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Beautiful Barista
January 29, 2011 3:29 PM   Subscribe

I don't watch American Idol. I'm not even remotely interested. But I did happen across this clip of barista Chris Medina, who impressed me less with his singing during his audition (which is great) than with his heart (SLYT; 4.55). Excuse me, but I've got something in my eye.
posted by bwg (85 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't watch American Idol.

Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.
posted by killdevil at 3:39 PM on January 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


They always do a couple of these "heartwarmers" in each audition episode. I'm totally jaded and over it and just got some dust in both eyes. *sniff*
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 3:40 PM on January 29, 2011


I preferred it when you weren't remotely interested.
posted by londonmark at 3:41 PM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


That's a kid with his head on straight. I wish him nothing but the best of luck.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:43 PM on January 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


londonmark: "I preferred it when you weren't remotely interested"

How sad for you.
posted by bwg at 3:47 PM on January 29, 2011


How sad for you.

This is one of the most successful shows on network television that regularly exploits tragedy for ratings and that has been on the air for 10 years. The fact that you don't watch the show probably makes this thing stand out a little more than it ought to, possibly making it look... philanthropic. I feel like this is GYOB material.

As a side note, I am the last person to say this, but Simon Cowell was the man. If that's what Lopez and Tyler are like week in and week out, that show's fucked.
posted by phaedon at 3:54 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, where can I sign up for Steven Tyler to be my adopted grandmother?
posted by Polyhymnia at 3:54 PM on January 29, 2011 [14 favorites]


That's a kid with his head on straight.

Seems like a decent guy.

But I can only imagine what it must be like to be the kind of person who would not only propose to his girlfriend in public but have someone videotape it.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:00 PM on January 29, 2011


Also, can we introduce people that work at Taco Bell as cocineros from now on? I'm so over the word "barista."
posted by phaedon at 4:01 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Count me in the group that finds American Idol's incessant, manipulative use of this sort of tragedy as rather distasteful. One week it's this, the other week its the woman who's daughter has hydrocephalus. It never ends. Where are all the people with tragic lives who can't sing worth a lick?

[You've been around here long enough to know that this isn't how posts should be framed, and others are rightfully calling you on it.]
posted by drpynchon at 4:07 PM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I agree that this isn't hugely noteworthy, with AI churning them out like cookies, but seeing it improved my day, which is better than a kick inna head.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 4:10 PM on January 29, 2011


The jaded part of me wants to know who'll be her caretaker when he's off in his singing competition.

The sappy side of me googled him.
posted by ColdChef at 4:10 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Posted on YouTube is as song he dedicated to Juliana and presented on what would have been their wedding day. "I'm a hollow man/Heart and soul/Crushed like your car and thrown to the pavement/What has become of me?"
posted by ColdChef at 4:12 PM on January 29, 2011


My favorite part of the posted video? "Hi, I'm Jennifer Lopez!"
posted by ColdChef at 4:16 PM on January 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


BWG lives in Hong Kong, if I recall. I think he can be forgiven if he doesn't understand the glurgefactor inherent in Idol.

That having been said, of all the glurgy stories, this one actually deserves to be brought out. Not many folks would hang around after what happened to that poor woman. That guy is ossum.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:19 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not many folks would hang around after what happened to that poor woman.

Well, not many republicans.
posted by empath at 4:31 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think bwg needs to get his own fucking blog.

Tough crowd.

Manipulative on part of AI or not, the facts of this story are straightforward and moving. That's sort of the whole point of entertainment. It's a show.

Thanks for sharing bwg. Would never have seen this.
posted by pallen123 at 4:32 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I watched, i cried.

My favorite part of the posted video? "Hi, I'm Jennifer Lopez!"

I love that part, too.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:38 PM on January 29, 2011


> I agree that this isn't hugely noteworthy, with AI churning them out like cookies

For a moment, I thought that meant "artificial intelligence" and I was intrigued to know about some program that was regularly generating entities that were passing the Turing Test with such flying. For a moment, I was disappointed that this wasn't the case, but then I realized it still very well may all be a simulation.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:38 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not many folks would hang around after what happened to that poor woman.

