Guest Columnist: Avoidance Is Essential

Source: Pexels. Harrison Haines, Photographer

by Ralph Greco, Jr.

Fox’s new “Alter Ego” singing contest proves the rule, not the exception in how we all want to deal with one another.

Nothing proves better where we have headed than a U.S.-based, prime-time, network-broadcast singing contest. The new FOX show “Alter Ego” will feature contestants hiding their real identities behind “dream avatars,” showcasing a ‘live’ performance on stage via motion capture. Featuring a star-studded, culturally mainstream, age-correct panel of judges, Alanis Morissette, Grimes, Nick Lachey, and this new show airs later this month.

And once again, we prove how much further we want to move away from ever coming in contact with one another. 

The phenomenally successful pop band ABBA just announced that they’d be embarking on a new tour, something they claim has been forty years in the making. Claiming that the four original members are coming together again, ABBA’s “Voyage” will be presented at a newly custom-built arena in London, featuring a 10-piece live band…with avatars of the beloved Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid ‘performing’ old and new songs.

Was anyone really taken aback when the global pandemic demanded a deepening and more defined ‘social distancing?’ Hadn’t we been heading to overall digital interacting anyway? Are we surprised that people will pay to see a computer-generated representation of performers live when we have been indoctrinated to lip-syncing and vocal ‘sweetening’ into a supposed live performance for years? 

It makes sense that the entertainment culture would progress this way. Who wants to be inconvenienced by dressing, having to leave the house, driving, and then trying to find a place to park? And if we thought those around us were dirty and disease carrying louts before COVID-19 attacked, most of us are convinced that the only way to stay alive is to deal with our own stink.

What we really want is to stay where we are, control what’s coming at us and even if the live experience is diminished in that we aren’t really seeing anyone ‘live’ on stage if what we are seeing is given to us in bright colors and the best sound possible, who cares?