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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Right to Vote, The Right to Whine

It's that time again, when we, as good Americans, must decide whether to vote or not. No, I am not talking about the Presidential primaries, I am of course talking about American Idol. American Idol ("AI" as the hep-cats who are in-the-know refer to it - er, actually, that's just how I am going to refer to it so I don't have to type it out all the way every time) has started it's 7th season, and yes, I am watching. I resisted for a while, but this will mark the 4th time I have gotten sucked into a season of AI. It's like a drug. You watch one episode one night out of boredom and then boom! before you know it you're checking websites to see who the frontrunners are and thinking about what song you would sing if you auditioned (for me it would be "Bust-a-Move" by Young MC, but that's because I can't sing for real).

Last night was the first night the audience was allowed to phone in and vote. I have never called in to vote for an AI contestant. In my world, that is the only way to hold on to the last shred of the dignity I gave up the day I programmed AI into my DVR as a "series recording." That was a tough day. Though to be fair, AI is one of the best shows to watch on DVR because there is so much stuff you can forward over. I can watch a 2 hour episode of AI in about 37 minutes.

So I have never voted, but I have also never complained about how "stupid a result was" or how "someone got robbed." I figure if I'm not going to do anything about it, I can't complain.

Not all people share this opinion. I was once in a discussion about a particulary egregious voting result (yes, I realize how pathetic it is that not only do I DVR and watch AI but that I also get into conversations about it). Two other guys were complaining that someone got voted off. I asked them if they called in to vote, and of course they both said "no."

Call me crazy, but I think if you don't vote you forfeit the right to complain. It's like the person who has a job he hates and complains about incessantly but never bothers to look for a new job, or even tries to improve his current one. At that point, it's time to "you know what" or get off the pot...

In the grand scheme of things, AI is kind of a popcorn show and I suppose if people want to whine and moan, well, who am I to stop them? But how often do we all do this in other, much more relevant areas of our lives? Next time you catch yourself complaining, ask yourself, "am I doing anything to change this situation?" If not, your options are clear: do something about it or shut up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go prepare for the latest episode of American Idol...

3 comments:

chris said...

As the first person to comment on your blog, I'm obviously the only person left who gets your e-zine.

Now there's a conundrum!

Anyway, I discovered your site recently in my quest for info about the art of improvised humour and its relevance in the workplace. I'm an English teacher in Taiwan and the subject came up after a discussion about Leonardo daVinci which resulted in my Taiji teacher claiming that the Italian genius must have studied Daoist philosophy. Small world, eh?

Avish said...

Hi Chris, and welcome!

That's interesting about your Taiji teacher. I actually developed a lot of my improv ideas from my martial arts training. It's all connected!

Jeff Porten said...

My personal "at least I don't do THAT": World of Warcraft.