Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

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.

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Anonymous hhh said...

You wish me to render a poem unto you?
Ok, and I am sure will find this rendition quite extraordinary.

Monarchy Monarchy go away
Come back another Day.
King George come back
We didn't mean it.
That damned declaration it
doesn't mean spit.
Transport overseas for pretend offences?
Let's cross that out,
let's mend some fences.
Swarms of officers to eat our substance?
That's no problem with our abundance.
A military superior to civil power?
That's right, civilians, shake and cower!

pretty bad eh?

Monday, August 18, 2008 5:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Beautiful, HHH, and what a fitting way to celebrate Bad Poetry Day.

Monday, August 18, 2008 6:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL hilarious as always. Bloody awful poem though.

Monday, August 18, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"Bloody awful poem though."

Yes, Anon, but it was awful in such a good way. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Lets stay positive Day in support of the positive disdain for the wankers like Schirmer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4:25:00 AM  
Anonymous RevRon's Rants said...

How about a day in celebration of those poor little dorks, the social misfits who have grown up (in a manner of speaking) to be full-blown hustledorks. They've created a lucrative cottage industry, based in little more than their need to proclaim that not only aren't they little dorks cowering in the corner at school gatherings...any more; they're downright SPECIAL! Veritable royalty in the seduction and spiritual awakening game! No piddling Buddhas, Christs, or Kings, but omniscient and omnipotent Creators of a new reality. And on fire with their desire to scam... er... enlighten the masses.

Perhaps we could even get legislators to conjure up some earmarks for them, granting them quality rugs and MPE's (Mobile Penile Extensions, otherwise referred to as exotic sports cars). The possibilities are endless. The mind reels and the hands shake with excitement at the prospect.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

"I don't HAVE to do this job, you know! I'm a qualified brain surgeon! I only do this because I like being me own boss!"

"Complaint Free Wednesday"? But what happens to those of us who engage in RECREATIONAL complaining? What are they trying to do, BANKRUPT me? Complaining is what I DO. It brings me JOY. And LAUGHTER. And the all-important SELF ESTEEM at someone else's expense. Besides, back in the early days of this current incarnation of self-help (late 60s, early 70s) you were SUPPOSED to "vent" and "let it all hang out" instead of "bottling it up". Not expressing yourself was viewed as Really Bad for Your Health. So who's right?

Despite the self-help people saying it can't possibly be, I think I'm a pretty happy, upbeat, positive, contented sort of person ... outside of the raging, impotent tirades on my decidedly silly blog. Judging from what little I've seen of the Public Lives of the Conspicuously Enlightened, I suspect I lead a happier--though quieter--life, with awfully nice family and friends and the occasional furry critter to share it with.

As I understand the process, one of the first steps towards self-help is to get out of denial and "tell the truth" about your unhappy situation, no matter how embarrassing or unpleasant the process. What my twelve-stepping friends used to call the "fearless moral inventory". In fact, I would guess the whole SEEKING of self-help in the first place (the source of income for many of these gurus) is due at least in part to accepting that something is WRONG with your life as it is currently being lived, and you decide you want to fix it.

I don't see people taking that first, critical step of throwing down money for a book or a seminar--oops, sorry, there I go again, I mean "improving their lives and relationships"--if they willfully ignore what they think of as "negative" and focus solely on the "positive" in their lives. If you keep convincing yourself "Everything's goin' GREAT!", where's the impetus to CHANGE?

Someone please remind me to be EXTRA complainy this coming up Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Which--say--isn't that one of the most busiest travel days of the year? Man, I would so LOVE to be working the customer service desk of an airline that day! Just imagine, being PAID to sit around with nothing to do! (Sort of like what I do now, only it would be at the AIRPORT, communing with angry, sweaty travelers, instead of lolling in some secluded rural glade communing with Nature. Dang! There I go getting all negative again! They're RIGHT! It's a SICKNESS! AHHHHH!!!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

You know what, Cosmic Connie, I've not properly looked around the blogosphere. There's everything. I hadn't realised.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mary Anne said...

That complaint free guy bothers me. He makes me feel like I am in George Orwell's 1984. Yeah, I complain and enjoy doing it too. I should make "love to complain" T-shirts.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Peter said...
"Lets stay positive Day in support of the positive disdain for the wankers like Schirmer."

Another fine holiday idea, Peter. I wonder how Schirmer's latest court hearing came out...

Sunday, August 24, 2008 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"How about a day in celebration of those poor little dorks, the social misfits who have grown up (in a manner of speaking) to be full-blown hustledorks..."

Eloquently stated, Ron. Alas, every day is Hustledork Day, and as long as people keep sending 'em money, the 'dorks will have a reason to celebrate.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Mojo, you may be a recreational complainer, but I think you're good enough at it that you could do it professionally. :-) And you're right; if people REALLY stopped complaining, the selfish-help industry would implode.

The truth is that the world *needs* complaining, and if a lot of folks are really going to make an effort NOT to do it on the day before Thanksgiving, I think it's only right that the rest of us make an effort to be extra-complainy, just to keep things in balance.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH wrote: "You know what, Cosmic Connie, I've not properly looked around the blogosphere. There's everything. I hadn't realised."

Yes, HHH, there's everything and more. In fact, there's too much of everything. But there are still some days when everything is never quite enough.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Mary Anne, I hear what you're saying about "1984." That makes the House-resolution aspect of no-complaintism even creepier, doesn't it?

Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:26:00 PM  

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