Just Say NO to Faux.

Sanjaya. No.

Sanjaya-kutta,

Why?

You make it so hard to cheer you on, when you do ugly things with your pretty, pretty tresses. It’s just not okay. At all. Don’t you care about the greater desi community? How will THEY be affected by your reckless decision to have bad hair? You represent our hopes and assimilative aspirations– be careful out there. We’re counting on you and if you fail, we will never forgive you. Ever. Unless you go to medical school.

Sanjaya Malakar performed “Bath Water.” Randy Jackson said “Listen, the hairdo is definitely interesting. I like the kind of Mohawk look.” Paula Abdul said “To watch it on stage and not go for it, it’s kind of like we’re going ah, come on.“ Simon Cowell said “I presume there was no mirror in your dressing room tonight.” Sanjaya replied “You’re just jealous that you couldn’t pull it off.” Simon said “I couldn’t I agree. Sanjaya, I don’t think it matters anymore what we say, actually. I genuinely don’t. I think you are in your own universe and if people like you, good luck.” [linkosity]

Still, I wish you only the best– I just do so with my eyes closed, until someone tells me it’s safe to open them again.

Sanjaya zindabad,

A K K A

97 thoughts on “Just Say NO to Faux.

  1. Well, maybe it depends. Maybe punk was more of a style of thinking versus any specific band or hair cut, so in one case a mohawk would be punk but in another case it would totally not be punk

  2. i think your right sahej (#48). my swipe at the clash was just to point out that they were in essence totalitarians, and thus devoid of irony, unlike the sex pistols and sanjaya. so the clash fans hold dearly to the notion that punk emerged spontaniously from the streets, devoid of profit motive, like some bad social realism novel.

    the pistols, who malcolm mclaren put together with more care than Lou Pearlman handles his child porn collection, were a personification of warhol’s soup can, ie, anything, even the ordinary, can be art…which is your point. sanjaya may be the utimate punk.

  3. Well, my opinion is yes-and-no on whether any old thing is “art”. I would not say banging two pots together is art, art is “something” and I don’t think its enough to perform a random act and call it art, and then it just becomes ipso facto art. I think punk was in some way egalatarian and was a rebellion not to the idea that everything was “art” but that “art” sometimes was stymied by crap that got a leg up because of things beside artistry.

    I don’t have a specific disagreement here, just fleshing out the ideas on different aspects

  4. Sanjaya reminds me has a mix of Justin Guarini and William Hung. They both had there 15 minutes and then were done.

  5. i’m going to say, i love me some sanjaya. i don’t watch american idol and i don’t vote – but i do scour youtube and blogs the day after to see how he did. i think people take him too seriously – those of you here who seem to be taking personal affront to his lack of skills, can you even name an ‘american idol’ who didn’t suck? perhaps kelly clarkson, but she’s pure pop sweetness, not a genius songstress or anything. point is, sanjaya’s not some beacon for desis in music and american idol’s not the benchmark for good music – what’s the point of holding either them up to some greater standard?

    i like sanjaya cause he’s quirky and an interesting character on a reality tv show, he’s got a bit of spunk and it seems like he’s letting the insults roll off his shoulders (not to mention blatant discussion of his sexuality in the public – probably pretty tough for a teenager). will he have a minute over 15 minutes? doubt it. will i enjoy it until it’s over? definitely.

  6. @53. One has to go a long way from claiming that The Sex Pistols were a manufactured act to imply that The Clash and all of Punk Rock is manufactured. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Nuance and the Blogosphere are not compatible.

  7. Just to be clear– the only thing I am trying to state is that I can’t stand THIS specific hairstyle. I loved him curly, wavy, etc. But this…I cannot abide. Maybe if they were ponytails which ended in spikes instead of…foof. I love the mental picture I just had of him applying Elmer’s in the dressing room, until he had something fierce glued to his head.

    Otherwise, I think he’s a little bit o’ cute. I want to dunk him in my cold coffee. I don’t really care whether he can sing, the only stuff which stokes my inner fire is when I sense racism or other bullshit in people’s…reactions to him. I hope he is unaffected by all the haterade, that he is enjoying his moment.

