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March 06, 2008 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-03-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008 - 3B

TV's Cupid sends
her arrows flying

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as always one to admit that nizes each participant.
ality TV had gone too far, Offbeat reality TV tends to
d I'd almost lost all hope work when its material strikes
e genre might eventually that harmonious balance
e something truly bril- between real and unreal, and
3ut when socially inept "Millionaire Matchmaker" is no
illionaires struggle to different. But the show pushes
onversation with pseudo- the boundaries to the point of
ar wannabes under the being farcical; it's so far from
ce of reality, few of us can begin to
inely relate, but it doesn't quite reach a
dating state of pure fantasy either. This
ithe is voyeuristic bliss unlike any-
,s pice-to become personally involved,
rust me and therein lies its beauty. This
. iNE show is a guilt-free, shameless
I HRexcuse to tear the premise apart.
er is a The women look near tears as
'enera- Patti dubs them with nicknames
atchmaker - a title she like "Brillo" or threatens a lonely,
y boasts but we can't help loveless life for the curly-haired
gh at - and owner of the gals. She breaks each new bach-
service Millionaires Club, elor down to the bones, belittling
ed specifically for (you their adult sensibilities and ram-
d it) millionaires search- ming dating "commandments"
a mate, and Bravo has gra- down their throats. And all the
provided us with footage while her semi-loyal assistants
process. stand by, eye rolling their way to
it's not just a dating show the next commission, sometimes
n addictive train wreck stoking the fire of Patti's wrath.
n't turn away from. Watch What is it about this woman
isode, and you'll hate your- who keeps them all coming
wasting another precious back for more? Are the female
D worthless TV. Watch two, contestants so desperate to land
u'll be hooked. For good. themselves a filthy rich man that
a self-made real-estate they'll put up with boot-camp-
from Azerbaijan proposes style bullshit in the process?
beautiful Sidney on their Are the men really willing to
rst...) date and she says abandon all common sense and
u almost want to believe invest thousands of dollars into
'hen she just knows he her irrational science-meets-
art matchmaking? Maybe it's
just gold-digging, fame-hungry
ihoever said madness propelling the show,
but that's not the point, because
rney can't bUy either way, you're still going to
watch.
ve hasn't met You've got to give Patti a
little credit for owning up to the
atti Stranger crazed entrepreneur that she is.
There's simply no reasoning with
Patti, and her irrational antics
carry the show. But the joke's on
his B'shert. her, and the hilarity of "Million-
n though the featured aire Matchmaker" relies on her
ors hit the perfect blend genuine belief that she's deliver-
rived suave and awkward ing true love to hopeless high
cent courting, the show's rollers. There are rare moments
m is the matchmaker when you want to see the light in
f. Patti's the overbearing, her, but that fleeting thought is
ic Jewish mother you wish quickly replaced.
ver had. The show requires so little
s also the woman you love mental energy that ultimately,
. She's not pure evil, but you want nothing less than more
mes pretty close. She's of the same. You can tell me it's
acking in tough love, bogus media frenzy at its worst,
a it comes off more as but "Millionaire Matchmaker"
bitch, with little room for is a masterful - though equally
ness. When Patti says true vile - experience in American
ess won't come without television.

SAVING ARTISTS FROM STARVATION

By BEN VANWAGONER
Daily Arts Writer
The music industry, for all the hate stirred
up by file sharing, always manages to avoid the
real issue. When did art become a commer-
cialized product, part of an industry merely
obsessed with record sales? Isn't music meant
to be something more? It's a belief clung to
by the purists, but they're missing the point
- it's not about choosing one or the other. The
music industry as a commercial beast is just as
important to the advancement of exceptional
art as Julliard - probably more.
The word "artist," when referring to a real
person and not a historical figure, is almost
inseparable from its assumed modifier, "starv-
ing." Any student at the School of Music can
tell you about the immense struggle of finding
work in the concert hall, and no one goes into
sculpture for the paychecks.
Of course, there are the betrayers, the musi-
cians synonymous with excess: Madonna, Bon
Jovi, Jay-Z. They're practitioners of the dark
art: commercialism. Artists who, in violation
of some unspoken rule of the bourgeoisie, are
not only outrageously popular, but profit by it
just as outrageously. They're artists who are no
longer under the system, but instead, they're
dominating it. They're the poster children of

the music industry, an industry that churns
out boy bands like circus mice, hoping for a
miracle but content in letting them drop.
William Bolcom makes a disgusted sound
at mention of the "music industry." We're in
Zanzibar, where he's showing me an immense
sheet folio of his most recent piece, an octet.
"I hate that phrase," Bolcom said. "Music
isn't an industry. It's not. Over at Ford, churn-
ing out cars, that's an industry - not music."
Finding someone to
finance your music is
hard. So is surviving
without food.
Bolcom, in the School of Music, Theatre and
Dance, is the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished
University Professor of Composition. Bolcom
is also one of the most celebrated living com-
posers, and just last year he was named Com-
poser of the Year by "Musical America" after
receiving several Grammys in 2006. Bolcom

has composed more than 300 works for artists
such as Isaac Stern, the Emerson String Quar-
tetand the Guarneri Quartet - all musicians of
the highest caliber.
Still, the composer is no stranger to buying
and selling music. He works on commission,
after all.
"Does working on commissioned pieces
bother me? No, no, it doesn't," Bolcom said.
"It's helpful, I think. It gives a place to start
from, a motivation."
Nonetheless, he insists on the importance of
music as being something above money, above
commercialism.
"Is it nice to be paid for doing something I
love? Yes. But that's not why you do it. You do
it because you love it!"
Bolcom's passion was obvious as he punctu-
ated his words with furious gestures. To him,
the idea of an industry built around music is
obviously repugnant - a perversion of the
artistic ideals which should guide it in the first
place.
Bolcom, however, is the exception, not the
rule. Not many classical musicians win Gram-
mys, and even fewer cabaret singers become
distinguished professors. Bolcom is in a posi-
tion where he can afford to stand up for the
purity of the arts, but few are afforded such a
See INDUSTRY, Page 6B

W
mO
101
R

found
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oughly

tensions, she's not kid-
ven Simon Cowell can't
re to the biting insults she
'ut for a fee, as she thor-
'interrogates and scruti-

Hartmann is proudly a third
generation matchmaker as well.
To let her set you up e-mail
her at carolinh@umich.edu.

DITCH YOUR DAILY
BLOG FOR
DAILY ARTS
For an application, e-mail
gaerig@michigandaily.com

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