In last Monday’s New York Times, ComicMix contributor Dave Marsh sounds off on the democracy craze. Not the one in the Middle East, but the one sweeping the media, on shows like AMERICAN IDOL and DANCING WITH THE STARS. "What it really represents is an ever more cleverly manipulated pop culture," said Dave Marsh, a longtime rock critic and host of a Sirius satellite radio show. "Empowerment becomes a commodity."
In criticizing the contests, Mr. Marsh said the mass market spots talent well enough: "The mob chose Elvis Presley, the mob chose James Brown, the mob chose the Beatles." With executives filtering the process, he said, the result is "disposable" performers "who are selected because they stay away from anything that’s personal or controversial." Instead, we get the music Paula Abdul thinks we want.