Many people do, and even do so while never appearing on a reality show years past its sell-by date.

This isn't as creepy and exploitative as that audition video from a few seasons ago, with the guy whose wife had died of congenital heart disease less than a year prior, but it still has me pretty turned off watching the show.
posted by kagredon at 4:39 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


>such flying colors, that is.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:40 PM on January 29, 2011


I loved Paul F. Tompkins' take on it:
“And then, at last, it’s time for a moment they’ve been teasing all night. Chris Medina is engaged to a young lady who was in a horrific car accident and was not expected to recover. She has beaten the odds and is now in a wheelchair with very limited mobility and speech. Chris sings beautifully and passes the audition, no sweat. But then the judges ask to meet his fiancée. Chris wheels her in and Randy, J.Lo, and Steven Tyler crowd around her and start hugging and kissing her. She is powerless to stop this. I am not really trying to be funny or “outrageous” when I say: Just because someone’s in a wheelchair and has limited mobility and speech, doesn’t mean you can touch her and kiss her and that she’s necessarily excited to meet you. Think about what you’re doing. She’s not a baby. She’s an adult. So … yeah. Maybe remember that even people who are sitting down have boundaries.”
posted by wallaby at 4:42 PM on January 29, 2011 [82 favorites]


That's sort of the whole point of entertainment. It's a show.

Yeah, the whole point of entertainment is to exploit suffering to sell floor wax or whatever they advertise on that show.
posted by empath at 4:47 PM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe I'm too jaded but I didn't get the butterflies some other people did. Because I didn't like the way the judges talked to the girlfriend like she was some puppy dog or small child. She's a grown woman and should be talked to as such.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:49 PM on January 29, 2011 [25 favorites]


Oh and I just read wallaby's comment. That's another thing that rubbed me the wrong way too.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:52 PM on January 29, 2011


He went to high school with my husband. Chris was two years behind him, but it was a small school and everyone knew each other. By all accounts, he was a pretty nice kid. He was a wrestler, football player, and in band. Chris was super-involved in the school and had lots of school spirit. I don't know him at all, but I the suburb he's from is within walking distance of my house.

Randomly, I work in the high school where former AI contestant Gina Glocksen attended. And, first season Apprentice winner Bill Rancic lived two blocks from my parents' house. It's like a hotbed of reality tv stars in my little neck of the world.

I don't watch American Idol, but I am rooting for Chris!
posted by Hop123 at 4:57 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watched it and cried my face off. It's heartbreaking and horrible that nothing can be done.
posted by Dragonness at 4:59 PM on January 29, 2011


Maybe remember that even people who are sitting down have boundaries.

Again. Tough crowd.

If you ask people in wheelchairs whether they like people bending down to their eye level, you find about half say they appreciate it and the other half find it obnoxious. As for being hugged and by a celebrity, I'm guessing it's pretty much the same deal.

Also, it's kind of presumptuous to assume the celebrities were unaware of the severity of this young woman's condition. Perhaps they knew she had cognitive or auditory deficits, or had heard her fiance speaking deliberately to her.

Life's short. This was moving. Next.
posted by pallen123 at 5:02 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I watched it and cried my face off. It's heartbreaking and horrible that nothing can be done.

Aw. Maybe Simon will come back for next season.
posted by ColdChef at 5:02 PM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


See what I did there?
posted by ColdChef at 5:05 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a facebook page for the young woman. According to it meeting Steve Tyler was the highlight of her year.

The page does give you a better idea of her cognitive abilities. She's apparently a lot more aware than was apparent on the show. That's good.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:06 PM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't watch American Idol or the now-defunct Australian Idol or Pop Idol or the X Factor or any of them.

But seeing stuff like this brightens my day, to know that some people on this planet are genuine caring souls. For a few minutes I can stop being a cynical bitch who hates pretty much everybody some of the time or most people all of the time, and enjoy a heartwarming little cry.

And the guy did say during the audition that meeting them would make her day. So, to not only meet Steven Tyler but to get a kiss on the cheek and the quiet comment that Chris sings so beautifully because he sings to her? Priceless memory right there.

