Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Every Other Night, Idol Takes And Takes

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I know they raise a lot of money. I know it's for good causes. But "American Idol" is so freaking smug and self-serving about it. According to the greatest Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, "The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others." Maimonides actually laid out eight levels of tzedakah (the Hebrew word sort of equating to charity). What Fox does through "Idol" is #4: "When the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient." In other words, doing stuff for people is great, but beating your chest about it is not.
    • By the way, I'm watching it as I type this, so it's very likely that I'm going to get angrier and more annoyed as I go on.
    • It is kind of fun to joke about everything, such as: "Jeremy Piven must be there. Any place where someone is being self-serving on TV is like the Bat Signal for Jeremy Piven." Or my wife's "I can't believe Fergie is embarrassing Heart. Dude, you were on 'Kids Incorporated' -- go away!"
    • How about that weird Teri Hatcher band? It's a real band starring Greg Grunberg, Jesse Spencer (from "House") and Hugh Laurie (who must not have been there tonight). Here's their website.
    • Hey, it's Steve's favorite new act, Miley Cyrus!
    • Look at us, we're ExxonMobil, we're doing lots of great things! You keep seeing our logo on a charity event! Pay no attention to how much we're charging you for gas! We're great!
    • Fox takes about 7% of the raised money for administrative costs, which is pretty good for a charity. Last year that was $5 Million, which coincidentally was exactly how much Fox pledged to the charity last year! The charities they give to have good Charity Navigator ratings. It's definitely beneficial, much better than most of the stuff on network TV. Still more self-serving than they need to be.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Here it is, one last time for the year.
    • The funny thing about "American Idol" in general is that, for the most part, there's a reason that the kids are covering the songs and not recording them. If you ever listen to the original right after the "Idol" performance, you'll get some perspective. For instance, here's David Archuleta performing "Angels" and here is the original Robbie Williams performance.
  • Daily Rant:
    • Had a situation at work the past couple of days where a coworker with whom I work closely is leaving. He wanted me to take over a part of his job, which is a little more technical than mine. After some discussion with various people, the buzz what that I wouldn't even be considered because it wouldn't be the right step for me because my "career path is towards management". It's flattering, no doubt, but doesn't that just sound weak? When you get an MBA, you know deep down that you're doing it to be in management, but it just seems so nebulous. You're not actually doing anything except making sure other people do it for you. I know that's not what it really is -- you set the vision, work with the overall strategy, motivate others. Just on a practical level, it sounds so freaking lame.

No comments: