Now that American Idol is back on, I have to ask a question that has been gnawing on my soul since the end of last season: Are there really that many freakishly strange people in the world? I'm not talking about those who get on the show with some prepared gimmick (like the Princess-Leia- Gold-Bikini-on-a-Fat-Guy Gag). I'm talking about those folks who get on the show because they are absolutely clueless about their obvious lack of talent. I'm sure this phenomenon can be traced to parents or friends who are too nice to be honest with their ambitious (though talentless) loved ones. Or to malicious co-workers or pseudo-friends who think it is funny to con the naive into embarrassing themselves on national television.
American Idol, however, is a great American institution. Now that circus freak shows are disappearing from places like Coney Island, Americans need someplace to view the full range of human potential. American Idol satisfies our need for human oddities. Although, if you think about it, how many of us would look just as stupid on television? How many of us are the freak show? Sometimes I worry that the only difference between me and the weirdo on television is that the weirdo is on television.
I think I'm giving American Idol too much brain time. I'm going to post this and do something more productive.