We've been watching American Idol recently - Chickadee loves it, and I will admit that it holds a certain fascination for me, particularly the open call sessions. The level of self delusion is utterly amazing.

I can't sing. I know it, and I freely admit it. When forced to sing, as with family Christmas carolling, I do so quietly. But I can sing better than a good quarter of the people who show up for the American Idol auditions. And they are stunned/shocked/infuriated when a panel of experts tells them they have no talent. I can tell that they have no talent, and I am amazed that apparently none of these people have ever actually listened to themselves.

And the recurring theme of their outrage seems to be "But I really, really WANT to be an American Idol." And therefore, because they really, really want it, they are entitled to get it. Which seems to be a growing trend these days ... the idea that you don't need any innate talent, or actually have to, oh, work at something to succeed. You just have to want it. A lot. And by wanting it, you deserve. And if you don't succeed, because you are hopelessly inept AND allergic to actually exerting yourself, it's not your fault. It's the fault of the people who turn you down, or your parents, or the world in general.

And it's not fair. Or so they think.

My unemployed brother recently announced that he didn't see why he should have to compete with other job hunters to get hired. He thinks employers should appreciate him for who he is. Which is great, except that given the average level of psychic ability in the general population, if you don't send them a resume, they'll have no idea whatsoever who you are. But sending off a resume is caving in to The Man and Fat Cat Corporations. Who, while they are blatant oppressors of the working class, also provide most of the jobs.

Kind of a tricky dilemma, that.

Anyhow, my personal opinion is that if you aren't willing to work for something, you don't deserve it. And if you are a talentless hack, all the work in the world isn't going to turn you into a superstar. And if you're a lazy talentless hack who expects to be given the world on a platter, you deserve whatever the Simon Cowells of the world throw at you.

As for the whole competition thing, well, plants compete for sunlight, antelope compete for plants, lions compete for antelope ... and everyone gets eaten in the end. It's the circle of life. Yes, it's unfair. The world is unfair. Deal with it.