October 19, 2010

"Also I don't want to be on television. It's become boring, arse-paralysingly brain crippling."

Says Elton John, explaining why he didn't want the job of "American Idol" judge. He kind of indicates that if he'd gone on he too would have been arse-paralysingly boring.

(Please make an extra effort to write high-quality comments. I can picture some really stupid wisecracks. I'm going to set up a special comments policy for this post: If you say anything predictable, I will delete. Let's see if anything survives.)

58 comments:

Scott M said...

Whole-heartedly agree with Sir John. TV sucks these days. I'm right in line with that demographic of X'er and younger that would rather ditch cable tv than broadband internet.

Expat(ish) said...

You're going to assess our comments to make sure that we don't crack wise?

-XC

WV = boodamed, which seems suggestive *and* appropriate.

bagoh20 said...

I have a wagon.

traditionalguy said...

Elton is a doll. He lived in Atlanta many years. And his attitude towards a subject always seems to be well taken and thoughtful. We give Elton the benefit of the doubt around here. I really don't believe that Elton could be a critical enough of a person to destroy younger talent like Simon could do so effortlessly. Did you notice that Elton felt tenderly towards Susan Boyle in her trainwreck.

MadisonMan said...

Camile Velasco agrees that Elton John makes for brain crippling TV.

Roger J. said...

I second Scott's comment--Elton John is right up there with Newton Minnow in his (totally correct)assessment of the state of TV

Sixty Grit said...

It is a medium. He should be rare.

Expat(ish) said...

@sixtygrit: you win, your pun is much better than mine.

You have staked your claim, sir.

-XC

paul a'barge said...

WISECRACKS

ohhh, that's a good one, Althouse!!

Pogo said...

I'm still blanding.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.


I'm a bore, I'm a bore
Oh the bore is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact.


Oh but they're dull and they're paralyzed
Oh the telly she's a real dog
She's got electric boobs, and faux hair too
You know I read it in the Althouse blo-o-og
K-K-K-Crippled in the Arse

Leather Daddy said...

Of course, Elton meant to distinguish between arse-crippling and brain paralyzing on tv (bad) and not on tv (good - at least based on that weekend at the Hoist with the sling, poppers and Sir Elton servicing London's finest from three ports of call).

Sixty Grit said...

I can take no credit for that - that is just a partial retelling of a quip made by Ernie Kovacs. He died in '62, so he was way ahead of his time, that's for sure. DAMN YOU GENERAL MOTORS!!!

Rialby said...

power glutes

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

"It's become boring, etc."?

I disagree.

Fen said...

I have alot of respect for Elton John. I'm happy he didn't diminish himseld by hosting that stupid show.

Mitch H. said...

I was called twice within a week by Neilsen ratings trying to talk me into taking a diary. Both times I tried to explain I don't watch broadcast & canceled my cable three-four years ago. They wouldn't take no for an answer. Both times, I had to hang up on them.

Reality TV crap and all the rest of it is part of the problem. Honestly, I don't understand all this American Idol, Dancing With The Stars fascination of our hostess. But then, I didn't understand why Lawrence Welk was entertaining, either.

Bob_R said...

He's right that the novelty of AI has worn off. It's become - well - a lot like an Elton John concert: familiar and nostalgic. It's a very restrictive format for the reviewers. They evaluate the same sorts of performances year after year. How are you supposed to come up with something new to say? Of course, you really shouldn't say something new. They need to hear the same kind of comments that the last group needed.

Bob_R said...

Now watching Althouse grade conlaw finals...fresh new idea...someone contact Fox.

msspurlock said...

This is the third time I've heard Elton John say something that makes perfect sense.

I'm starting to think he's a closet conservative.

Which makes my head spin and rocks my world, so I'd better lie down.

ricpic said...

Ow, ow, 'e took it up the arse,
Sir Elton fookin' John.
Ow, Ow, 'e couldna parse gas,
That loovely fookin' spawn.

Scott M said...

I'm starting to think he's a closet conservative.

Most people actually are in the sense that you wouldn't go on a two week vacation hoping to luck into lodging, meals, and travel arrangements. You plan them out and make sure you have the cash.

