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.
22, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 617
Voting For Your American Idol of
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.
telephoned their choice on the American Idol television show
than voted in the last U.S. Presidential election
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.
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
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
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
But that is wishful
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
Some are so subtle as to
go unnoticed by most, and few are limelight actions that reach the
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.
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
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
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.
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