  8. Wow, all this talk of Sanjaya…and not a single “he’s not straight, is he?” comment! I also think after Tuesday he’s getting a little cocky now. He’ll lose his vote from the “he’s such a nice kid” constiuency if he keeps that up. Thankfully, its Howard Stern and http://www.votefortheworst.com that are basically the power behind Sanjaya-mania. Here’s what VFTW said about the pony hawk:

    “That ponytail mohawk can only mean one thing, Sanjaya loves us! Sanjaya, you’re awesome and your fun antics keep us coming back for more. Nice work, you’re keeping this show interesting. To vote for Sanjaya, call 1-866-IDOLS-04 or text VOTE to 5704. Because if we keep him in, he can only pick a new fun hairstyle that’s even BETTER next week. Nice work, buddy! And to all of you haters: Go vote for No Neck or something.”

  9. One has to go a long way from claiming that The Sex Pistols were a manufactured act to imply that The Clash and all of Punk Rock is manufactured.

    yes, q-t, that is a long way to go.

  10. I loved Sanjaya’s hair on Tuesday. In all fairness, there are other Idol contestants still on the show who sing worse than Sanjaya – that Haley girl, who has not been cut yet.

    Sanjaya can dress. He has great hair. A killer smile. And spunk. He’s really cute. Who cares if he’s so metro that people wonder if he is gay?!

    It’s funny. I also made the comparison to Madonna when I was telling a friend about his performance on Tuesday. He effectively changes his look every week. He knows how to flirt with the audience. He can dance too. If being a famous singer was just about a having a good voice, every church gospel choir singer would be famous. Image is important.

    Although he performed better the week before, I think he is getting more confident each week.

  11. great! thanks sanjaya… now not only is it “do you eat beef”, and “whats the red dot on the head for”, there is also …..”do you know that indian guy on idol”

  12. i don’t watch american idol– and now that gwen ‘i’m not indian??!?’ stefani was on it, my hatred for it increases.

    if there is one thing my friends and family know about me– i totally abhor/loathe/dislike/hate gwen stefani. and no doubt. and anything related to that group. or her.

  13. BUT THE DUDE CANT SING WORTH A DIME!! PLEASE PEOPLE OPEN UR EYES! …lol but i digress . The hair is getting crazier and crazier though. On a lighter note, who else is in for the pics of his well endowed sister :D

  14. Mohinder_Suresh

    who else is in for the pics of his well endowed sister :D

    you probably think those endowments r real just like u thought Sylar was good :D

  15. if there is one thing my friends and family know about me– i totally abhor/loathe/dislike/hate gwen stefani. and no doubt. and anything related to that group. or her.

    from comments i’ve read on other sites, gwen stefani on idol was HORRIBLE… she seemed scripted, forced to be there…and it’s pretty pathetic when out of 10 contestants only 2 sing one of your songs.. the rest of the songs were a potpourri of randomness ranging from singing sting to cyndi lauper.. who knows…i don’t know why she was there…

  16. I loved his hair. After everything he’s done to it in the past few weeks, I was anxious to see what he would do next. And it definitely blew me away =) I don’t care for his singing (well, I thought he was good in his audition), but I can’t WAIT to see what his hair will look like next week! The minute he disappoints in that department, he’s a goner.

    chick pea on March 30, 2007 06:06 AM · Direct link and it’s pretty pathetic when out of 10 contestants only 2 sing one of your songs.. the rest of the songs were a potpourri of randomness ranging from singing sting to cyndi lauper.. who knows…i don’t know why she was there…

    Come on now Miss Pea – you aren’t keeping up with your gossip blogs! They were singing songs that inspired Gwen in her career, more so than singing her songs. Don’t tell me you’re slacking on the celebrity gossip =)

  17. But – Sanjaya is yet another example for my theory of how the pop culture complex seeks to make Indian (and even half-Indian) men appear as clowns and buffoons. Sanjaya’s Italian half is not evident, and a name like Malakar is not going to give any insight into his mixed background. Norah Jones, another 50/50 takes her genuine talent, and fuses it with a pleasing to the eye package. Her Indian half is largely ignored – she’s just a pretty young woman with talent.

    Hear, hear!!

    And it’s interesting that Sanjaya is the Desi’s great brown hope for making a fool of himself every week, yet Mira Nair and The Namesake have barely made a ripple in the media.

  18. Has anyone already put up a link to the “Sanjaya Anthem,” Scott Culver’s pseudo-reggae anti-tribute to Sanjaya?

    link

    “Sanjaya, Sanjaya, gonna set this place on fire”

  19. Don’t tell me you’re slacking on the celebrity gossip =)

    darn it miss sonia.. i gotta get caught up asap.. away from the country for 1 week and i’m seriously behind the times..

    and still gwen sucked as the celebrity guest. i saw some of the episode, and she was horrific.

    oh well. j-lo in 2 wks. we’ll see if mr. macaca survives and can shake his hula booty with her…

  20. yet Mira Nair and The Namesake have barely made a ripple in the media.

    um.. in my humble opinion, i thought the movie was so-so.. it wasn’t brilliant, i wasn’t at all moved.. and really didn’t enjoy my 2 hours while watching it..

    yes, i’m likley in the minority.. oh well.. but i think sanjaya is more entertaining… and original…

    so i’m not surprised it didn’t cause a big buzz… but of course, i’m likely in the macaca minority on my viewpoint of the flick and the book (which i also disliked)..

  21. Amardeep (#72), did you notice in that song he said “Sanjaya, Sanjaya, means victory”?

    That’s awesome…the parodist actually incorporated the real meaning of the name ‘Sanjay’ into the parody…that was cool.

  22. Do you guys really think that a macaca boy in this country has a reasonable chance of winning a show by popular vote?

  23. sanjaya is a performance artist who is de-constructing popular culture with vocal styling of a late 80s morrisey and the visual appeal of a gender bending mid 70s skinny amitabh. His exposure of the contemporary american gestalt are simply brilliant.

    His finely tuned and nuanced yet complex performances will be written about and studied in academia for years to come. :)

  24. those of you here who seem to be taking personal affront to his lack of skills, can you even name an ‘american idol’ who didn’t suck? perhaps kelly clarkson, but she’s pure pop sweetness, not a genius songstress or anything.

    Hello, ever heard of an Oscar winner named Jennifer Hudson?
    Sanjaya was pretty good during his audition. I’m hoping that he can return to his former glory. As a sidenote, Sanjaya will definitely be a part of the American Idol tour since he is in the top ten.

  25. Hello, ever heard of an Oscar winner named Jennifer Hudson?

    eh, i find jennifer hudson a bit underwhelming but i know i’m in the minority. abigail breslin was robbed! (jk)

  26. Sanjaya can sing, but has a hard time performing. The other 17 year old has had a lifetime of performing experience on the show. Anyone doubting his ability to sing can watch his ‘Sweet chariot’ video on youtube. Public Speaking is listed as number one fear for people in a survey….now imagine singing where 30 millions are judging you. I am sure the nerves makes breathing difficult for sanjaya (who is self admittedly incredibly shy)…and this affects his performance

    I have seen several Live concert (some on TV), and half of the so called pop stars sing horribly out of tune. Gwen Stefani, maddonna, brittney, jessica Simpson, Boyz to men, sting, Mick jagger have all horribly out of tune live. Sanjaya sounds better live than all those listed before. The only ones that have sounded good to me live are Phil Collins, Hall and Oates, Eagles…(there may be others). Norah Jones and sanjaya’s vocal ability sound the same to me.

    Perception has become reality, and for the poor kid…bashing on him is the thing to do. I sense some racial undertones to bashing…similar to how making fun of indian accent vis a vis Apu is considered acceptable. Typical latent feeling is that since some Indians are voting for Sanjaya, we are going to tear him to bits…never mind that Sanjaya is only half Indian.

    Hopefully sanjaya gets a good agent and milks his 15 minutes for all its worth.

  27. I am not a AI watcher, but I am going to be a regular from next week :) . However, I have watched all the Sanjay Youtube videos that are available out there. IMHO , the boy can sing really good. It would be purely against my conscience if I say he cannot. If you ask me if he can sing like Gwen Stefani, may be not. Then again …there is Gwen Stefani to sing like Gwen Stefani. Sanjaya sang in Sanjaya way. I did not find it unbearable. He has very good vocal controls. Also, he is in a crucial age as far as his voice is concerned ( I am not sure if his voice broke already into the manly side .. but doesn’t sound like it ). Also, didn’t hear him going off-key like many people say ( may be staying in key is off-key here in America :) ). Also, don’t you think his Indian classical music training, may have trained him in singing like that? Which may be the reason he is not screaming like many people here expect him to.. just a thought …. About his hair .. Interesting .. :) ( Sorry Anna chechi.. thats all I could say about his hairdo ).

  28. Went to school with Gwen Stefani in OC back then she was into the ska/punk thing. On key singing was not a priority for her back then. Don’t know why she is picking on Sanjaya now. Also, I think he was playing homage to Gwen/No Doubt’s punkier roots with his faux hawk.

  29. to #85: the response has been racist from the start.

    look at today’s piece in the NY Times and explain to me why “conventional wisdom” cannot countenance the real possibility of this kid actually doing well in this competition, which is extremely flawed to begin with. the premise of the article is that the process is being sabotaged, but further down in the article it is apparent that the numbers of potential saboteurs can’t account for any difference. meanwhile there are plenty of other examples of “losers” winning and “winners” losing in the annals of idol. so who f*cking cares?

    “Mr. Malakar, who at 17 looks like a 1970s pop star of the David Cassidy/Bobby Sherman/Andy Gibb variety” – sounds like an idol to me.

    the comparison with norah jones is silly. this kid has an ethnic name and is dark-skinned and hairy, not just vaguely exotic like n.j. he is macaca incarnate. that and his less-than-masculine demeanor are the two reasons for all the howls of execration. he knows it and is flaunting both qualities with pride. that officially makes him the shit!

    m.r.u.

  30. “the comparison with norah jones is silly. this kid has an ethnic name and is dark-skinned and hairy, not just vaguely exotic like n.j. he is macaca incarnate. that and his less-than-masculine demeanor are the two reasons for all the howls of execration. he knows it and is flaunting both qualities with pride. that officially makes him the shit!”

    Yup, the main reason why Norah Jones’ indian side is ignored while Sanjaya’s isn’t is probably chiefly to do with names.

    I’m sure if Norah Jones went by her birth name, Geetali Norah Jones Shankar, her indian side would certainly not be ignored.

    And if Sanjaya was named..say Tony Smith, his indian side wouldn’t be highlighted.

  31. Sanjaya sang better than Gwen, and better than the Kinks.

    The widespread hatred is another vindication of the underlying racism in America.

    Sanjaya, my heartfelt congratulations to you for being brave, and for sticking with it.

    At least the hairdo reminded the Anglo-Saxons that this land is acquired land, snatched land. Canada (a mohawk word!) is more tolerant, more civilized.

    And yes, Haley Scarnato was amazing!

  32. And this is what I was afraid of. The Sanjaya backlash turns racist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjVpfHLAsZI&NR=1

    I know that racism is alive and well in America, but to see such racist parodies and vile comments directed towards a harmless young man is mindblowing. It’s as if they’re implying “Who would actually vote for Sanjaya,even if he was extremely talented?”

  33. In my opinion, anyone who can go out there in the face of such intense scrutiny, and rock the CRAZIEST hairstyle EVER on AI…is awesome! Sanjaya is totally giving the finger to all the naysayers, and is saying “Yeah, I’m not the best singer, but I’m just gonna go out there and do my thing…love me or hate me, I just don’t care!”

    Rock on – I hope Sanjaya sings all the way to the bank!

    BTW, I think he is a MUCH better singer than his performances indicate. He is obviously the most inexperienced of the contestants and I think he choked in the early rounds. He’s gaining in confidenc. If he continues to impress, I may just do something I’ve never done before: Vote! :-)

  34. This is probably his revenge performance against Gwen Stefani for her bindi wearing days. :)

    J/K – I actually thought it was a fun song for him to sing. I dug it. He makes me feel warm in places that a 17 year old shoud NOT affect me. Ugh, I feel so pervy for admitting that. :)

  35. Go Sanj! – I totally agree with your assessment.

    What makes me grimace, rather than Sanjaya’s perforrmances, is hearing how Ryan Seacrest butchers his name every time he says it. If I hear him pronounce the first syllable like “Sand” one more time, I think I’m gonna break out in hives…

  36. Oh, one more thing – a couple of sources have him pegged as half Bengali. Aren’t names that end in -kar usually from Maharashtra?

  37. Where is Mr. Malakar Senior these days? I haven’t seen him in the audience for weeks. Maybe he’s at the office? But Tacoma’s not that far from L.A. — BRING BACK THE BROWN BABA!!!

  38. Josh (81) and macacas r us (88):

    I agree. He also has the best musical tastes of all the contestants except maybe Chubby. His idol is Stevie Wonder. Stevie rocks.