First Amendment, My Ass

“I grow old, I grow old / I shall throw out my Dixie Chicks discs.” — Apologies to T.S. Eliot

Although it is not nice to characterize people broadly because of some attribute, it may be unavoidable in this case. Old people are, indeed, crabby. (Author’s note: Age is a relative thing.) VH1 conducted a poll of Americans. Americans ranging in age from 20 to 50+. A telephone pole with a random selection of respondents, not a “Dial this special 900 number and let us know what your think, or go to our website and log on to express your opinion.” More of a straight poll, the likes of which are typically reported by media that don’t produce or program “a wide variety of music-based series, specials, live events and acquisition-based programming that keeps viewer in touch with the music they love.” (Acquisition-based programming? Is that like the Home Shopping Network?)


Anyway, the main question of the poll is: “Recently, some popular entertainers have made public statements or produced material that either supports or opposes current political events. [Hmm. . .whatever could they or that be. . . ?] How appropriate do you think it is for celebrities to express these types of opinions in public, whether at awards shows, press conferences, concerts, in songs and videos, etc.”

There is almost a smooth mathematical slope to the increasing number of those who felt it is “Inappropriate.” As in: 20-29: 34%; 30-39, 49%; 40-49, 60%; 50+, 63%.

There is, it seems, a certain sense of frugality that comes with age: in response to “Throw out anything you own by them,” while 13% of those who are 20-29 said that they would, only 12% of the 50+ group would go to the recycle bin with it. Perhaps they’re the ones who are really into acquisition-based programming.

9 thoughts on “First Amendment, My Ass”

  1. Old people are creepy. Except for the ones who drink lots of scotch and fall down at christmas. Those old people are just good old fashioned entertainment.

  2. The older people get the more they enjoy telling other people ,’what to do.’ I hate being told what to do. Unless of course they are fallin’ down drunk at Christmas…., I might listen to that person…. hmmmm?

  3. I’m sorry but I have a hard time taking any poll that VH1 conducts seriously.

    They’re only good for their I love the 80’s specials and such. The crap they think is good music nowadays sucks, so them conducting a poll is laughable.

    People need to get a spine. At least the ones who voted.

  4. Where does the term “poll” come from anyways? “Polling”, “pollsters”, uh… “polls”, “poll doncing”, etc. I’s is ignorant, yet curious. Anyone out there pay attention in school?

  5. J Franky, the “poll” came from 15th century Germany, actually. Back in those days, there was simply no way for local leaders to accurately judge popular opinion (usually regarding taxation) over a city in a short period of time. Foot messengers were a particularly notorious and undependable sort. Trained to go door to door and ask a simple question of the townsfolk, they were known for making midday stops to the local watering hole, drinking their fill, forgetting the question, staggering up to the doors of townsfolk they had already visited, and pissing their pants. A better solution evolved in Stuttgart, where one day, the local burgermeister literally climbed up on a pole and started yelling at the town. Inspired by this scene, the civic heads of Stuttgart began asking the burgermeister to climb up the pole and yell specific questions at specific times while a secretary recorded the responses and items thrown. In the pedestrian world of 15th century Germany, the best time to climb the pole and catch a majority of people strolling through the town square was usually around midday, a far cry from the dinnertime calls we get from “pollsters” today. A century or two later, the practice was adopted in Britain, where the term “pole sitter” was adopted to “pollster”.

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