Thanks for posting, bwg.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:09 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a facebook page for the young woman

Link, please, I'd love to see it!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 PM on January 29, 2011


My thought, too, when I watched that was that Steven Tyler needs some sensitivity training, going all squeaky-voiced and pawing her. I didn't find the other two as obviously offensive. If I had been the boyfriend, I'd have had a hard time not putting my hands on Tyler and telling him to back it up two paces.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:11 PM on January 29, 2011


And having said all that, I loved it (except for the Steven Tyler pawing, which it now seems my have been fine with the young woman, who it turns out has the hots for him! Bonus for the pawing!) and I really like Chris Medina.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:16 PM on January 29, 2011


Try this, TPS.

Or do a search on Facebook for "For Juliana."
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:32 PM on January 29, 2011


Steven Tyler will mack on your girlfriend RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:42 PM on January 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


If you ask people in wheelchairs whether they like people bending down to their eye level, you find about half say they appreciate it and the other half find it obnoxious. As for being hugged and by a celebrity, I'm guessing it's pretty much the same deal.

Yes, but speaking to her like a puppy wasn't doing them any favors. I can't imagine that you'll find many (any?) people in the disabled community who enjoy that.

It also rubs me the wrong way because he really wasn't a great singer. This was 100% exploitation.

Actually, fuck that. I wouldn't even talk to my 100%-adorable puppy in those tones.
posted by schmod at 6:00 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know anything about this Idol business, but on British X-factor a lot of acts are 'invited' to audition. The blog has footage of Chris singing - my cynical heart thinks that some researcher got wind of the situation and saw the potential jackpot for viewing figures...

Still, good for him. It was a great audition, and the exposure will support the family's cause - rehabilitation must be pretty expense over there. But I am a bit creeped out about how the panel spoke to Juliana like she was a toddler - and the less said about Steven Tyler the better.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:02 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


It also rubs me the wrong way because he really wasn't a great singer. This was 100% exploitation.

It is *always* 100% exploitation. You can tell instantly when they enter one of their long introductions whether this is a person going to Hollywood or one we're making fun of.

*strings* "Next up, Julia, whose father just survived cancer." BAM HOLLYWOOD

*clown music, footage of guy LARPing* "I went to American Idol camp 5 years ago" HAHAHA WAY TO TAKE THAT IDIOT'S MONEY AMERICAN IDOL

It's crass and disappointing that such a mind-numbingly manipulative show is so damn popular.
posted by graventy at 6:54 PM on January 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also Steven Tyler looks like Joan Rivers.
posted by neuromodulator at 6:56 PM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a little confused what it means, in this case, to exploit tragedy for ratings (or to sell products), unless we're just talking about business-as-usual: an entertainment industry (which includes news shows) making money by entertaining. Shakespeare made money by exploiting the tragedies of many monarchs.

If my wife was in a horrible accident, and reporters shoved mics in my face against my will, I'd call it exploitative. But this guy and his girlfriend chose to go onto American Idol, signed waivers, etc. I guess you could say they exploited their own tragedy for fifteen minutes of fame.

To me, that's cynical to the point of being untrue. I am bored and grossed out by the idea of pop stars, but that guy seemed to be genuinely into becoming one. It was his genuine dream to be a famous pop singer, and he genuinely felt it would make his girlfriend happy if he achieved it.

And, yes, of course, the producers must have realized that they had a good story on their hands. I'm sure they immediately though "this will get us good ratings." But isn't that true of all television and all other forms of communication that are wrapped up in capitalism? Doesn't the "New York Times" exploit tragedy when they put big pictures on their front page of tear-gassings in Egypt? Yes, they're bringing us the news, but they're also very aware that the more dramatic that news is, they more money they'll make.

I guess they cynical idea is that Jennifer Lopez is walking up the the girl in the wheelchair thinking, "this is going to make me look like a caring person, which will help the sales of my next record... I hope the camera films my good side!" Even if that's part of what she's thinking, my guess is that she's also thinking, "This poor girl! How horrible!" Why? Because she's human. If people here are tearing up, my guess is that those money-grubbing, exploitative producers were tearing up too, even as they were lighting their cigars with hundred-dollar bills.

