Let's Be Clear About Something
LPTJ jumped off the commenting-on-mainstream-popular-culture train shortly after our "Ignition (Remix)" piece, since "Ignition (Remix)" seemed such a clear & genuine high-water mark, after which all American popular culture would surely decline gradually into ruin. And indeed, there hasn't been much since to suggest we were wrong. Most counterexamples you can cite are also going to be R. Kelly songs anyway. (I will still rep for "U Saved Me" all day, and think it could have blazed trails, but like everything else in an accelerated culture, it crested quickly and almost invisibly before vanishing into the swell.) In an abundance of information - in this glut which is if not a permanent reality then at least the one we expect to have with us for a few generations - the soundest strategy is focus. The future belongs to the myopic.
Still, that said, although it pains me, I have to say something about American Idol, and the thing I have to say is a question, and the question is: do you really think people are that stupid? I, personally, do not. The rule change is about one thing only: conversations between the show's producers & industry executives who see, in the show, one of the only bright spots in the business. The judges will rescue people at the behest of labels or production houses who think they can make money off of people whom the viewing public have rejected, or, possibly, in whom they've already invested too much to see them lose. Can I prove this? Let me answer the question with a question: am I fucking Sherlock Holmes? No. Sherlock Holmes is not my type and is rumored to be a selfish lover. So I am not fucking Sherlock Holmes, and I'm not going to find a smoking gun. It just seems obvious what's at work here: other interests. It seems so obvious that it hardly needs proving. "The music business will game any system it thinks it can rig" hardly seems kin to any radio-controlled-planes-hitting-the-towers theories. It seems, to be frank, obvious. Or, to put it another way:
Joshua: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
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