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Jessica Helfand
Essays | Biography | Articles & Essays | Books | Contact

Archive: January 2007


The Karaoke Effect


Aspiring "idols" wait in line before American Idol auditions in Birmingham, Alabama. © Fox Television, 2006.

Like 37.3 million other Americans, I spent four hours of my life this week watching countless people make buffoons out of themselves on national television. The season premiere of American Idol began, as is now its habit, by showing thousands of people lining up in cities across America, eager to belt their hearts out in search of a "golden ticket." No, this is not a reference to the Roald Dahl book about a chocolate factory, but it might as well be, because like many of the characters in that beloved childhood classic, Idol tells a tale of greed, improbability and illusion. Sorry: make that delusion.

Which may be precisely the point...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (24)
Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer and a former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Communications Arts and Eye magazines. A member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director's Hall of Fame, Helfand received her B.A. and her M.F.A. from Yale University where she has taught since 1994.


Recent Book



Scrapbooks: An American History
Jessica Helfand
Yale University Press, 2008
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