Tag Archives: commentary

Voting with the house

Confession: I’m kind of addicted to the show Big Brother. Call it a summertime guilty pleasure.

Not enough to purchase the live feeds (though I do recall one year somehow having the live feeds, and that was bad news because my productivity died that summer) but I have a separate column in TweetDeck for it, and if you open my browser and type in the letter “H” it autofills in with “Hamsterwatch” these days. So. Suffice to say, I’m pretty hooked.

There’s a phenomenon in this show, though, that’s happened pretty much since day one: voting with the house.

When house guests vote to evict a player, that person GENERALLY already knows they’re going. Eviction days are only fun when there’s a big blindside, but those are pretty rare. But it drives me crazy how often people will want Person A out, but they vote out Person B just because “that’s what the house wants.”

Expect the unexpected… I think Big Brother should add the twist that house guests are not allowed to discuss who they are voting out. I suppose then they’d have nothing to talk about. But once, just once, I’d love to see an eviction day happen in which NO ONE knows what’s coming. They all vote based on their personal feelings and games.

I’ve been chewing on this a lot lately, especially given its an election year. How often do people “vote with the house” in the real world?

This election year, something I hear a LOT is, “Voting for the lesser of two evils.” I saw a great post that disagreed with this sentiment stating that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. That really set me back on my heels a bit. What a way to look at it!

A friend recently posted to Facebook that they were considering voting third party this year, and a few of the comments really got to me. People saying this person might as well not vote at all, “Because it won’t matter anyway.”

Hmmm… excuse me, but it does matter. It always matters.

I remember back in elementary school learning about the voting process and how voting is done privately. You vote knowing you will not be persecuted for that vote, and that’s the beauty of a democracy: having a voice.

But in recent years, I’ve not felt that way as much. I’ve felt the pressure to “vote with the house.” I saw a very insightful post regarding this year’s election, and the very first response was, “But you didn’t say who you were voting for…”  They don’t HAVE to tell anyone. If they choose to share that information, that’s their prerogative.

Otherwise, I feel we should all stand for what we believe individually. Vote what you feel in your heart, not what your neighbor bullies you to vote. Study the issues. Weigh them in your heart and against your life and needs. Vote smart, not scared.

Making it Happen Monday: Success, like life, is what you make of it

Yesterday evening, my Facebook timeline lit up with several friends posting a link to a blog, “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry.” (I feel a little weird linking to the post because it need not any more attention than its already gotten.)  The debates that were raised by everyone commenting on the post were interesting, but the general consensus was that everyone has to do what works best for them.

Ironically, this lit up my Facebook the same night as the Grammy Awards… an award ceremony that focuses more on critical acclaim than on fan-based voting.

Case in point:

Now, if you follow me on Twitter you know I have absolutely zero love for Florida-George Line. Critically they are the epitome of what I believe is wrong in country music today. Yeah, I said it. BUT, I gotta give it to them on one front: they’re selling records and somehow have been able to keep a song in the top 10 pretty much non-stop for the last year. (I’m not going to go look up the exact stat on that. I don’t care enough to know.) That’s a big deal. And I am not going to take that away from them. Even if I question their fans’ tastes.

THEY measure success in record sales and how many fans come to a show. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. In fact, in many ways that is the exact definition of success in the music industry.

Similarly, though, other artists measure success by critical acclaim. They put their heart and soul on every song on every album and they don’t give (much) care as to if its radio-friendly or if it sells a million records. It would be nice if it did, sure. But that’s not their goal. Their goal is much more, well, deep and personal.

Success is what YOU make it.

So I turn back to Ms. Glass, the writer of that blog I grudgingly linked to earlier. SHE measures success based on a corporate ladder of sorts. And that’s okay! I’ll be honest, when I was in college, I thought that was how I would measure my success as well. I felt success equaled a high powered job with six digit salary.

Then, well, life happened.


I somewhere along the way re-evaluated that measurement of success. I looked at friends around me who had taken the more “typical” path of job, marriage and family and went, “I seriously admire that.” That is THEIR path of success, and I think that is amazing and beautiful. I absolutely love following their escapades with their children and admire their tenacity as Moms and Dads. Personally, I think being a parent — a good parent — is the hardest and absolutely MOST important job in this world. (And by the way, Ms. Glass, stating that, “We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.” clearly shows you do not know or care about anyone who has had the heartache of not being able to have children. Perhaps its time you step out of your perfect little world bubble.)

I, myself, have found myself walking the line between the two. Working to build my own photography business while also managing a home. (Because lets face it, keep up a house is a full-time job… and Ms. Glass implying otherwise is asinine.) Hopefully starting a family at some point. I am doing what is right for ME.

We should never — never — look down our noses at other’s successes, and by extension their life, because they are doing what is right for them. Frankly, to make this world run smoothly we need all of us doing our “jobs.” We do need corporate-focused people to make sure companies run smoothly and stay in operation, allowing everyone from the CEO to the janitor to keep their jobs. We need Moms and Dad to raise our youth to some day take over those jobs. We should be raising each other up in all ways, not turning our noses up and smacking each other down.