GMay said...

Well, I like EJ too, but stating the obvious doesn't make him particularly insightful.

edutcher said...

He did a guest shot on The Muppet Show and could have passed as one of them. After that, there was no place else he could go in TV.

PS Who actually listens to his stuff?

He's right up/down there (no pun, Ann) with Michael Bolton in God-awful.

Scott M said...

John Cleese' guest appearance on the Muppet Show is still one of my favorites, all these years hence.

Richard said...

Don't think of pink elephants.

Pogo said...

So goodbye talentless shows
Where the hacks of society howl
You can't plant me in your Idol
I'm going back to my plow.

t-man said...

I like it when my kids watch the lower-level reality competition shows, like Top Chef or Project Runway. Those shows offer a glimpse of reality in their otherwise "everyone gets a gold star" world. Contestants are judged on their results and harshly criticized by people who know what they are talking about.

Clyde said...

It wouldn't have worked anyway unless Bernie Taupin was there to put words in his mouth.

That's Taupin, not "taupe," although he did write the lyrics for "Grey Seal."

bandmeeting said...

He and Leon Russell have a new album out that was favorably reviewed in the NY Post this morning. Sounds like an interesting combination. They'll be at the Beacon Theatre, I think this month. I'd like to see that.

The first concert I went to was Elton John in 1972, when I was but a lad, at the Tulsa Convention Centre. Fantastic.

rhhardin said...

I get him mixed up with Eric Clapton.

Popular guys with one decent song.

Blue Eyes being the one, and Layla (acoustic version) being the other.

It seems to me Elton had another good one too, but I can't place it at the moment.

Limbaugh used the acoustic Layla for the Donna Shalala theme in the 90s, which is where I encountered it. Look in his song parody section, if a subscriber.

Chase said...

Who is "Elton John"?

Scott M said...

Who is "Elton John"?

A British knight.

Sixty Grit said...

I saw Leon Russell at Cole Field House back in '73 or so. His opening act was ZZ Top - before they had beards. Oh yeah, it was that long ago...

Almost Ali said...

"1957," that's when America crossed the Rubicon, when television became the defining arbiter of domestic life. And I can't think of a more representative example of the ensuing social decline than Leave It To Beaver.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

Excellent use in the first sentence of adverb+ first person singular + present negative (with contraction!) "to" infinitive (properly conjugated) + the idiomatically correct, locative form of preposition + noun. I wonder if you are IN, AT or AROUND television in other languages?

The second sentence begins poorly with with present continuous verb form and generic present participle (why not take ownership of that view?), but the whole thing pays off with in the subordinate clause, a wonderful viewpoint compound adverb + object + present participle (or is it adjective + gerund)?

[All of the foregoing is mishmash of English, foreign and ancient language grammar I've picked up and is likely to be Wikipedialically incorrect. You can sue me by sending your complaint to The Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, in the City of Wilmington, County of New Castle, Delaware 19801.]

AprilApple said...

But wait Elton - there's....
"The Talk"! and.... "The View"!

Oh wait - those shows are the very definition of arse-paralyze and brain cripple.

traditionalguy said...

Don't you remember Elton playing at Princess Di's funeral the new song that he had written for her. He is a talented song writer as well as a great performer.

DADvocate said...

I haven't watched a single minute of Amerian Idol since Kelly Clarkson was on, and then it was just a few minutes. I've never watched more than a few seconds of Dancing with the Stars. Other than football and The Mentalist, i rarely watch anything on the major networks.

Most network TV, the various forms of reality TV in particular, have "become boring, arse-paralysingly brain crippling." Indeed, it's a depressing sign of the state of our society, but an encouraging sign that some, like Sir Elton, refuse to participate in the drudgery.

traditionalguy said...

Dadvocate...And the alphabet Network News shows have become 10 minutes of news and 20 minutes of ads for elderly people's drugs. They are candidates for a Death Panel for sure.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you say anything predictable, I will delete.

Okay.

I've decided to be a socialist and register as a Democrat. Capitalist economies are crazy. They aren't even planned!

Strangely, following this change in my life, I feel the desire to watch a lot of TV.

