Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ixnay the X Factor (NOT!)

This is what John thinks of the X Factor:

Yes, that's the shadow of a pineapple on a contestant's head.  He thought it would be helpful to let me know his feelings about the show - in case they weren't already clear.

The X Factor is like the World Cup for me (albeit I'm less excited and emotionally invested in X Factor, whereas I cried during the North Korea v. Brazil game).  But while there are redeeming qualities about the World Cup (i.e. national pride, international sportsmanship, obligatory Domino's pizza orders washed down with ice cold beer, etc.), there are no such qualities about X Factor.  In fact, X Factor is, if anything, harmful and detrimental to society - I agree with John on that point.  You know that song by the Pussycat Dolls that goes, "When I grow up, I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna make movies"?  Okay, well, maybe not.  But for the deluded, lazy, living-on-handouts population out there, the X Factor plants a seed of serious psychotic delusion in their mind: why should I work or get an education when I can be ... FAMOUS???  BY AUDITIONING FOR THIS SHOW, LIKE, YEAH???

"I cnt wate 4 xfactr cos i lv chryl cole n i wnt 2 be jst lyke her wen im grwn up lol shes so amazin," says Daily Mail reader I*M*M*A*S*T*A*R, London (I think this person is aged 10 ... or at least ... I hope so and not like, 21 ... on second thought ...).   Um, okay, honey.  Whatever you say.

"How can you watch this?" John demanded angrily last weekend as he stabbed a pea with his fork.  He never ceases to sigh heavily in disgust or make retching noises when passing the projector screen whenever I'm anxiously tuned in on Saturday and Sunday evenings.  "It's contributing to the DOWNFALL of SOCIETY."  He speaks as if he is CAPITALIZING the IMPORTANT words as he TURNS the PAGES of the ECONOMIST.  Snob.  "You don't UNDERSTTAAAND," I wail.  "Everybody will be talking about this at work on Monday."  I pause.  "Besides ... (and here I pause to give him a withering glare) ... I like it."  And I do.  I mean, I like any kind of "reality" television program: from the indulgent (The Real Housewives series) to the vacuous (The City, The Hills) to the downright dirty (Rock of Love - yes, I went there, I soooo did).  

But the difference between me and other people watching it, perhaps, is that I don't take it seriously.  I don't watch The X Factor and think - "THAT COULD BE ME.  I AM GOING TO PACK MY BAGS AND GO TO THE O2 TO GIVE SIMON A TASTE OF MY RENDITION OF THE BANGLES' 'ETERNAL FLAME' (which is bloody beautiful, by the way) AND IMMA GONNA BE A STARRRRR!!!"  I watch with amusement, fascination, and curiosity.  Who is the coke-snorting prostitute with tarantula mascara parading around in ripped jeans screaming at the audience for deservedly booing her?  I don't know, but I sure am intrigued. 

Look, I spend 90% of my day trying to look and sound intelligent - why can't I have 10% of my day to dumb down and unwind?  "I don't hate The X Factor because I don't find it entertaining," John explained while continuing to methodically chew his dinner, which was really beginning to get on my nerves.  "I hate it on principle."  "Stop judging me and get off your moral high horse," I snapped back in response.  I tried to tell him that I watch it cynically - by cynically, I mean, I don't take it seriously.  I just really enjoy watching the audacity of delusional train wrecks thinking they can be a "star" by singing a really mediocre and possibly completely butchered version of "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga.  That's all.

I will say that his tolerance of my interest in The X Factor has slightly increased ever since he discovered our highly-esteemed friends, Joe and Jodi (who are ultra intelligent, witty, successful, etc.) enjoy watching The X Factor - TOGETHER.  That was a great day for me. 

Until then, let the battle over the TV remote continue. 


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