Article Overview:   What do American Idols and Sentinels of Vigilance have in common?  Perhaps they are all heroes of different degrees.  Cast your vote for the American Idol of Vigilance.


Thursday--May 22, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 617
Voting For Your American Idol of Vigilance!
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, NEW YORK, NY--Nero is alleged to have said: "When Rome is burning, give the people a circus."
       There may be some truth to that saying, at least when it comes to the American Idol television show.

More people telephoned their choice on the American Idol television show  than voted in the last U.S. Presidential election

        Top competitors, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken held their face-off the other night and millions of Americans and Canadians rushed to their phones to post their votes.   Two major telephone carriers, Verizon and SBC, reported massive spikes in their average phone usage during the three-hour voting window opened to the public.
      Verizon calls surged 116 million over normal, and SBC noted an additional 100 million.    Just for reference, the last U.S. Presidential election generated 50 million votes per candidate, about half of the surges in calls voting for whether Ruben or Clay would be "America's Idol."
       Not all the phone calls got through.    A total of 24 million phone votes were cast, despite clogged lines where viewers jammed the technological highway to jockey their way to the electronic ballot box.

Top competitors Clay Aiken (left) and Ruben Studdard (right)

       Studdard, an R & B belter from Birmingham, Alabama,  edged his opponent by 130,000 call in votes.
       Aiken didn't ask for a recall.
       With the nation on High Terrorist Alert, the Yale Law School pipe bombed, and a taxi driver in New Jersey trying to buy a "mountain of explosives," the potential fires of Terrorism seem to have been snuffed by the thrill of raising another icon to stardom.
       Some might consider the attention given to American Idol an act of Complacency, a turning of the nation's head away from the snarling jaws of the Beast of Terror toward a rainbow in entertainment la-la land.
        On the other side of the coin, America's reaction to idolizing a potential star might be considered "business as usual," an insult to the attempts Terrorist employ to infect a nation with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        Showboating is a form of Homeland Security.  Critics howled when President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier aboard a jet aircraft.   In his own way, he was nailing down his position as America's Political Idol--able to stand up to all the world critics and to win victories despite all the flack and booby traps laid at his feet.
        While I'm not an American Idol fan, I was taken by the intensity of America's attention to making a hero with her own hands.    The idea of interactively letting the Voice of the public be heard as well as the judges means those who voted for the winner had some small yet important part in the final victory.
         I suppose I'd like to see America vote on Terrorism.

Vigilance is a mindset

         I'd like to see a show called America's Idol of Vigilance.
         Americans would perform acts of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's Children.
         Contenders would show the audience how they faced their Fears with Courage, their Intimidations with Convictions and their Complacencies with Right Actions for future generations.  In the end, hopefully, millions would vote for the winner.
          But that is wishful thinking.
          In the truest sense, Vigilance is a very private act.  It is a mindset one has that seeks actions that are selfless, that are geared to protect the future generations.
          Some are so subtle as to go unnoticed by most, and few are limelight actions that reach the headlines.
          Parents of Vigilance are people who often cheer others, the world's rooters not always the players.  They are the backstops of society, its spinal cord, willing to stand up against Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in small, mundane ways.

The mothers and fathers who hug their children are American Vigilant Idols

         The mother and father who hugs his or her children in the morning, sits and talks with them, becomes part of their life so the Beast of Terror has little room to infiltrate the child's mind are American Vigilant Idols.
          Loved ones who protect children from the harm of loneliness, the sense of alienation, and comfort them with emotional as well as physical security are true American Idols.
           While I enjoyed the idea America would cast more votes for a couple of singers than for U.S. Presidents, I also hope one day they will cast a vote for the Pledge of Vigilance.
         I would like everyone in America and the world to become an Idol of Vigilance.    I know their children would love it, and their Children's Children's Children would too.


May 21-Spitting Blood Terrorism

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