Friday, May 1, 2009


Hollywood has become so much more than an entertainment mecca. This piece of real estate is the epicenter of cultural and political power.

How does that make you feel?

More and more, I feel the tug and rip at old American values as actors, writers and producers define what they perceive as a "new" America, the "new" American family, and her "new" American values.

They're good. I'll give them that. The message is subtle, delivered carefully a spoonful at a time so that even when it doesn't quite taste right, we become too addicted to stop sampling.

Appalling as it sounds, they made a movie about a battered wife who finds solace and comfort in the arms of a married man, and they did it with such tenderness and justice that the viewers found themselves cheering the characters' betrayal and the destruction of the man's innocent, unsuspecting family.

ABC filled its evening slate of youthful programs with shows built around controversial themes and plot lines that don't resemble the average American family I know. So how do they market it? As the "new" American family.

And this is why I love American Idol. A few times over the course of the show, the judges have been stunned by the viewers' choices. Head judge, Simon Cowell, actually admitted once that they, the panel of judges, really don't know what America wants. I couldn't have agreed more.

To a great extent, Hollywood tells us what we want. But once a week, we tell them. And sometimes we prove that the average American is not the sheep they perceive us to be.

Not too baaaaad.

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