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Opinion
Mark Trahant: A hip, cool place in Washington DC


"I am out of it. Even when I was a teenager, I wasn't cool. But I live in the land of "American Idol." A nation where more people vote for would-be professional singers than an elected president.

So it'd be easy -- and fashionably wonkish -- to be critical of the masses. I could type sentence after sentence about how such low-grade entertainment only proves the country's decline.

But I would be wrong. I'd be wrong because I've never watched the show (except once, I peeked over my son's shoulders when he was watching "Idol"). And I'd be wrong because Americans always have liked such novelties. As a nation, we've somehow made it through Buffalo Bill Cody, pulp fiction and every other worrisome form of entertainment.

And I guess I'd be wrong to pick a fight with 63 million people -- then that sounds fun.

I don't worry about "Idol" (or any popular medium). I know our culture is far more complex than the headlines because the really exciting action (sorry, it's Simon, right?) are the stories held by the National Archives."

Get the Story:
Mark Trahant: The real action is in the National Archives (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 5/28)

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