or Fame Means Never Saying You're Sorry

Training is everything. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "A cauliflower is just a cabbage with an education." Last night, I watched "American Idol". The title of this entry is mis-spelled intentionally to make a point. I think that we have reached a stage in popular entertainment where a bushel of tinsel, a few shiny ornaments and a pile of blinking lights tossed onto a hat-rack can be admired as if it were a real Christmas tree, complete with the obligatory oohs and ahs. Is anyone paying attention to the fact that we as an audience are being entertained by flashing lights and shiny things?

This week's Guest artist was Andrea Bocelli. The popular Italian tenor is nearly single-handedly keeping alive the art of actual singing on the infertile desert plain of the music-buying ear. How it came to pass that we didn't witness sextet su-idol-cide after his vocal performance escapes my understanding. Instead, we saw a group of potentially talented yet obviously un-seasoned, in some cases horribly under-trained and painfully unaware individuals hugging and slapping high-fives as if there existed some rag of an idea that this was common ground. It is as if the beer boy leaped out of the stands, grabbed the ball and declared, "Move over Kobe, this is how we do it in Madison Square Driveway!"

If an individual is born with a gift, and that gift is recognized, encouraged and educated, that individual may someday be deemed to have "talent." And if that talent is combined with hard work, determination to excel and the focus of a strong will, that talent my find itself worthy of public display. Education and hard work, pursued by a moderately gifted individual will always have genuine and lasting results. An individual of a more gifted nature who bypasses hard work and education and is lured by tinsel and shiny lights, may truly believe those who call him a Christmas tree. But when the lights go out and the tinsel falls to the floor...well, the public is cruel. And nobody will pay the price of admission for very long just to see a hat-rack.

Learn something, work hard and practice. Not everyone gets to be famous.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great point Strobl. The worst consequence of being "talented" is that you frequently don't develop good work habits.