Idol chatter

Why one writer hates American Idol more than green olives and mushroom soup

SN&R Photo Illustration By Don Button

Joel Davis is a Sacramento writer and author of Justice Waits: The UC Davis Sweetheart Murders ( He says it is OK to hate his book before reading it.

Dear friends,

You ask me if I saw American Idol last night, the night before or any other night. I regret to inform you that I hate American Idol—though I have never even seen it.

Does that make sense?

Does that make me a bad person?

Let me ’splain, Luuucy.

I hate how every time I sign on to the Internet, the top stories seem to be on whatever Simon sez; the local daily even has a reporter covering the show itself. (No wonder circulation is down: get off your Idol ass and find a local story, for chrissakes.) I hate Idol so much it pisses me off. I hate it more than Billy Idol and I don’t much like him. I hate it more than green olives and mushroom soup.

Still, I have never seen Idol and have no intention of watching it, especially now that baseball season has started and the most excellent Friday Night Lights is hanging in there on NBC, though Peabody Award-winning Lights—as good as TV gets—may need a Hail Mary episode to survive, as it is being squashed like a grape because it is opposite, you guessed it, Idol. (Plus, it falls in the Joel Davis-likes-it-so-it-must-die-category of cursed shows.)

I could be wrong, because I have never tuned in, but Idol reminds me of The Gong Show, sans the gong. And that show sucked rocks on a good day.

I can’t quite explain the I-hate-things-I-have-never-sampled phenomenon, but it has haunted me since the days of my older sister’s high-school boyfriends. I never gave them a chance because, well, they seemed to like this person with whom I lived with and fought with so much she once threw me out of a moving Chevy Impala on the way to school. So even before she introduced me to them, especially Scary Guy With Motorcycle, they had no chance.

I also hate foie gras, even though I have never tried it; Sidney Sheldon books, even though I’ve never read one; and the state of Florida, even though I have never been there.

In addition to gators, humidity and political scandals and Joakim Noah’s stupid hair and arrogance, Florida seems to have a lot of NASCAR, which I also hate but have never seen. (I figure I can stand by the side of the freeway and wait for cars to crash for free.)


I.M. Hypocrite

P.S. There has been one great revelation for me of late: college women’s basketball. It’s more entertaining than the pseudo-NBA run ’n’ gun men’s NCAA tourney—closer games, more team-oriented, lots of passing and defense, some hot tall players (Tennessee’s Candace Parker is truly a “10 I See,” more snortable than Keith Richards’ dad). There’s more: a lesbian scandal at LSU with unnamed player(s) and a coach named “Pokey” (you can look it up), a hardscrabble Rutgers coach who is an amazing story in and of herself—in short, NCAA women’s tourney basketball is the smile of the season.

Scram, Simon. Pokey has you, um, licked.