Opinion, probably an opinion shared by many.
Sometimes I seriously question whether listening to music, watching sitcoms, or many other forms of entertainment are worth it. Our robust appetite for “culture,” if you can call modern day entertainment that, fuels nearly every entertainer’s oversized ego and has spawned a symbiotic industry of entertainment “news” that strokes those oversized egos. After watching one of those top 100 Bestest Everest music video shows I have to say that my patience with these “artists” is wearing thin.
I like listening to country music. Yeah, I know, it’s not really “country” anymore, it’s more like Southern pop, but I still think the product coming from Nashville is far superior to anything coming out of any other genre of music. Even though I enjoy country music I don’t know how much longer I can even listen to it because I happened to watch one of those lovefests masked as a special on the best country music videos ever.
It hit me like a sledgehammer how self-obsessed these men and women are. They truly think they are special people. Not only that, they really think that what they are doing makes a substantial difference in their fan’s lives. In essence, they believe they are gods.
Not even their collective belief in their own special brand of divinity would break the deal for me. These “artists” are talented and they produce a product that I enjoy. But then they have to take it a step beyond the self-aggrandizement and self-idolization and portray themselves as Christlike, enduring horrendous trials and tribulations at every turn.
Let’s take one of the top fifty or so songs, according to CMT, which is that song the Dixie Chicks did where they are saying they “don’t want to make nice” and they are being bathed in black ink and blah, blah, blah. This, if you didn’t already know, was their musical salvo against the “red state” Toby Keith (he is a democrat, by the way) and his crowd. The Dixie Chicks had said that they hate President Bush, that the war was wrong, you know, basic boiler plate stuff from the left.
I forget the specific details about the fracas because, well, I just don’t care about artist’s personal lives. When this protest video came up on the Top Bestest Everest countdown you had some industry people say that this was extremely brave of them. They went on to tell how the Dixie Chicks had to suffer so much just because they said some words - that some people even sent them death threats.
Wow, death threats, really? My God.
I apologize for treating this so lightly but let’s get real, managers in corporate America get death threats. You know, those normal people who aren’t “special” like the worshiped Dixie Chicks. Heck, they don’t even have to be managers or in the C-suite they can be even more normal than that. Threats like the ones the Dixie Chicks and other people in the public eye get are usually not worth more than the paper they are written on. If they had gotten shot up like 50 Cent I would accept the notion that they suffered. But the only shots they got fired at them were boos from the crowd.
And then this CMT special delved deeper into the psychosis of the entertainment industry. They had people on saying that the Johnny Cash music video that features a different mega star (think Jay Z, Chris Rock, Kristofferson, the Dixie chicks, and others like them) every couple of seconds or so was great because it showed that they really cared about poor people. Really? Appearing on a posthumous Johnny Cash video means you are a good person? Or even that you care?
Wouldn’t it have made more sense having a montage of, oh, I don’t know, the downtrodden? I know it’s cool having a bunch of mega-stars on a Johnny Cash video but, speaking from the point of view of a Johnny Cash fan, wasn’t he about more than that? I think he was.
I am within a gnat’s ass of getting totally fed up with all these self-obsessed jerks. Most of them aren’t even that good. I don’t care about how you summoned that extraordinary amount of strength needed to get out of your 700 thread-count sheets to film another episode of whatever it is that you star in. What you do doesn’t feed the hungry, it doesn’t house the homeless, it rarely even lifts the spirits of your fans.
During the writer’s strike the last couple of months I could barely notice a difference on my television set. What they do just isn’t that important. Reruns of Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond are far superior to nearly every new show.
And music isn’t any better. Why do they think people digitally steal their music? It’s because it just isn’t worth much money. Their music, their story, their soul, their whatever just isn’t really all that valuable to most of us.
Let’s face it, “new” country songs are just variations on old country songs about killing your boyfriend or drinking with your hunting dog on a tailgate. They’re not revealing any hidden truths and they’re definitely not gods.
For the love of the real and only God, have some humility. Don’t describe your life like you are a Medal of Honor winner. There is nothing brave about making millions of dollars for singing marginally entertaining songs.
Please don’t mistake this piece for a screed against modern modes of entertainment - it’s more a screed against modern day entertainers. I like some of the stuff that comes out these days on television and in the music industry but my problem is with the belief that those actors, singers, and everyone else who makes entertainment today are seen and see themselves as extraordinary individuals. All they are doing is pretending to be somebody else in the case of actors and in the case of singers all they are doing is singing the same old songs. That’s it, nothing more.
If you still don’t agree with me then by all means watch this video from an entertainment god; Jerry Seinfeld.