The REAL American Idols
You know, I got to work this morning and turned on my computer, just like I do every morning. I go to MSN and the first thing I see is "America Picks Hicks" in the headline. For those of us who DON'T care, "Hicks" refers to Taylor Hicks, the newest winner of American Idol. My first thought was (of course) WHO CARES? Though I understand why the show is one of the most popular shows on television, I don't understand why it's one of the most important news stories of the day. Think about it, it's almost equivalent to the New York Times of the 80's announcing the winner of The Price Is Right or Press Your Luck on the front page of their daily presses. Again WHO CARES? Not to sound like I was instantly in a bad mood (I WAS irked though), but ever since American Idol came to network television, I have yet to watch five minutes of any episode, and when other teachers began discussing the show from the night before, I would cringe and contemplate leaving the faculty lunch area just to save myself from the pointlless debates about who sang better, who wore a horrible dress or who sounds like a horse on meth. As a musician myself, I've encountered countless performers, singers and musicians who have FAR better talent than any of these folks being propped up in front of a national audience just because Simon Cowell says they have what it takes to be a "star". The sad thing is that there are sooooo many people in this country who have passionately worked on their craft for years and won't ever have the benefit of a worldwide audience to buy their albums and t-shirts. They do it for the love of their instrument- be it voice, instrument or acting and can only hope to be "discovered" one day. The chances of that ever happening are slim to none.
Soon after I sat at my computer a few of my kids strolled in to class and milled around (as they do every morning) preparing for the day. As if on cue, two or three of them suddenly began singing "What a Wonderful World" to the best of their abilities. As those beautiful off-key notes began to come from their 8 year old frames, I had to pop a smile because honestly, these kids are MY American Idols. So today's blog is dedicated to the scores of young, hopeful, talented, passionate and innovative dreamers who will struggle for the next twenty years in order to simply make a dent in the harsh climes of the music industry. Keep dreaming because as they say, those without dreams don't have much.