Monday, January 20, 2014

When Harry Met Reality

Personally, I never watch shows like American Idol. It's bad enough watching some people embarrass themselves, like that one guy who sounded a little too much like Garth Brooks. (Will we see Garth Brooks impersonators in the wake of Elvis impersonators? You decide.) It's also a bit of dissonance when a lily-white boy or girl tries to sing in the style of Negro spirituals.

But none of that compares to the people who judge them.

I mean, seriously, what the hell can Simon Cowell actually do? Does he dance? Can he sing or play a musical instrument? Can he even do card tricks? No, he doesn't do any of that. The guy is a poseur, but he just happens to be really, REALLY good at it. (Notice I didn't say he wasn't any good at it. Did I say he wasn't good at something? Of course not. Anyway ...) The only other thing I can see him being really good at, is leaving his shirt halfway unbuttoned, which really kind of went out of style by the 1980s, unless you're a coming-of-age Italian-American male from New Jersey.

I believe the polite term is "Guido."

But then, there are the young ladies like the one in this video, fifteen years old, with stars in her eyes, who sang Grace Potter's Paris, a song that tells more of a longing for defilement than it does the City of Lights. (You've been warned.) Fortunately, the acclaimed jazz singer/pianist and actor Harry Connick Jr was on the panel. After hearing the young hopeful's selection, her own idol gave her the thumbs up. But then it was Harry's turn.

After J Lo called the performance “Cute”, Harry Connick Jr counseled Morgan that it was important to “find the songs that are right for you” and encouraged her to look for tunes that are age-appropriate, “Cuz hearing about you ‘shaving me smooth’ really was creepin’ me out.” ... J Lo turned to him and said, “You’re such a dad!” with a giggle in her voice.

As a matter of fact, in addition to being a practicing Catholic, Connick is also the father of three daughters, the oldest nearly fourteen. Connick also managed to one-up Australian country singer/songwriter Keith Urban, before all three were called to give the thumbs-up. On the bright side, it's probably a good sign that this season's panel of judges genuinely want to be supportive of anyone who gets up there and takes the risk that they do. (When I auditioned for talent shows and musicals, I had the luxury of hiding behind a guitar. Those were the days ...)

Yesterday's homily, in anticipation of the March For Life, was about Audous Huxley's 1932 dystopian classic Brave New World, depicting the loss of humanity through the mechanization of reproduction, and its separation from the conjugal act, indeed, from marriage and family altogether. A gentleman who spoke to the priest after Mass today told of a class of high school students given the book as required reading, who were unphased by such a civilization as this.

Sometimes “art imitates life” all too well, don't you think?

Or don't you?

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