American Idolatry :: Happy Meals all around

by Mark Russo

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday April 29, 2010

Was Barack Obama correct in his Nobel Prize speech to the world when he said there is a "cultural leveling of modernity"? Has our society reached a cultural leveling point? Are people who yearn for something culturally different rejected by the masses?

The answer to all the above questions is "Yes." The majority of people are happy just the way we are, no need to open our minds to different experiences.

Why should I try fois gras when I have been eating a cheeseburger for years and it tastes just fine? What's the purpose of opening your mind to new experiences? Luckily, our forefathers didn't think that way or we could be living in the United States of Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, April 28, Siobhan Magnus was fois gras when American just wanted a good old Big Mac. The contestant referred to as odd, strange and quirky was definitely not suitable for mass consumption and found herself regurgitated by America. Now the competition is left with fast food full of empty calories that can be found everywhere.

To elaborate on this analogy, think of last year's winner, Kris Allen, as a deluxe cheeseburger from Burger King and Adam Lambert as tuna tartar from Nobu. En masse. Americans go with what they're familiar with, unwilling to step away from the norm. In this case, that meant selecting the good old cheeseburger over raw meat.

Supersize it?

If Americans want a cheeseburger, they can satiate their appetites at McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s or Arby’s. It only stands to reason that Kris Allen’s album wouldn’t do well, because the masses can find his sound everywhere.

But if people crave tuna tartar, there are only a limited number of restaurants that carry that delectable food entry. It makes perfect sense that the minority of Americans craving something different flock to the uniqueness of Adam Lambert’s tuna tartar; his record sales more then doubled the actual winner of Idol who bested him.

To the casual observer, it would appear that more people like tuna tartar then a cheeseburger, which is certainly not the case. What happens is that burger lovers are intrigued by all the fuss around the tartar, thereby compelling them to try it. Some of those hard-core burger lovers end up being pleasantly surprised and liking tuna tartar, as well as a plump juicy burger every now and then.

American Idol without Siobhan Magnus is now like Chinese food, it satisfies your appetite now, but in 30 minutes you’re going to be hungry for more. Siobhan’s blend of talent, originality and eccentricity could propel her to be one of the most successful Idol hopefuls this season.

Don’t be surprised if, 30 minutes after American Idol is over, you start liking fois gras a lot more then that tired old heap of fired rice.

Check out last’s night recap - Idol post Tim, and viable conspiracy theories: http://bit.ly/9pYdf4
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at MarkatLarge and join the Idolatry Facebook group http://bit.ly/4whzO8a

Watch Siobhan Magnus’s Idol farewell.


Mark Russo is a part-time computer software engineer and full-time pop-culture maven.

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