Clay Aiken is a smart guy and I like him, and he talks good game about "not caring what people think" and "being who you are." And I wish him luck with that continued undertaking. He lists all the -- frankly very excellent -- reasons that he was picked on in junior high, refers several times to "as Dr. Phil said" and smiles delightfully and points out that children don't really care to hear about that stuff, because their identities are not formed yet, so when they figure it out, it will cease to be an issue, but Clay knows it, and that it comes with time. Which: zero sum, dude. Mostly I think he's so over it that he's just like any other adult, if the kids even know who the hell he is, and if they do, I doubt they identify. It's troubling, because I know he cares and I know he really wants to communicate the whole "it's going to be okay later because being a teenager is stupid" to which every conversation always resolves down, in the end, when you're talking to a freaked-out kid. And it has the same effect, which is: none at all, because teenagers are, for good reason, the most narcissistic, self-obsessed people on the planet, and honestly, the world is actually ending when this shit happens, and we've all forgotten how to speak that language. Can't explain red to a dog, can't explain getting over it to a kid. It goes in the "good advice, has nothing to do with me" category that all adult-talk really ends up being. Mwah-mwah, Mwah-mwah-mah-mwahma-mwah. Dr. Phil and Jay have created an "anti-bullying pledge" that I'm sure will make a difference in the hideous deadly jungle of middle school politics. Thanks, Phil. Thanks, Jay. Thanks for pretty much trying, Clay. You're sweet as pie, and well-intentioned.
I wanna see Anwar and Clay do a duet of "Ebony and Ivory," because all my high school eschatology research would actually come into play at that point.
Ryan's looking kind of dissipated, but in a nice way. His hair is product-free and shorter, his pants are well-fitting. I am reminded that the aphorism for this week is "pretty gay (Brandon Flowers, Franz Ferdinand) is the new ailing (Julian Casablancas, Jack White)." Tonight, he tells us, we will "play music mogul," kind of like that game where you build a thrill-ride park, and calls this "Club Idol." Ouch. He blames us once again for Nadia's ouster, and reminds us that Bo (huge freaked-out cheering) and Scott (a "woo!" here and there) were endangered last week.