Scott M said...

Capitalist economies are crazy. They aren't even planned!

That smells like a t-shirt...

MadisonMan said...

I'm waiting to see what is deleted. Maybe I should screengrab everything to see who does or does not make the grade.

Jana said...

It seems wise to dodge this gig, since the new judging panel is surely going to be compared with the old judging panel. When you're a star of EJ's caliber, why try and step into someone else's shoes?

The excuse to criticize television seems like a convenient scapegoat if you don't want people saying, "Elton John just isn't as good as Simon. I miss Simon!" Those who don't watch television always have the worst criticisms of the programming.

There is an array of high quality programs to watch (network and cable, though mostly cable), at least enough for 1 - 2 hours of viewing per night utilizing DVR.

Scott M said...

at least enough for 1 - 2 hours of viewing per night

As has been mentioned by very wise people previously, passive entertainment is so industrial age...

Shanna said...

I get him mixed up with Eric Clapton.

Popular guys with one decent song.


???? Do you not count Cream? I love Disraeli Gears! The whole album!

TML said...

Wait, will we see posts AA deleted? Rephrase: Will we know when a post has been deleted by AA?

Cedarford said...

Elton John might have been an even bigger stunt-casting mistake than Ellen Degeneres. It seems like a no brainer to people who want someone "like" their idol "Simon" to say that one prissy British queen should be replaced by another one, but it would have been another abortion.

The show is still immensely popular and all the research producers did showed that the judges were the biggest problem with audiences and the performers the past two seasons. They badly needed a shakeup, not a "new Simon" or "New Kara" or a "famous celeb who doesn't know the 1st thing about singing".

As is, I like the casting of Randy as lead judge, and J-Lo as the "perhaps her best times are behind her" stage performer, and Tyler as the semi-cleaned up great frontman and wild guy.

Past performers commented they like the setup. Randy Jackson, the only judge the performers generally respected as involved and spending time with them and offering constructive advice as Lead Judge. Some of the better contestants are very pleased that J-Lo will be there to judge complete performances. And the more energetic big-volume singers like Daughtry, Lambert, Gokey, Iraheta, and Siobhan Magnus commenting on Steve Tyler said they are stoked that a great frontman with a good feel for talent will be on the panel, and wish he was on when they were performing.

Idol still attracts some incredibly talented young singers. The show may revive as the performers are treated better and are seen by the audience to be on improvement arcs, rather than beaten down to give worse performances than when they first start the "competition".

Penny said...

Stars with enough money in the bank to support the lifestyle they have become accustomed to can pretty much decide to do whatever they wish. As the coffers dwindle, however, no telling what their fans may be subjected to in the name of "exciting new opportunity!" on TV, in a bookstore or in a stadium near you.

Kris Weeks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
howieroark said...

Wow. First time commenter, long-time reader. Ann, I think you arse-crippled the commenters with your warning. Usually I laugh out loud at many blog post comments; now with comedy gold laid at our feet we get serious disquisitions on American Idol and the evils of TV. I expected more. I retreat to my easy chair to come up with something witty...

John Lynch said...

TV is better than it has ever been.

Sturgeon's law applies.

traditionalguy said...

I don't know about you, but we need to at least try to come up with a delete worthy comment. Candle in the Wind sold 37 million copies. So maybe we could try A Candle in the Arse Is Soon Blown Out? But I think arse may only be English slang for a donkey.

Irene said...

Fifty-two comments and no predictable snark about Rush Limbaugh's wedding?

Must be a slow day.

howieroark said...

On the bright side, I wonder if TV-induced arse paralysis minimizes the likelihood of brain farts? Good theory but eminently disprovable when weighed against the on-air performance of many political candidates this season.

howieroark said...

I don't know about you, but we need to at least try to come up with a delete worthy comment.

How about this: when you're a 'power bottom' like Elton, the last thing you want to experience is arse paralysis.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

JAL said...

Elton who?

Oh yeah .. the musician at Rush and Katherine's wedding.

Freeman Hunt said...

That smells like a t-shirt...

Some liberal commenter actually wrote that sentiment to me on my blog. He