From somewhere back in my long ago

In the interval between soaking up the goodness from my last writing project and deciding what to tackle next – as I understand it, a common problem among your neophyte literary geniuses –  I suddenly got all nostalgic for my first writing project again.

Or, more specifically, I got really really bored at work the other day, decided to check in on Brian Melo, the latest Canadian Idol, then immediately wished I hadn’t. Suffice it to say, boyo’s sales to even date, here @ Hbc at least, are just over Kalan Porter’s ditto in one week. Pre-Christmas week, but still. And I really don’t have any particular reason to believe they’re more impressive elsewhere.

I was going to go on to run comparisons to Hedley’s latest, but decided that the karma police have been thorough enough in re: those Juno ads without me contributing to my own torture. Memo to Canadian music industry: Reveling in your success is one thing; rubbing a fair chunk of your market’s nose in it is something else again. Possibly a source of legal action, if I can prove that’s the reason the cats race from the room every time Jacob starts yowling…

…where were we? Oh yes, nostalgia. Naturally this whole thing sparked off a series of ‘Whither CI?’ reflections – don’t laugh, there was a time when music lovers of general goodwill really believed they were onto something cool, here. Didn’t help that there was no decisive crushing blow administered to those hopes…although it could be argued that hanging on after the aforementioned Porter’s CD debut represented a clear triumph of affection over good sense.

That was the really cruel bit; people with no clear notion of how the music industry works came flocking to the banners, convinced TPTB couldn’t do otherwise than recognize the specialness of the adored winner, and then…well, then they did. A sort of relentless drip-drip-drip of corporate philosophy, eating the idealism away. Or reinforcing the lack, in the minds of those already disposed to be cynical; or even creating stubborn denial in the minds of those who refused to believe in anything but destiny. Because, y’know, that’s what music industry types do…no, not fulfil destinies.

So does the overwhelming yawn of non-support for the latest Canadian Idol mean the majority have finally figured it out, and are turning away in disillusionment? I dunno. Certainly counting on that factor, in re: reality-TV audiences, is historically a dangerous gamble, given that the genre still thrives. It’s lost some significant chutzpah, to be sure, but the basic assumption that if you film Tori Spelling long enough, people will watch, hasn’t yet been questioned.

People don’t, as a general rule, mind being played for intellectual suckers, so long as they don’t have to actually pay for it. Sure, the Idol ratings may drop a little as the lack of real quality becomes obvious; but can you think of a better concept to fill CTV’s summer weeknights? This is how AI’s survived several mediocre seasons, and CI will probably limp along in its wake for awhile yet. Hey, I may even tune in, if only to see how long the judges can keep trotting out the ‘relevant’ speeches with a straight face.


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