I wish to register a complaint
I don't know about you, but I am getting a little weary of hearing about the ways our elected representatives are wasting time and taxpayer money introducing silly resolutions, particularly to designate Special Days, Weeks, Months, Years or Centuries. The purpose of these special designations is allegedly to commemorate people, places, animals, industries, events, ideas, insects, sports, states of mind, pastimes, diseases, habits, social problems, tics, hygiene habits or what have you that are either worthy of Special Recognition or are serious problems that need to be Eliminated In Our Lifetime. But the real purpose of most of these resolutions is for the people introducing them to draw attention to themselves and/or to make it appear that they are actually doing something useful (or in some cases, to draw attention away from other things they are doing).
Whatever the motives, the fact is that we are already full up to here with officially and unofficially recognized periods of time. In addition to all of the usual holidays and awareness weeks and months, we have – to give just a few examples – Mold Awareness Month (September), Getting The World To Beat A Path To Your Door Week (which falls on October 14-20 this year), and National Underwear Day (August 13; oops, I missed it again).
Of course it is not just the United States' elected representatives who are at fault here. Stupid Holiday Syndrome is a worldwide affliction. F'rinstance, the United Nations has declared 2008 to be:
- International Year of Languages
- International Year of Planet Earth
- International Year of The Potato
- International Year of Sanitation
Those seem like pretty tough acts to follow, and I can't help but wonder how 2009 will be designated. May I suggest...
- International Year of Nonverbal Communication
- International Year of Planet Uranus
- International Year of The Turnip
- International Year of Filth
If you want a more comprehensive list of wacko holidays, you have only to click here.
Now comes the news of a proposed resolution, House Resolution H.CON.RES.404, to officially declare the day before Thanksgiving "Complaint Free Wednesday" in the good old US of A. The reasoning behind this resolution seems to be that the US is the can-do optimistic capital of the world, and that complaining is a bad thing that damages health, relationships and everything else. The resolution even states that violence often begins with complaining.
Never mind that the United States owes its very existence to complaints, such as that little list of gripes the original Colonists had with the Crown a few years back. Actually, those complaints did lead to violence, in the form of the American Revolution, so I guess that kind of proves the resolution makers' point. In any case, that stuff is ancient history. That was then, this is now. A positive mental attitude is what we need today. That's what really made this country great.
Complaint Free Wednesday was actually inspired by the Complaint Free World franchise perpetrated by Will Bowen, a Unity Church minister in Kansas City, Missouri. I did a drive-by snark about this last December, on my way to shooting at more serious issues. Complaint Free World is now a burgeoning industry that has given rise to books, DVDs, blogs, web sites, workshops, and, of course, tacky plastic bracelets (purple ones, in this case). There's even a Complaint Free Quick Start Collection that includes Will Bowen's book, a T-shirt, a bumper sticker and a bracelet. And there's going to be a Complaint Free Cruise in April of 2009. (Let's see how complaint-free the cruisers remain if a food-borne illness breaks out on the cruise ship, as happens so often these days.) Not surprisingly, some of today's top New-Wage hustledorks, recognizing an opportunity to put more money in their coffers...I mean, to make a Real Difference in the world...have jumped on the Complaint-Free bandwagon in a big way.
The Complaint Free Wednesday Resolution was introduced by Congressman Sam Graves (R-Missouri), who seems to be kind of a big-oil-friendly, not-so-green kind of guy, and anti-abortion to boot. Like most politicians on any side of any issue, he'd probably welcome a world with fewer complaints. It would sure make his job easier. Here's a link to a PDF of his proposed bill.
My pal Blair Warren, I am pleased to note, has been tackling this issue on his Twitter page. Yesterday he observed:
Some teach that if we just stop complaining our lives would improve. But if it turns out it doesn't work, they do not want to hear about it.
Amen to that. In fact, one of the leading proponents of the Complaint Free World gimmick (a guy who happens to be known to both Blair and me) has made it a regular policy to tune out negativity of any sort. For example, after Ron sent this guy a private complaint earlier this year regarding some public shenanigans being pulled by one of the man's close buddies and joint-venture partners, Mr. Positive told Ron never to write to him again. Soon after that, Ron received an auto-notice that henceforth any emails coming from our address would be flagged as spam by Mr. Positive's spam filter. See No Evil and all that. Well, that's one way of staying positive.
Regarding the Complaint Free Resolution, Blair also wrote:
A bill to make the day before Thanksgiving Complaint Free Wednesday? How about Suck-it-Up Sunday or Make-believe Monday? Let's think BIG!
Y'know, those are actually pretty good ideas. In any case, I think that if Congressman Graves really cared about making a difference, he would have suggested designating Complaint-Free Friday – the day after Thanksgiving, aka the Busiest Shopping Day Of The Year in the US. Maybe there'd be a little less hollering and screaming and clawing and fighting as customers trample over each other to grab the latest trendoid toys for their already seriously overindulged spawn.
BTW, according to the site I linked to above, today, August 18, is Bad Poetry Day. I am not sure if this is a national or an international holiday, but in any event, if Whirled Musings' resident bad poet, HHH (who hails from the UK), is reading this, he's welcome to write a commemorative bad poem.
And, of course, every day is Send Cosmic Connie Lots of Money Day. But so far, I am sorry to report, no one has observed it in the proper way.
Not that I'm complaining.