On Sunday I'll get back the Intrade money I bet on the Oscars, which means that soon I'll have to bet it on something else. The midterm elections are still a long way off, but American Idol is sending someone home every week, and you can bet on it on Intrade, so today I watched my first American Idol show in 5 or 6 years.
They had a ladies' night, but most of the performances seemed extremely unladylike - zoo-type howling, orgasmic screeching, proud coarseness - the whole thing. The girl who sang "The Scientist" by Coldplay had a beautiful face, which made the fact that Chris Martin sounded a lot more feminine than she did while singing the original especially hilarious. I guess the general culture is a part of the problem here, but it's so much more fun to blame stupidity that I can't pass up the chance to mention the following: a 24-year old contestant said that her favorite hobby was coloring. With crayons, in coloring books. I don't remember those things ever being around when I was a kid, but for some reason hippopotamuses have long stood out in my mind as the most representative things that could be colored in them. And like clockwork, they showed that girl coloring a hippo with crayons in her bio video.
I do believe that music is one of those areas to which intelligence can be usefully applied though. Here is a good example of a very smart man singing a pop song. I guess intelligence increases one's sensitivity, one's emotional resolution, allowing one to perceive subtler and more varied shades of feeling. If you're trying to draw something in MS Paint, and you're given a hard limit of 50x50 pixels and 5 colors, you'll probably be less likely to come up with a masterpiece than if you were given 500x500 pixels and thousands of colors. I suspect that smarties sing better than idiots partly for the same reason.