It is a blessed and lucky life that has allowed me to spend the last 15 years immersing myself in pop culture and finding media outlets that will pay me to share my views on the "what's hot" and "what's not" in popular music.
Occasionally, however, there are rare moments when pouring over the latest craze is dreadful, horrifying, teeth-grinding work that makes adding columns of numbers to Excel spreadsheets ... in a cubicle ... under flickering florescent lights ... drinking bad coffee ... seems like nirvana by comparison.
Exhibit A: Ke$ha — She's sold over a million copies of that horrible album and had three top 10 singles. Are the people buying her synth-pop dreck taking crazy pills?
Exhibit B: Jersey Shore Season 2 has just started and all I can say is, "What the hell?"
We need to start treating the Snooki and the rest of these lunkheads like bears: If we pretend we're dead, maybe they'll go away.
Exhibit C: American Idol Season 9
As a reporter it would be irresponsible of me not to acknowledge that the budding talent from the most recently finished season of American Idol will be performing at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday night, covering songs by the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Katharine McPhee (Idols covering Idols. That's rich.).
As a casual viewer, however, my initial reaction to this news is, "Who cares."
Many of you feel the same because ratings for this last season were down, down, down.
Unlike last year when we marveled at Adam Lambert's fabulousness or Season 4 which unearthed the one true Idol-born superstar talent, Carrie Underwood, this year's cast was as anonymous as Justin Guarini's singing career.
How many of you even know the name of the Season 9 winner? How many remember what song he sang to win it?
My guess is not nearly as many of you as in the past.
Now, how many of you know which judge is allegedly getting canned and which two are leaving of their own accord before Season 10?
All of you know that Kara DioGuardi (the axe is hovering) Simon Cowell and Ellen Degeneres (both moving on to other projects) won't be back? I thought so.
And this is the problem.
From Cowell's obvious lack of interest, to Degeneres' dislike of hurting the contestant's feelings, American Idol is now less a singing competition and more of a reality show vehicle for a star-studded judging panel.
Few viewers or entertainment reporters have been talking about where tryouts for Season 10 are taking place, but entertainment talking heads can't stop talking about who next new year's judges might be.
J-Lo? Steven Tyler? Howard Stern?
Maybe a better American Idol concert would be to send all of these potential judges on tour together and let audiences decide who should win those coveted chairs once we see who can most thoroughly crush the dreams of an amateur singer.
(Hey, nobody steal that idea! I'm calling my agent right now to see if we can get a meeting with Fox.)
Until then we'll have to make do with this American Idol Live! Tour featuring the best of last season's contestants, including winner Lee DeWyze who sang U2's "Beautiful Day" to capture the title.
Now you know.
American Idol Live! Tour 2010, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
P.S. Tryouts for season 10 of American Idol are being held on August 11 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. This is your chance to be the next contestant forgotten by the judge-obsessed fanbase. Yay for you!