Does the cry of exploitation have something to do with "taste," as in "it would have been okay if they'd featured this story, if they'd done it tastefully?" Well, this is just my opinion, but the entire American Idol show is tasteless. It's poorly designed, terribly edited, boring and cheesy. To me, they did this story in their house style. They're exploiting wanna-be performers (who wanna-be exploited) in the same sense that HBO exploited David Chase's talent when they got him to produce "The Sopranos."

I guess the rule is that when you're exploiting something that's tragic, you should have the good taste to carefully hide the fact that you're exploiting it. Have announcers in suits and ties announce it gravely on the nightly news (which we all know has no ties to ratings or selling products), don't make it OBVIOUS that you're exploiting it by putting it on an pop-music show! If it's on the news, we can all pretend there's no exploiting going on.

Some people just go into a cartoonish, knee-jerk stance about TV. "It's all about selling soap, man! It's all fake! It's all made by fat cats in expensive suits, swilling bubbly on their yachts while naive couch potatoes chew their cud and gaze vacantly at the screen!"

No. It's way more complicated than that. It's about selling soap and trying to make art and making enough money to buy a big house in Hollywood and entertaining people and ambition and telling stories that genuinely move you and politics and...
posted by grumblebee at 7:13 PM on January 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Shakespeare made money by exploiting the tragedies of many monarchs.

Most of whom didn't actually exist.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:39 PM on January 29, 2011


Wait, I completely forgot the histories. I was thinking of Timon of Athens, Othello, Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth & so on.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:40 PM on January 29, 2011


If you ask people in wheelchairs whether they like people bending down to their eye level, you find about half say they appreciate it and the other half find it obnoxious. As for being hugged and by a celebrity, I'm guessing it's pretty much the same deal.

Yeah, but it drops from half down to only about 4 percent if the celebrity in question is Steven Tyler. A full ninety-six percent of people in wheelchairs feel that Steven Tyler is a terrifying quasi-sentient velour-clad catfish.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:42 PM on January 29, 2011 [16 favorites]


Macbeth existed. Possibly Lear did, too.
posted by grumblebee at 7:45 PM on January 29, 2011


terrifying quasi-sentient velour-clad catfish

I never wanted a functioning paypal account as badly as I do right now.....I'd SO register that.
posted by nevercalm at 7:45 PM on January 29, 2011


Oh, and so did Timon.
posted by grumblebee at 7:46 PM on January 29, 2011


Yeah, but not in any sense that Shakespeare's version of them bore any resemblance to reality.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:51 PM on January 29, 2011


They're using Iron and Wine as background music on American Idol? Dude.
posted by NoraReed at 7:54 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite part of the posted video? "Hi, I'm Jennifer Lopez!"

It would've been even better if - to ingratiate herself with the couple - she had added "I like tacos and burritos!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:58 PM on January 29, 2011


My favorite part of the posted video? "Hi, I'm Jennifer Lopez!"

"You may remember me from some such hit movies as Anaconda, The Wedding Planner, Gigli and Jersey Girl ... "

But seriously. That's about as much American Asshole as I've ever watched and holy shit, it's true what they say: Fame Is Toxic.

Anyway, the thing that struck me most about the whole thing was how the whole family seemed to be there with them (various little kids etc). That kind of support is far more real than anything ShowBiz will ever give either them.

I wish them well.
posted by philip-random at 8:24 PM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think Juliana, Chris, and the family have had enough reality to last a lifetime. Acc'd to what I've read, Juliana enjoyed meeting the American Idol doofuses. Just because she's in a wheelchair doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy shitty TV programs and their stars.

If it made them happy for the day that's fucking great, as far as I'm concerned. The suits are the suits and their motives are always the same.
posted by Kloryne at 8:34 PM on January 29, 2011


And yeah, philip-random, I agree that it's beautiful how so many people seem to really care about her. That's the happy reality of it all.
posted by Kloryne at 8:41 PM on January 29, 2011


Yeah, this stuff is not really new for AI. The whole first half of Season 8 they really laid in on thick with Danny Gokey singing in honor of his wife, who died four weeks before his audition. The producers seemed to tone it down later in the season when it became clear that the audience was getting sick of the schmaltz. But with Simon gone, they've got to reach down really deep into their bag of tricks again.

