Thursday, May 17, 2007

Weighing the Options

The literal definition for the word 'democracy' means to 'rule by the people.' I am fortunate enough to live in the United States, a country run by democracy, ruling by the people. Although I enjoy the benefits of a democratic nation, I often wonder just how often it actually works (anyone else remember the 2000 presidential election?). I question the phrase 'the people have spoken' and its accuracy. Does this make me an anarchist? A rebel? I would hope not. I like to think of myself as someone who challenges the system and has the ability to view things from more than one angle.

When in a position to practice my democratic right I often think of two quailities I would like the person I am choosing to possess. The first quality I look for is experience. The second is talent. There are times when a person possess both of those qualities and yet I do not have an ounce of respect for them what-so-ever. Working in the creative field, I often encounter that last situation more times than not.

I often wonder when exercising our democratic right when a person throws his/hers/their requirements out the window and rely strictly on popularity. Let's use the example of 'American Idol' (cause come on, we all knew where this post was leading with it be Thursday and all).

I am the first to admit, I am now 30-years-old and watched each week from the choosing of the top 12 until last night. I don't have time for all of those episodes with the horrendous auditions. I can hear examples of that while riding the subway to and from work each day. I am, however, not a die hard 'A.I.' fan. I jumped on the bandwagon late. Had no part of season 1; tuned in to season 2 with around 5 contestants left; watched all of season 3; skipped season 4; and fizzeled in and out of season 5. For some reason season 6 caught my attention...specifically Melinda Doolittle. She caught my attention so much so that I found myself frantically dialing her numbers each and every Tuesday night.

I don't think there has been any contestant, in any season thus far who displayed the amount of talent, consistancy, range, graciousness and amount of humbleness as Melinda. And I loved saying her name. Did I form a small puppy-dog crush on the 29-year-old-back-up-singer-now-gone-diva? A little. But more importantly, here is a person who displayed the characteristics I look for when practicing my democratic rights.

A reoccuring theme I have noticed with this show is that when it comes down to the top 5, talent and experience are generally thrown out the window and popularity rises to the top. The demographics of the show really begin to shine through. The cute, bubbly 17-year-old (which the main demographic voting can relate to) and the all-American attractive looking male (which the main demographic voting all want to kiss) start coming out on top. Seriously, how many 15-year-olds can appreciate the talent and range of Melinda? But my girl took it like a pro after last nights results and didn't even shed a tear.

Popularity is often the deal maker when the public is left to chose. Does this sort of practice often reward the wrong people with fame, power and recognition (remember last years winner)? Any wonder why some people in public office are the way they are? Or, go back on their word once elected to power?

I think it is high time to weigh all of the options and forget about who is closer in age or might look better in your fantasies. This country has failed in choosing a President in 2004 and again in choosing this years idol. So, R.I.P. 'A.I.' The basis on which the winners are chosen has disappointed me one too many times.


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