Thoughts About Reality
When it comes to a talent show – which is essentially what Rockstar: Supernova is – I generally am not that interested. But this show is oddly compelling because the singers aren’t awful. They’re not great, and the songs they are asked to sing are almost always banal and trite. I love Nirvana, and I honestly do think that they will be remembered as one of the most influential bands in the late part of the 20th century, but I feel like I could have skipped half these shows and just played Nevermind a few spins and I’d be okay.
What is interesting is that there are a few singers I could actually see joining this group, not that I’d listen to any of them. Last night, Ryan “Darkhorse” Star sung an original tune I genuinely enjoyed, and it sounded at least as good (actually, much better than) as Supernova’s original stuff. He, Dilana, Magni and even Toby seem to me like viable candidates for this gig. And Storm is hot enough with a good enough voice I could see her hanging around awhile as well.
Dilana was the clear front runner, but her version of The Police “Every Breath You Take” was not only boring, but two things were insane. The most obvious one were those crazy pink eyelashes. IN. SANE. Look, we all know you are cuckoo for cocoa puffs, D, but that’s actually disturbing. But the second, much more offensive transgression, was during the chorus, instead of singing “I’ll be watching you…” – she sang, “Di-Laaaaanaaa” Yes, that’s right, she sang her name over one of the classic rock anthems of the last twenty years or so.
So, just in case there was any questions, Dilana? You’re dead to me.
Onto the granddaddy of reality TV, Survivor. It’s now become public that the next season, based in the Cook Islands, will separate the 20 players into four teams of five – and that they will be divided by race. There will be an African-American team, a Hispanic team, an Asian team, and a white team.
Predictably, this has caused a lot of discussion – and on this alone, no one can doubt Mark Burnett’s genius. What other show would get people chatting about it like this as it heads into its
ninththirteenth season? None. [And the fact that I thought it was only the ninth season, when it turns out to be the 13th? Both further proof of Burnett's genius, and the fact that I'm a moron.]
And charmingly, it’s already gotten some racists to show their true colors.
During the program, Limbaugh suggested that "people at CBS" are "scratch[ing] their heads" and asking whether "the swimming portion" of the new Survivor competition is "going to be fair." When pressed by an African-American caller to identify "[w]hich team ... would be the worst swimmers and why," Limbaugh stated that "the white tribe would be the best swimmers" based on the performance of white athletes at "the Olympics." After apparently disconnecting or cutting the volume level of the caller, Limbaugh said: "[Y]ou're saying I'm being racist because I'm saying blacks can't swim." He further protested: "I mentioned the swimming comment only because it's not going to be fair if there is a lot of water competition in this. It just isn't. It is not a racial or racist comment at all."
Charming. But why end there? Let’s stereotype each and every team!
Regarding the new Survivor series, Limbaugh also stated that there "are many characteristics ... that you would think would give [the African-American tribe] the lead, and the heads up in terms of skill and athleticism and so forth." He also stated that "our early money" is on "the Hispanic tribe" -- which he said could include "a Cuban," "a Nicaraguan," or "a Mexican or two" -- provided they don't "start fighting for supremacy amongst themselves." Limbaugh added that Hispanics have "probably shown the most survival tactics," that they "have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders" and that they can "do it without water for a long time, they don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do."
Somewhere, I think Donovan McNabb is smiling.