April 2014
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“She bang! She bang!”

WARNING: This post contains vitriol and bad language. Reader discretion is advised, and if you don’t like it, then it’s too damn bad.

Last night, Dateline did a puff piece on William Hung, the 21-year-old Hong Kong native and civil engineering student who appeared on Fox’s American Idol.

Hung has been doing the talk show circuit since his televised audition, and has been lampooned on Saturday Night Live, which NBC calls “the apex of idolatry.” He’s received a record offer and has performed on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. William Hung has achieved the fame and stardom that the thousands of other American Idol contestants have, due to lack of talent, been denied.

It’s truly disgusting.

I honestly believe that we may have hit the very bottom of the Marianas Trench that America’s culture has become through the worship of a talentless cretin whose spastic hooting and flailing of “She Bangs” made him the absolute sty in the public eye. I watched the first few episodes of American Idol precisely to see the self-deluded whackos mangle popular songs, I’ll admit…but I did not agree to be subjected to them once their auditions were over. I applaud the underdog as much as the average American, but there’s a difference between rooting for the team in last place and lionizing a fellow whose only claim to fame is that he made such a stupid asshole of himself during taping that the producers selected him as the prime target of mockery at the end of the show.

American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says, “That is fantastic to me because not everybody in this life can be a winner. To celebrate a loser is fantastic!” No, it’s not: it’s pathetic, Nigel. It’s a tribute to the general fear of success and ability in this country that such a sentiment can be said aloud without fear of ridicule. I hate to tell you this, but the playing field isn’t level. Not everybody can sing and dance well. We can’t all be great artists, or be handsome, or pretty, or even have straight teeth without orthodontic work. Some people stand out. William Hung is not one of them, and in some deep dark place in the middle of his heart, he must have known that he had no more ability to sing and dance than Paris Hilton has in regard to selecting discreet sex partners. There’s no inherent goodness in celebrating a loser, no matter how hard he tried. Nobody forced him to go on television, just as nobody forced me to watch him.

Hung was entertaining during the audition, but tiresome in the aftermath. He’s more worthy of ridicule and obscurity than fame and a $25,000 check. If it’s mean or nasty of me to say so, fine. But you won’t see me on American Idol, either.

5 comments to “She bang! She bang!”

  • Morgan

    It’s the reason why the Paris Hilton show was so big. People would rather see other people humiliate themselves than perform using actual talent. It’s the same reason that people go to Karaoke bars. The entertainment is watching people go up and make fools of themselves. With this show, it’s on a national scale.

    Though I’ve only see one episode, American Idol is probably one of the better of bad reality shows. It has real competition and no one has to eat cow entrails. I am more worried about the other shows where depravity is taken to new lows.

  • Joshua

    Something interesting to note: Not that I’m a Japan expert or something (I liked the “Starblazers” cartoon as a kid, but that’s almost the extent of my knowledge of Japan), but Karaoke in Japan is a serious deal. People practice hard and take Karaoke seriously. The Japanese consider it a disgrace to go up on stage in a Karaoke bar and louse it up. I don’t know if the Asian fellow is Japanese, but he would be a disgrace in his own country. In Japan, businessmen would go to after hours clubs (see, I read an ethnography on this very subject so that’s why I know somethin’) with their colleagues and supervisors. They would sing Karaoke, and if you go up there all drunk and stuff, warbling out of key, they shame you, consider you disgrace.

    Ok, now back to “All Star-Blazers!”

  • One thing I feel I must add in the interest of full disclosure: I’ve never heard the song “She Bangs” done in its original form. I think it’s performed by Ricky Martin. So it may be that Mr. Hung’s rendition of the piece is accurate.

  • Aggie

    Ah come on, give the kid a break! It seems like you all are focusing on the fact that he “humiliated” himself on American Idol. I didn’t see it that way at all. Sure I watched it, and I laughed. But only you can allow yourself to feel humiliated. If you got up and performed and gave it a good shot, just as he did, then there’s nothing to be humiliated about. He should actually feel proud, which when you listen to his comments at the end of his audition, it seems he did. I actually think it’s fantastic that he’s getting such publicity (which I’m sure will also be short-lived so no one here need worry.) Get up and go for it! I saw a certain spark and a certain philosophy about life in his performance–hey, I’m gonna give this a try because I feel happy doing it and who knows what’ll happen?

    Well, who knew?

  • I don’t think that there’s anything particularly laudable about making an ass of yourself in public. Sure, he has a right to, but should he? Eh.