December 11th, 2003


billboard music awards

I don't really like award shows, but got sucked into watching the Billboard Music Awards by how clumsy and messed up the proceedings were. It had some amazing moments of the wheels coming off the wagon of TV professionalism and going over the cliff in slow motion.

1. Dave Grohl as straight man to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Dave read his cue cards with all the conviction of a third grader in a Thanksgiving skit. Triumph couldn't hold onto his cigar. Repeated unfunny jokes about Clay Aiken being gay were cut with live shots of Clay Aiken, who was obviously unamused. Grohl seemed to realize about 30 seconds in that the whole thing was a titanically bad mistake, and practically begged Robert Smigel to rush through the whole business.

2. Later in the show, the woman who introduced Clay Aiken, Kathy Griffin, claimed that they'd spent the night together and that he'd 'left her sore.' At this point I A) don't understand why calling this guy gay is so funny or B) don't understand why Kathy Griffin thinks it's funny to tell the whole country that he fucked her raw.

3. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Nicole managed to screw up her cue card reading so that the people who were supposed to bleep her saying "It's fucking hard to get bullshit off your shoes" missed it and it went out nationwide. Then, that smarmy creep who hosted the show scolded her for cussing, as though it wasn't a big setup.

4. That same smarmy creep saying that 'it's sure nice seeing Paris without the 40 minute download.' Whatever you think about Paris, the better part of valor is discretion, and making a joke about someone's international humiliation is pretty low.

5. Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, who were there to send up their image as meathead and airhead respectively. Unfortunately, they highlighted their own idiocy by repeatedly fluffing their lines, read unconvincingly by a teleprompter. It's pretty bad when you can't even be believable playing yourself.

6. The actual music that was the putative show's subject, aside from Outkast, was freakin horrible. Clay Aiken's performance was one of those annoying, over-the-top collection of pop-singer tics and cheap tricks that never coalesced into anything resembling a musical performance. The fact that this gomer has a chart topping album is a testament to the commersh music industry's ability to force feed the public crap and get them to swallow it.

Good quote

I was looking around for information about Paul Park and found this interview in which he says something remarkable. Worthy of a virtual "so true!" in the margin.

"What I find interesting about religion is that in no other enterprise (except, perhaps, democratic politics) does the heartbreakingly pure idealism of human beings exist in such close proximity to their foulest and most corrupt instincts. There is no belief structure on earth that is not filthy and contaminated and counterproductive from its inception--corrupted immediately by money and power and sex. But the core of each of them remains pure, because it speaks to what is purest in our natures--atman, the spark of divinity, whatever you want to call it. Faith, like the ideal of democracy, will never go away, because they are really the only two things that are worth a shit. But it is important to understand that both lead immediately to grotesque distortions, by their very nature."