The 7th season of American Idol has begun! Once again we get to listen to the good, the bad and the ugly as they audition before Simon, Paula and Randy.
This year the judges are trying to relax the contestants before they sing by asking them, “What do we need to know about you? What about you would we find interesting?”
On the first night of auditions, a young woman with no guile simply said, “I have never seen an “R” rated movie.” Shocked, Simon asked, “Why not?”
The young woman with gentleness said that this was just something she had grown up observing and that she simply continued it in adulthood because it suited her.
When asked if she was married, she responded, “Yes, I have been married for three years.” The judges asked if her husband had ever seen an “R” movie and she again with winsome simplicity responded. “No.”
At that, Randy and Simon cut eyes at each other and with disbelieving sneers suggested that this woman did not know her husband and that he surely was lying to her and probably enjoyed Internet porn.
After her audition she was invited to go to Hollywood and Simon suggested that given a week he could bring her over to the “dark side.”
The next night a boyishly good looking young man answered the question, “What do we need to know about you?’ by saying, “I’ve never kissed a girl.”
Again, the male judges pounced with condescending sneers. The young man explained that his desire was to save expressions of physical intimacy for the woman he would marry. His audition was not that strong and he was not invited to Hollywood. When he asked what he could do to improve, Randy snidely replied, “Kiss some girls!’
It makes me sad that values that seem ennobling of human nature are the source of such settled and unchallenged derision. It makes me sad that being drawn from purity and chastity to the “dark side” of sensual indulgence is presented as something to be valued.
It occurs to me that the show is very aptly named–it is all abut the idolatry of America!
We lust after fame, after what is material, after what is pleasing to the senses, what is erotic and self indulgent.
The warning of Psalm 115 resonates in my heart–we become like what we worship! Simon by his own admission says it is dark where he lives—I want to live in the light of His Presence!
For our God is in the heavens,
and he does as he wishes.
4 Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,
shaped by human hands.
5 They cannot talk, though they have mouths,
or see, though they have eyes!
6 They cannot hear with their ears,
or smell with their noses,
7 or feel with their hands,
or walk with their feet,
or utter sounds with their throats!
8 And those who make them are just like them,
as are all who trust in them. (Psalm 115)
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness. (Psalm 89)