May 18, 2004
Idol hands, frenetic fingers


This week's issue of Broadcasting & Cable breaks a scandal that most assuredly affects America's core values of fairness, equality, and democracy. (NB: if that lead sentence had been published in the entertainment section of some mid-level newspaper reaching a metropolitan audience of about 50,000 people, you might have seen a greater effort to unimaginatively give the impression that this "scandal" is in some way connected to recent events in the Abu Ghraib prison, but alas, you've instead been subjected to this awful, self-reflexive introduction. Sorry.)

Deborah Starr Seibel's "American Idol Outrage: Your Vote Doesn't Count" offers a fair share of anecdotal evidence that, contrary to the seemingly democratic voting process promoted by the producers of the beloved show, millions of fans' votes are disappearing into the ether. And speaking of vacuousness, the article, subtitled "An in-depth look at America's most popular show reveals a seriously flawed voting system," might have better read, "An in-depth look at America's most popular show reveals a seriously flawed America."

How else to explain some of the quotes and actions attributed to one Dee Law?

But as the show speeds toward its May 26 conclusion with three songbirds left, the 40-year-old Pennsylvania homemaker couldn't care less about the outcome. A Clay Aiken fan, she lost faith in the process after making a shocking discovery last year: No matter how often she tried, she couldn't place her vote.

Law says she tried to dial "five or six hundred times" on the final night of competition but hasn't tried since. "I'm not gonna get suckered into voting again," she says. "Why should we sit here and waste two hours of our time when our votes aren't going to be counted?"


Anyway, putting aside a range of misanthropic feelings for the moment, we at low culture would like to take this moment to actually assist (yes, help) those poor sad-sack losers who have chosen to devote two nights of their week to feverishly clutching their handset while shrieking inconsolably as Diana Degarmo erupts into so-called "song".

Below, we've coordinated (all in one place, and sorted by manufacturer or service provider) a series of links to speed-dialing instructions at various telephone manufacturers' websites, such that hardcore Jasmine Trias devotees (or fans of Fantasia Barrino, or Diana Degarmo, or Crystal MacAzure, or Jacinta DuPres, or who-the-fuck-ever) can learn to get more votes in during those precious two hours.

Cavalier Telephone
Meridian Digital
SBC Communications

Oh, fuck it. However immoral this may be:

Cool Ways to Kill Yourself

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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