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American Idol: Beating On America's Masochistic Belt
by Mark on 1/23/2007 (0)

Just when is too much just too much?

The essential element of the success of American Idol is typified by the caustic, matter-of-fact rapier wielding Simon Cowell. The only missing prop is the old cliche trap door beneath the contestants feet, but is this critical sadistic component of American Idol and the harsh realities of Show Biz testing the publics tempers and tastes?

With the American Idol debut in 2002, The U.S. was not yet embroiled in a deadly, drawn out war, although the aftershocks of 911 still reverberated in a horrified nation's eyes and ears. Indeed, it's easier to stomach frank, scathing criticism when you're only being punched in the gut by one person at a time. But the success or failure of any form of entertainment is often colored by the events in the world around us. With increasing violence and poverty worldwide, the Publics tolerance of cruelty in entertainment just may be at a nadir. After all, there's only so many beatings one can take at any given time before a genuine sense of threat takes hold, and the tears start to flow.

Is today's violent, shaky global political climate affecting viewer tastes? My feelings are that this must be so. Will compassionate, religious and philosophical themed media regain favor in Hollywood in face of these growing anxieties? If world events remain as unstable they are, that would seem to be inevitable.tp


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