Who’s the “Real” American Idol?

Cindy Sheehan’s resignation from the anti-Iraq-war protest touched me on several personal levels.

For starters:

“Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.”

Followed by the introspection:

“It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.”

Cindy’s post reveals how she was trapped between the politics of the Left Democrats and the Right Conservatives. Using expletives, someone might say she got f****d between both extremes. If you look at some of the comments on Casey Sheehan’s memorial site, you’ll observe how Americans are caught between two extremes in political and sociological terms. If you’re pro-choice, you’re pro-death, claims one comment!

I’ve always been exasperated by the bipartisan politics of the USA. Hence my reluctance to be ‘labeled’ left or right. It reminds me of Asterix’s “The Great Divide”! Where is scientific expression in US politics today? Scientific economics favors the capitalism of the right, whereas it also encourages pro-choice abortion rights and stem-cell research of the Left! What a pity, that rationalist Americans have to choose between these two unpalatable political choices today!

In this context, I can’t help but quote Swami Vivekananda in one of his lectures in Colombo on 16th January 1897:

“I used to read books written by globe-trotting travellers, especially foreigners, who deplored the ignorance of the Eastern masses, but I found out that it was partly true and at the same time partly untrue. If you ask a plougman in England, or America, or France, or Germany to what party he belongs, he can tell you whether he belongs to the Radicals or the Conservatives, and for whom he is going to vote. In America he will say whether he is Republican or Democrat.”

I’m quoting Vivekananda from the year 1897 to highlight my disappointment over how Americans are so polarized and for how long.


  • As an Indian, living in what is called a 2nd tier city – Pune, India – I am frustrated and exasperated over the so-called Americal Idol show
  • Even if I’m living on the other side of the planet, I am bombarded by media coverage (TV, Newspapers, Internet, you name it) of the American Idol show
  • I don’t care a hoot about who Sanjaya Malakar is, even though he may be of Indian roots, and may have captivated the American audience (since I know he’s not a good singer)
  • I admire the USA for what it did in World War II
  • I used to admire the way America treated its soldiers
  • I know the way India neglects its soldiers


  • Who should be the “Real” American Idol today?
  • I don’t know the name of the winner of this round’s show (and NO, though I can Google it, I won’t)
  • It’s all over the headlines everywhere, all over the world but I don’t remember the name


Read Cindy Sheehan’s full post regarding her resignation here.

Acknowledgment: I got started on this thread of thought by the link on Pamela’s blog to Cindy Sheehan.


4 thoughts on “Who’s the “Real” American Idol?

  1. With due respect don’t mix entertainment with politics. Politics is a serious business. Entertainment is an interval. And for God’s sake listen to Sanjaya’s mp3 & comment. BTW are u a musician or a journalist to judge this young 17yr old kid?. I am a music teacher & i can definately tell u this young kid has terrific talent. Plz also refer to Tony Bennett, Jennifer , Diana Ross & other legend singer’s comments on his voice & performance. Get ur facts str8. Regarding Cindy, ur views are appreciated. Thanks

  2. I do not take offense to this post. In fact I couldn’t agree more. When my son went in the military and had his first tour of duty in Iraq he was gung ho in buying the line that we are helping the Iraqi people create a better life for themselves. In fact they did help build roads and hospitals and the such. This was very rarely covered by the media. Now that time has worn on and my son has made it to Captain in the intelligence /special forces unit he also sees the futility of the conflict and how both parties are politicizing the was as more American lives are being lost in a futile effort.

    You have stated your opinion very clearly and thank you for it.

  3. MMP: Thank you. It is always a danger writing about sensitive issues within a country when one is an outsider. In the case above, I couldn’t stop from expressing myself…

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