The Joys of Reading the NYTimes

Yes, TimesSelect is a crime. But, man, do they have writers! This snotty article on recent goings-on in the music business contains the kind of writing that keeps me coming back: Making Room for the Hopeless Pop Star in a Crowd of Professional Amateurs

If you’ve been watching many of the post-“Idol” musical reality shows, you might have noticed that most of these putative amateurs behave an awful lot like old pros. […]

Don’t worry. There are still a few naïve musical dreamers, rushing in where angels fear to tread. You just have to know where to look.

Why, just this last weekend a charmingly inept rapper made his television debut, boldly ignoring all the advisers who must have asked him not to. And on Tuesday, the same day that Danity Kane CD’s arrived on record racks, a blithe aspiring pop star released her debut album, brushing off suggestions that singing be left to actual singers.

O.K., so the rapper, Kevin Federline, and the singer, Paris Hilton, aren’t exactly unknown. But in the world of pop music, they’re definitely underdogs. […]

The urge to laugh at them is understandable; they do seem pretty green, especially compared to those battle-hardened aspirants on reality television. But let’s be gentle with our moonlighting celebrities. They might be the only real amateurs we’ve got.