So when I read Jeannie DeAngelis' "article" over at Breitbart's "Big Hollywood" site about how the American Idol finale is a signifier that Obama is in trouble come election night 2012, it was revealed to me that the Modern American Right swallowed whole the notion that gimmicks and special effects are more important to them than substance.
After three endless years of Barack Obama being more popular than Jesus, God and country seem to be making a huge comeback. If this season’s American Idol outcome is any indication of what lies ahead in the next election, Barack Obama may be heading back to the home of Muddy Waters and the Chicago Blues.
Interestingly, on American Idol each week those eliminated, with the exception of a Rod Stewart wannabe from Alabama, returned home to blue states. Even the stunningly talented Pia Toscano, who was thought to be a shoe-in, was sent packing back to the blue shores of Howard Beach, NY.
Besides being entertained by judges J Lo, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, this season American Idol has showcased talent from all along the musical spectrum. America was wowed by James Durbin, whose voice embellished raucous heavy metal; Pia was crowned the queen of ballads; Casey Abrams entertained America with a scruffy eccentric brand of stand-up bass showmanship; Haley Reinhard emerged as a polished version of Janis Joplin; and a cuddly promise of Luther was reborn in the endearing Jacob Lusk.
Yet, throughout the competition and despite the huge talent pool, country singers Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery endured from week to week. One thing about Lauren and Scotty that stood out was their consistent profession of personal faith and loyalty to a patriotic genre of music that unabashedly celebrates both God and country.
One thing that troubles me is when people talk about "country music". There is no "country music" anymore. So to say that Lauren and Scotty embody that genre is to participate in an action of pure unblushing ignorance. And if you couple that with the actions of the "voters" or American Idol and the real voters in the Presidential Election, you've done more than jump the proverbial shark - you've completely inverted the fabric of space/time and have placed yourself into the race to become one of the dumbest people in the known universe.
If Lauren and Scotty were truly the embodiment of real country music, then they would talk about the suffering of farmers and beaten wives; the plight of families dealing with a father that drinks or a mother that is absent; or sing songs of celebrations of renegades, outlaws, and excess in the South. Neither of these two have the passion of a true country artist like Hank Sr., Johnny Cash, or Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. And while it is true that these mentioned sang gospel songs, these were out of a sense of belief rather than a desire to posture to gain adoration.
Country music died decades ago and was replaced with a new form of "Top 40" fare that does nothing more than insult those that built the foundations of Country. Take a look at who's on the "Country" charts this week and then take those songs and compare them with the likes of Patsy Cline or Merle Haggard.
But there are those that take up the "appearance" of a Country purist but come off as nothing more than the current gimmicks that were the two finalists of the current American Idol season. Even some that once held the title of a true Country artist have become nothing more than supplicants of Right Wing theology. The name that immediately comes to mind is Hank Willians Jr.
It would be interesting to see the demographics for who voted on the American Idol finale and see how many of these people are even eligible to vote in the 2012 election, are even considering it, and if they are, what candidate they would vote for. I'm guessing that the results wouldn't mesh with DeAngelis' poorly constructed and utterly preposterous thesis.