Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Simon Cowell's Eye Roll: Was He Mocking Virginia Tech?

Drudge features Simon Cowell's dramatic eye roll this morning. I watched Idol last night and saw the eye roll. Cowell had just raked Chris over the coals for a lackluster performance. I agreed with the general assessment, but called the criticism "unduly harsh" and noted that Chris seemed on the verge of tears. Although the Virginia thing was probably the emotional background for Chris, I also thought that his bringing up the shooting thing was a way to hide behind an unassailable defense--sympathy for the Virginia Tech victims. Chris made the uncomfortable situation more wrong.

Ann Althouse noted the incident and said this:

Chris defends himself, hilariously: "Hey, nasally is a form of singing. I don't know if you knew that." Simon: "Oh, so it's intentional?" Chris: "Yeah." Then he defends himself a bit underhandedly: "My heart goes out to Virginia Tech. I have a lot of friends out there. Be strong." Does LaKisha get to come back out and say that she cares about the massacre victims too? Or, once you bring up the massacre, does it seem wrong even to talk about whether Chris is being unfair by bringing up the massacre?
No, it's not wrong. Chris was wrong to use his personal discomfort to exploit the true, real pain of those caught in the massacre.

Someone must have talked to Cowell before the end of the show because he made a half-hearted, "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families" statement. Cowell wasn't rolling his eyes at the V-Tech friends and families' pain. That seemed obvious. He was rolling his eyes at Chris's avoidance and excuses.

It was a tough night for the cotton candy that is American Idol during an American meat-n-taters disaster. I said as much last night.
Still, and all, I can't concentrate on Idol tonight. I'm thinking about when bad things happen to good people.
Althouse asks, "How do you do a cheesy singing contest show the day after a massacre?" She answers her own question. "The show must go on."

Well, it went on. It was obviously a tough night to watch, judge or sing. I think it best that everyone just move on. It will be tough tonight, too. I alluded to why here:
The V-Tech students, faculty and families will wake up tomorrow and be stunned to find that the world keeps on rotating.
How can anyone give a crud about Sanjaya's hair when this happened? Well, we didn't really, did we? But what else can be done? The show, life, must go on.

And I'm not suggesting touchy-feely forgiveness out of the gate, lest I be misunderstood. What I am saying is that for those outside the direct difficulty, wallowing helplessly doesn't help. (Besides, it's insulting to the real victims to act as if this is my loss, too. My children are still alive and well. Indulging in too much sadness is offensive.) People are thinking what can I do? Know how to wield a spring-loaded knife or at least make the killer flinch, for one. As much as the progressive Left scorns the military, does anyone doubt the benefits of knowing one's way around defensive maneuvers and taking down a shooter? We all need to be better trained to deal with these types of situations.

I've already talked to my kids about running in a zig zag, and just plain running, if someone points a gun a them. We have already taken defensive martial arts. Learning to land a good punch seems like a good idea, considering that my son got bopped on the head twice (purposefully and meanly) by an older kid on the bus this week. Talking didn't work. He tried.

Some people have had a bad life and decide to unload all their pain in the form of bullets into 33 people. Really, I'm tired of wondering why (I still always want to know why). The badness just needs to be stopped. Americans need to learn how to stop it. Preventing it would be nice, but there will always be crazy people. So, we need to know how to defend ourselves.

So while those directly injured suffer the pain and loss, the only productive thing everyone else can do is figure out what to do next time. And how did I get here from Simon Cowell anyway? Oh yeah. Americans watched American Idol in the midst of this sorrow and there was a reason. People need to be distracted and that's one of the main purposes of entertainment. But there's also this: The show must, sadly, awkwardly, go on.


Anonymous said...

I've already talked to my kids about running in a zig zag, and just plain running, if someone points a gun a them.

I don't know, Doc. Every time I hear you're supposed to run instead of fight (the only legal response to an attacker in England's gun-free-zone), I get the same image in my head:

It's that apex predator, a Jurassic Park velociraptor, shrieking "PREY IS RUNNING! CHASE AND KILL! CHASE AND KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!"

THAT is how a predator thinks.

You don't brag about being a Vegan pacifist in front of Kzinti.

Melissa Clouthier said...

I guess I was thinking about being out gunned. A person has less chance of being hit if he's moving. A child has little chance to bum rush a shooter (most likely adult) and keep the shooter down. That's the key. If the shooter gets back up, you're dead. Now, if you're a 250 pound football player, that's another thing.

My context, is that in lieu of sitting under a desk like you're about to get nuked, the better option is to get the hell away.

Matt said...

re the eye-roll, it could be that Cowell is indeed the biggest nobody asshole in Hollywood (as if Jen Hudson's Oscar weren't proof enough of his uselessness) extant, or perhaps he was annoyed that the singer used mention of the tragedy as a cheap ploy for better ratings from voters, or maybe both.

I've only seen less than 1/4 of one episode -- one of those comp tapes on YouTube of the worst Seattle contestants -- so I'm not that familiar with the show. But Simon is definitely a jerk who needs to be deported asap. If Britain rejects him, perhaps he can go over and use his boyish charm on the Iranians for exile.

Melissa Clouthier said...

If you've only seen a fraction of a show, how can you make that judgment? His evaluations of the singers are the most helpful and spot on.