Behind the Music: the Norvell marital dynamic

The following scene unfolded a few minutes ago:

Amy and I were sitting in bed with Amy watching "Idol Gives Back" (the big American Idol charity show) and me doing miscellaneous meaningless stuff online (assuming you categorize working to defend my fantasy baseball championship as meaningless, and I know most of you do).

As the Idol folks drag through various celebrity stump speeches about how we should give more money to people in Africa and New Orleans, I insert assorted smarmy comments (not about people in Africa or New Orleans). I mean, can you blame me? I was exposed to Hannah Montana (playing some other character who uses her real name, apparently) for the first time (along with her achy breaky daddy).

So Amy tolerates my scintillating wit for a bit, then reaches over, puts her hand on my arm, and says "I can’t take it tonight."

I look back at her innocently.

She gestures at the macbook in my lap and says, "Go blog something sarcastic." What?

But speaking of Hannah Montana…really? Is this really still happening? Are people still encouraging their children (she’s 15, I think) to be famous? Are men really allowing their daughters to purport to be a wholesome example for young girls, then get on stage and sing very adult songs in very adult ways with their cleavage exposed? What the hell, Billy Ray?

I mean, here’s a dude who should know better. Don’t tell me Billy Ray Cyrus isn’t intimately acquainted with the dark, fickle side of "rich and famous." Yet he not only allows this; he appears to be rolling Joe Simpson on us. And if there was any doubt about that, it was erased in a video segment of he and his daughter, Hannah Ray Montana, wandering around rural Kentucky teaching kids to read or something. I think I prefer the mulleted Billy Ray to the "desperately trying to look cool weird rock stair haircut fake tan almost 50-year old Billy Ray." Yikes.

And please don’t let my sarcasm obscure this fact – this makes me both angry and sad. This script has played out over and over, and rarely well. I have two daughters. This is why (well, one of the "whys") I don’t want them getting attached to any of the popular teen-idol phenoms, no matter how wholesome or innocuous they seem. Britney played the good girl routine out of the gates. So did Jessica. How is that working out for parents who saw them as harmless?

I know I don’t know what I’m talking about with this girl. I’d never really seen her before this thing, and it obviously wasn’t her main thing. I just know this…it’s way past time we start protecting our kids from both ends of fame — from being famous and from being enamored with famous people, especially famous kids.