Anyway, take a look at this blog written by Medina's fiance's mother if you want a better idea of how much traumatic brain injury really really sucks.
posted by banishedimmortal at 9:25 PM on January 29, 2011


They're using Iron and Wine as background music on American Idol? Dude.

Ha. I didn't fully appreciate the irony of that the first time 'round. There's no way that Sam Beam would ever make it past the first round (despite the fact that he's a wonderful singer, songwriter, and musician in general).

John Darnielle (another of my favorite artists) would probably end up on one of the "so bad it's funny" blooper clips.

Idol doesn't appreciate art.
posted by schmod at 10:21 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a difference between dramatizing the story of a famed figure, and repeatedly hyping how they have a contestant with a disabled fianceé, and isn't it tragic and isn't he a saint*, culminating in having her onscreen so that the celebrity hosts can show how nice they are.

*if the audition shows are anything like I remember, they will have mentioned it literally every 10 minutes before coming to his audition segment at the end of the show)

One person is being treated as a character. The other is being treated as a setpiece.

Of course, it's clear that the show itself is scripted and staged as all get out, and I know that there must've been all kinds of waivers and advanced preparation involved. I'm sure that Juliana knew well in advance what to expect, and agreed to it, and, from all accounts, had a good experience, and I think that's great. But I still find AI's tone and attitude towards (a) tragedy and (b) ill/disabled people, to be kind of icky.
posted by kagredon at 10:34 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


She is powerless to stop this...even people who are sitting down have boundaries

Sometimes a person leans in to kiss us on the cheek, and we lean in and let them--even if we don't want them to.

We certainly don't try to "stop" them, especially when the person trying to kiss us is a big-time celebrity we were meeting for the first time on TV in front of millions of viewers.
posted by jeremy b at 11:03 PM on January 29, 2011


malibustacey9999: "But seeing stuff like this brightens my day, to know that some people on this planet are genuine caring souls. For a few minutes I can stop being a cynical bitch who hates pretty much everybody some of the time or most people all of the time, and enjoy a heartwarming little cry."

Yeah, me too (I can be a cynical bitch sometimes; heh), which is why I posted it.

I tend to shove aside any machinations of the show and/or the contestants in favour of just appreciating a guy like Chris not bailing on his fiancee.

All the 'get your own blog' crap pretty much sums up why I almost didn't post it, because I was expecting the blowback.
posted by bwg at 11:22 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I think Tyler went too far with all the smooching.

But than that's Tyler.
posted by bwg at 11:22 PM on January 29, 2011


grrrrr.... then
posted by bwg at 11:23 PM on January 29, 2011


What surprised me most about the guy's singing is that the producers had added reverb to it. My recall of other AI/XFactor auditions was that the singers sounded like where they were: in some low-ceiling carpeted room in a conference centre. Chris Medina sounds like he is in a stadium. Do they do this with everybody - or just the ones we are supposed to like?
posted by rongorongo at 11:57 PM on January 29, 2011


Solid toxic glurge. I'm sure Medina is a decent enough guy to care for her, but it's unlikely he'll ever marry her if she has permanent cognitive impairments. He's willing enough to sell the story though. Brutally manipulative on all sides.

Yes, my heart is made of coal.
posted by benzenedream at 1:20 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would've been even better if - to ingratiate herself with the couple - she had added "I like tacos and burritos!"

Damn you Trey and Matt, Damn you...
posted by mikelieman at 3:02 AM on January 30, 2011


I know I am a bad, bad person because whenever I see one of these, a bad, bad part of me wants the person to absolutely suck when they start singing. I want to feel the sick, twisted, UK-Office-level discomfort of watching the panel deal with that.

Anyway, good luck to 'em both. I am not entirely without a heart. :-)
posted by Decani at 4:48 AM on January 30, 2011


Well, I do watch American Idol.

