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home : features : features September 15, 2014

3/10/2013 8:38:00 PM
Column: Some folks don't know about fear of embarrassment
By Judy Bluhm

Do you crave embarrassment? I was watching "American Idol" over the past few weeks and have concluded that there are a whole lot of people who are either tone deaf, enjoy humiliation, have serious mental delusions, are gluttons for punishment, or are just completely in denial about their singing abilities. When tens of thousands of young folks line up to bray in front of the "judges," it's often played out like a dark comedy. Yes, there are lots of people who evidently like to make fools out of themselves.

What are they thinking? Some psychologists say it's the "quest for fame" that drives people to do just about anything to have a moment in the spotlight. Celebrities are the "new royalty" and the "commoners" will go to any lengths to make it into the ranks of the rich and famous. One young man who auditioned for the show could not sing, carry a tune or hold a note. When banished from the one-minute tryout, he ran out of the room cussing, furious that his hopes were dashed. Oddly, his parents were there to console him, saying things like, "Don't worry, you'll be famous one day, you'll be a big star." Enough already! Even parents are in on the delusions!

Those parents should have been telling their child to study harder, maybe go to college and become a doctor. At the very least, they could have offered to pay for his voice lessons. On the other hand, they should have scolded their son for using foul language because someone told him the truth. When one of the judges says, "You are the most dreadful singer I've ever heard in my life," maybe it's time to re-think your talent.

Why do so many go to such lengths to embarrass themselves? Would you show up to an audition wrapped in a pink net, squawking like a crow and rolling around on the floor like demons just took over your body?

Remember the old "Gong Show?" Well, "American Idol" has become even more weird fun. What are we to do with a guy who dresses like Madonna, or twin girls who yodel and whistle, and a rotund fellow who howls like a coyote? Clearly, we can laugh, but it is rather disturbing.

There are those "shining moments" when you realize you may be listening to the next Garth Brooks or Frank Sinatra. There are quite a few stellar performances that make you want to shout, "Wow! How did they do that?" I suppose we have to suffer through a few miserable performances to appreciate the greatness in some of the remarkable undiscovered talent that rises to the top.

Need a few laughs? Avoid the news and look no further than the parade of people who will sing, choke, dance, scream, bray, screech, rap, and shout their way to public humiliation. Perhaps those same folks who have no talent - but still audition - should join the military. We need brave folks that can still stand strong after receiving a blast of insults. Maybe next year, we'll have military recruiters waiting in the wings at every single "American Idol" audition, ready to enlist those who can't perform, but have the courage to try.

In the meantime, let's all enjoy the spectacle and maybe muster up enough guts to fine-tune our own talents so we can join the party! Oh yeah, there is always "America's Got Talent," which embraces people of all ages and is not limited to singing. Can you juggle? Do a magic trick? Dance like Fred Astaire? Maybe dust off the old hula hoop and give it a whirl. Fame is only a heartbeat away. And while we might get sick of the talent shows, every now and then something extraordinary happens. Several years ago we were thrilled to witness a middle-aged Scottish woman walk out on a stage and wow the world with a voice like an angel. From obscurity to world phenomenon with one song!

Got talent? Practice and go to an audition! The world is waiting. Or, if you are like me, just grab the popcorn, turn on the television and hope for the best. A brilliant star may shine right in front of you. Just don't be surprised if you have to walk outside and look up in the sky to see it.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor who lives in Skull Valley. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Nail on the Head

Judy you nailed it! My sentiments exactly. When Dr. Spock's book came out on parenting...that did it. Downward trend on discipline.

The "positive attitude" and self-esteme building that physcologist push is the thing that has created a non-reality existence for the wannabees. Telling children how great and wonderful they are when they are not, sets them up for a disaster and al rude awakening when they go out into society.

Look what permissiveness and "how great I am" has brought this country...an overwhelming population of drug addicts and alcoholics.

A great deal of them rehabbing and relapsing in Prescott. Reality check here.

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