"The closest to perfection a person ever comes
is when he fills out a job application form."
Rob Chiller has rediscovered the joys of speaking his mind after a decade-long stint
in Corporate America. When not behind a keyboard, Rob can be found offering his
unsolicited opinions on life to anyone who happens to be passing by his house.
You can feel it in the air — it's time for all of us, as Americans, to come
together and enjoy the ultimate in human competition. It's time for the
sweat, the tears, the joy of victory, and the agony of defeat. It's time
for us to gather around our water coolers, making bold predictions about
who the champion will be, and how much blood will be shed along the way.
I am speaking, of course, about American Idol.
What did you think I was talking about? The Super Bowl? Please. In terms
of gritty, grueling competition, football just doesn't measure up anymore.
For now there are players out there who go out, night after night, taking
inhuman abuse purely for our pleasure. And they don't even wear pads.
For those of you not familiar with American Idol, let me suggest moving into
a house or an apartment, as opposed to that rock you're currently living under
I know there are many, many people out there who don't follow pop
culture religiously, and in fact don't even own a TV. I have the utmost respect
for these people, as I would for anyone who is from a different planet than me.
For your benefit, here's the skinny on American Idol: It is, essentially, a huge,
glorified Karaoke contest. Thousands of people try out for this show, providing
some of the most hilarious moments in television history. If you've ever been to
a Karaoke bar, you know that while 95% of the world believes they have fantastic
musical talent, most of them sound like distressed mules when singing. Multiply
this concept by two thousand, and you have the show in a nutshell.
Of course, there's a little more to it than that. Each competitor has to get
past American Idol's panel of three judges before advancing in the competition,
and this is where the show's brilliance really comes through. On the panel sits
Paula Abdul, former pop star and choreographer, Randy Jackson, music producer, and
Simon Cowell, possibly the most brutally honest being in the universe. Each judge
plays their respective roles on the show — Paula is the "nice one," always offering
positive reinforcement to the contestants, even if their singing sounds like a cave
full of bats fighting with 200 cats in heat. Randy likes to "keep it real." He
is the middle of the road, sometimes nice, sometimes not so nice.
Simon, however, is the crown jewel of this show. Born without the "tact" gene,
Simon provides hours of entertainment by saying exactly what most of us are thinking
at any given moment. This has given birth to much gentle criticism, such as "I don't
wish to be rude, but you may be the worst singer in the history of the world."
If you haven't seen the show, do yourself a favor and tune in to Fox on
Tuesday nights. This way, you will understand exactly why I think the American Idol
format is so brilliant, it should be incorporated into our everyday lives.
No, I'm not suggesting everyone should head out into the streets singing
"Heartbreak Hotel" at the top of their lungs.
…On second thought, maybe I should suggest that — it would be extremely funny,
and would probably cause social chaos, which I thrive on. But that wasn't my
My original point is that we could all stand to have that panel of three judges
commenting on our every move. Hear me out — I know we all get our fair share of
unsolicited criticism throughout our lives, but this will be different. First of
all, this criticism will be coming from celebrities, and if I've learned anything
from living in this fine nation of ours, it's that all celebrities are Gods.
Secondly, just think of the perspective we can obtain from having these three
disinterested opinions chiming in on our actions.
Somewhere between the kindergarten kindness of Paula and the brutal candor of
Simon, the TRUTH lies.
Allow me to illustrate. Say, for instance, it's a typical day, and I'm driving to
work while still asleep. I blow by my exit at 80 mph, despite the fact that I've
been working at the same place for three years. So, as I approach the next break
in the median, next to the thirty-foot "No U-Turn" sign, I decide to make a U-turn.
(Hey, if they really didn't want me to turn around there, they would have put a fence
up or something, right?) Here's what I imagine I would hear:
Paula: "Wow, Rob, you have really established your own personality on the road
today. You saw what you wanted, and you went for it. I respect that."
Randy: "I don't know, dawg. You seemed a little reckless out there today. I mean,
yeah, you did your own thing, and that's cool, but you can't go around breaking all
Simon: "Please don't take this personally, but you're a cretin."
See? The truth, should I care to be honest about it, would be that I do have an
independent streak, which is good, but also a tendency to feel the rules don't apply
to me, which is bad. You just can't put a price tag on the kind of perspective!
Here's another example: Say I'm at the grocery store, stocking up on the staples of my
diet — Doritos and hot dogs. As I pull my cart to the cash register, I would hear the following:
Paula: "Wow, Rob you are really in touch with your wants and desires. Good for you for
doing what feels good!"
Randy: "Dude, if you want to become fat and pimply, knock yourself out. Hey, you only
live once, right?"
Simon: "If I'm being honest, I think it's clear you are completely incapable of feeding
yourself. And if your purple plaid shirt is any indication, you probably shouldn't be
dressing yourself, either."
Be honest, folks, we could all use this sort of input. The only stumbling block I see
with my plan is that it's physically impossible. There are hundreds of millions of us,
and only three of them. The answer, clearly, lies in cloning technology. And perhaps
miniaturization. This way, someday down the road, we can each have our own personal
set of Paulas, Randys and Simons we can keep in our pockets.
Until that glorious day, I guess we'll just have to watch the show, and imagine what
counsel they would give us. Each of us, individually, must do some soul-searching to
find our own internal Paula, Randy and Simon. We all have something of all three within
ourselves — it's just a matter of finding them and synthesizing their views into our
one truth. So watch, enjoy, laugh and think.
And for the love of God, stop singing.
Copyright © January 2004 Rob Chiller and Low Carb Luxury