And while I don't think they offended this particular young woman, I think Tompkins has a point, too: if they somehow had some indication that she wanted to be touched and kissed (if she communicates through Chris and he's good at reading her reactions, which seems to be the case), it would have helped to include that, or if they'd made some gesture in the direction of affording her some appropriate bodily integrity, it would have helped the segment seem less gross.

They do this all the time, it's true. It doesn't mean these aren't lovely people. It just means that the show handles lovely people the same way it handles everything else: In whatever way makes the most money. And recognizing that isn't cynical, it's just honest.

And I agree with those who have noted that talking to her as if she were a small child, while an easy mistake to make, was unfortunate.

I don't think anybody was out to be a jerk here, and this is mostly just the same manipulative hootenanny that ensues every time someone with a sad story comes on the show. But I do agree that Lopez and Tyler, in particular, made a handful of classic How Not To Behave In This Situation mistakes. Not big ones, not egregious ones, and certainly not malicious ones, but noteworthy ones nevertheless.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 4:58 AM on January 30, 2011


The gyob blowback has nothing to do with the content of the post. It's your "I'm usually too sophisticated for this lowbrow entertainment" too cool framing. I mean... "I'm not even remotely interested"? Really? That's how you're gonna start your post?
posted by nathancaswell at 5:13 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


What really bothers me about the judges' behavior is that these people are modelling to a young audience "acceptable" ways to treat people with disabilities. And while I believe all of their intentions are good, they clearly do not have a clue. Jennifer seemed so emotionally rattled that I think she just went into enthusiastic autopilot meeting-a-fan mode, "HI! I'm Jennifer Lopez." WTF. But it started way before that, when all three voices pitched up an octave the second she and Chris came into the room. I think whether or not Chris's girlfriend welcomed the pawing and fawning and cooing is irrelevant, as all of it is this weird sort of othering behavior that is passed off as OK and socially acceptable and it is not OK or socially acceptable.

If you wanna talk about cynical though...I suspect that the Iron & Wine pull was not entirely unaccidental, as they just released their new album and world tour within days of this episode.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:36 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The gyob blowback has nothing to do with the content of the post. It's your "I'm usually too sophisticated for this lowbrow entertainment" too cool framing. I mean... "I'm not even remotely interested"? Really? That's how you're gonna start your post?

It's also about the content of the post. That's great that you were affected by a TV show that was, for all intents and purposes, staged and written for that purpose. I'm not going to make a post for every time a single scene in a sitcom makes me go 'aw'. And neither should you.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:23 AM on January 30, 2011


I agree with the play on people's emotions but on the flip side, getting her story out there can inspire others to donate to her enormous and lifelong medical bills, provide them support, and maybe inspire someone to help others with traumatic brain injury.

I went on her FB and looked through her photos. They asked her to write something after her coma. She wrote "help". God I'm an asshole for complaining about anything.

I wish them both well. He's a very special and amazing person for doing the right thing.
posted by stormpooper at 7:14 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


nathancaswell: "The gyob blowback has nothing to do with the content of the post. It's your "I'm usually too sophisticated for this lowbrow entertainment" too cool framing. I mean... "I'm not even remotely interested"? Really? That's how you're gonna start your post"

Oh, FFS. See, that's your mistake right there, not mine.

It was never intended to be "too cool". It was simply a matter-of-fact statement that you misread; you injected your own bias into what I was saying instead of taking it at face value (ie. I don't find the program enticing, yet I found redeeming value in the story just the same).

The following sentence should have been a glaring clue: the only reason I saw the clip was via the Web, otherwise I'd never have known about it. I don't live in North America, I don't watch a lot of TV, and although I know what A.I. is I've never seen a single episode.

True, I could have opened the post differently, and next time I will, so as not to offend your delicate sensibilities.

John Kenneth Fisher: "It's also about the content of the post. That's great that you were affected by a TV show that was, for all intents and purposes, staged and written for that purpose. I'm not going to make a post for every time a single scene in a sitcom makes me go 'aw'. And neither should you."

So you're telling me what to post now? I was simply impressed with man's character, and thought that maybe, just maybe, a few others might appreciate a bright spot in their day. But I certainly don't post every heartwarming story I see, and I resent the implication that I do.

