X-factor vent

November 29, 2009

I stayed at a Youth Hostel while in London. In the evenings some of us would watch the X factor. It is good entertainment, but I grew to dislike it intensely.

One young guy, waiting to be eliminated(or kept on) was asked what it meant to him to stay.  He said,

‘Everything, this is the most important thing in my life’.

And later,

‘What I want more than anything is to be a pop star’. 

Ah, that’s it, the word ‘star’;  here is the crux of what is wrong with this whole concept- his ambition isn’t to be as good a singer and performer as he can, but to be a Star. It is fame that calls these children. Did you know that they actually live at the X-factor quarters for weeks on end, getting coached in how to present themselves?  That’s how involved they get, that is how dedicated they are to this goal, which when they achieve it, most will find empty and excruciatingly lonely.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the music of John Mayer. I like him because he is intelligent, he has something to say which matters to him, he’s an ace guitar player, and let’s face it he’s sexy as hell.

He is, 1 a human being with depth and character. 2 A skilled musician on a number of levels. 3 An interesting person with independent views, and 4. A talented poet and songwriter.

Compare this to your average X-factor finalist who maybe can sing, and has learned how to ape the moves of more succcessful stars.  What else is there?

What a dumb goal our society encourages these easily influenced teenagers to quest after. How many of the winners have anything inside themselves to sustain them for more than the first half year of hype?  Don’t they know you have to be a whole and at least somewhat developed person first before you can express something worth listening to?

John Mayer, for example, already has the X-factor- but it in him it is a combination of talent, intelligence, skill, dedication, luck and inborn charisma. 

 He, at least, will be around for a lot more years, maturing and deepening, and just getting better. I look forward to it.




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