Thursday, March 08, 2007

I just got a comment on one of my very early blog entries- one about learning to speak French. It was from a concerned reader that thought “the french (sic) might get mad”.

It just so happens that I have met the cheese-eating, snobby beret-wearing enemy… and she is me. I have been a French/US double national for over 10 years now. And I feel like it provides a lot of opportunities for a confirmed old grouch like myself. I feel free to rant and complain about both nations and their respective citizens, as I know both places so well…..
But I have to admit that it gets harder and harder to keep up with US culture, the longer I am away. For example, I finally saw “American Idol” on Tuesday night. I had heard lots about the show, but never, ever had seen an episode. I love singing and a friend of mine just got satellite TV, so why not? Why not, indeed.
I thought it was supposed to be all about discovering talent. But I soon noticed that the good singers were cut off very quickly and told “Yes, you’re in”. The vast majority never got to finish their song. But most of the profoundly bad ones were allowed to slog on until the horrifying end. And we watched it all, kind of the way people slow down to take in a car wreck. Simon was rude, bien sûr. I live in Africa and had never seen the show before and I knew that Simon was going to be rude. His rep has spread to the most remote corners of the planet. Paula was nice and actually would writhe in embarrassment at Simons’ antics. I probably could go on about it until the cows come home. But as the exact date and time of bovine arrival are not scheduled yet, I’m not sure how long I’ve got. So, I’ll spare you the long version. I’ll just say that I found the whole thing disturbing. It was mean-spirited and left me with a bad feeling afterwards. Yes, the 400lb guy singing Bohemian Rhapsody in a strangled falsetto was very funny, but is laughing at humiliation that much fun?. Why is this show SO popular? It seems pretty nasty to me.
And it’s interesting that while the show is imitated in the UK, Australia and Canada, there is no French Idol. They have a show called “Star Academy” where very attractive young hopefuls live in a mansion together and vie for stardom. But there are no excruciating audition sequences that go on for days, showing obviously disturbed people humiliating themselves in an attempt to get on the program.
I’m afraid there’s no defending the American public. I have also seen “Jackass”, god help me. The USA is doomed.

Well, sounds like the cows are home…No! Wait. It’s just three 11 year old boys arriving at our house for a sleep-over. That’s why I’ve spent “International Womens’ Day” at home making brownies, pizzas and other goodies. All is ready.

BTW- our rabbit just had five baby bunnies last night!!!


Anonymous said...

i might read your blog from time to time, and not only because i feel a "connection" because i once had hamburgers for lunch in ouagadougou, burkina faso as well as in lincoln, nebraska .. :) greetings from germany

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog from France...your article on Expat cracked me up. I've obviously heard lots more about Burkina Faso since living here than in my entire life back home in the States. I look forward to learning more about it through your blog.

Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that the French do indeed have a French version of Idol called La Nouvelle Star, and they do have the same embarrassing segments of people not succeeding -- but in general the people they show seem to be doing it on purpose. One guy is a repeat kazoo player who loves the attention.

In my opinion the judges are nicer to the participants than in the US; however, they do fight amongst themselves quite a bit in a very French kind of way. I like Nouvelle Star much better than American Idol.

BurkinaMom said...

Oh no! That means the French are doomed, too!!!
And the Africans love their goofy "idol" type shows, as well.
I'm going to have to move to Iceland.
(Please tell me there is NOT an "Icelandic Idol" show!! )