How about next time you just flag it and move on?
posted by bwg at 7:17 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was more disagreeing with nathancaswell, really, but I can see that my use of the indefinite you muddied that.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:04 AM on January 30, 2011


I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want Steven Tyler hugging me and I'm not even in a wheelchair.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:30 AM on January 30, 2011


Or Medina could simply have gone in, done his audition, and never told the producers his story. If he got in on his merits, people would simply have learned more about his family, as they do every season.
posted by OhPuhLeez at 8:37 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a friend that auditioned last year and got pretty far into the process. By the time you get in front of the judges you better have a story...or you DON'T get in front of the judges. Just sayin'.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:29 AM on January 30, 2011


The gyob blowback has nothing to do with the content of the post. It's your "I'm usually too sophisticated for this lowbrow entertainment" too cool framing. I mean... "I'm not even remotely interested"? Really? That's how you're gonna start your post?

Interesting. That happens to me all the time. I'm not remotely interested in Kanye West. (I just had to look up how to spell his hame, thinking maybe it was Canye.) Most of the music I listen to was written prior to 1940. I didn't watch that award show where he interrupted that other performer. But someone posted his meltdown twitter stream, and I read it with fascination, just because I'm a sucker for raw, revealing stuff. It was like a live view into someone's brain. (Or it was fabricated, but then it was interesting fiction.)

One reason a person might write "I have no interest in X, but...", which has nothing do with trying to sound superior, is to suggest, "You might have no interest in X, too, but please watch this anyway, because it transcends Xness." Because, like the OP, I have no interest in "American Idol," I would have skipped his post had he not prefaced it that way.

Also, it's totally possible to hate some particular pop-culture thing but not feel superior to pop-culture in general. Before assuming the OP is a snob, it's worthwhile finding out if this is the case.

Though I generally hate pop music and mostly listen to classical -- which often makes people think I'm a snob -- I've been known to belt out disco tunes. Oh, and my favorite Beatle is Paul, not John. Also, though my favorite dramatist is Shakespeare, I am almost equally fond of "Lost in Space." And not in an ironic way. I am an unabashed fan and think of it as high art.

Assume makes and ass of you and me.
posted by grumblebee at 9:47 AM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


They're using Iron and Wine as background music on American Idol? Dude.

I know, right? Sam Beam would never do something crass and commercial.
posted by incessant at 10:31 AM on January 30, 2011


The Garden State one is the version by the Postal Service. /pedantry
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:38 AM on January 30, 2011


(Iron & Wine's version of the song was also on the Garden State soundtrack. /doublepedantry)
posted by incessant at 1:07 PM on January 30, 2011


Am I really the only one who though Jennifer was just introducing herself? Did she have to say her last name? No, but it still seemed like just an introduction.

And I watched to see what all the Tyler talk was about. Wow, I was still surprised.
posted by evening at 1:23 PM on January 30, 2011


I know, right? Sam Beam would never do something crass and commercial .

Dude, I didn't say anything about Sam Beam being pure, I just said "dude".
posted by NoraReed at 2:37 PM on January 30, 2011


I've never been much of a fan of Stephen Tyler's over the top personality, but the way that he hugged the girlfriend while exclaiming, "That's why he sings so good! He's sing to you!". Awwwww!
posted by msali at 4:28 PM on January 30, 2011


Dammit! *singing* to you. Plus, his behavior doesn't come off as skeevy to me at all! It was much more fatherly or avuncular in my opinion. Although, after reading through the above comments, I understand why all three of them pawing Juliana is a complete violation of her personal space, especially when she may or may not be able to give permission.
posted by msali at 5:07 PM on January 30, 2011


Before assuming the OP is a snob, it's worthwhile finding out if this is the case.

But I am a snob, if you mean because I prefer Jack Daniels over Jim Beam.
posted by bwg at 5:48 PM on January 30, 2011


thanks for the link, bwg...I wouldn't have seen this without you. I didn't think I'd cry. But I did.
posted by naplesyellow at 8:22 PM on January 30, 2011


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