Voting and Anarchy

Maybe anarchy is the way to go.

I heard this morning—and it’s all over the news—that our Congress’s approval rating has dropped to nine percent. Nine percent. That’s down from 13 percent in August, according to Gallup poll.

So what is this thing called democracy? Is it still working for America?

The polls indicate otherwise. The people we’ve elected aren’t doing their jobs, according to 91 percent of  the country.

I’m no political pundit, for sure, but there’s really something wrong with this picture, and these poll numbers reveal that either we’re so apathetic that we don’t care who gets elected to represent our interests, or the people we’ve elected don’t give a damn about what their constituents want.

My radical-leaning husband wants to abolish the House of Representatives because he thinks they do nothing. Personally, I’d rather abolish the practice of allowing campaign contributions, make lobbying illegal, prohibit politicians from using their office to get inside information to make personal profits, and cut off privileges that give congressmen lifelong pensions and medical benefits. My political rant for the day.

Relating to musical politics, we’re about to begin the months-long process of determining who will be the recipients of OffBeat’s Best of The Beat Awards, and hopefully, our process is more democratic than what’s currently taking place in the nation’s capitol.

Anders Osborne at the 2009 OffBeat Best of The Beat Awards. Photo by Kyle Petrozza.

For some weeks now, we’ve solicited information from musicians and music businesses (our music community) asking them to update or add their contact information into our Louisiana Music Directory database online. In a few days from now, we will be soliciting nominees from the music community using this database, so if your business or band isn’t in it, you won’t be able to participate in the process of nominations. So add yourself in, or make sure your information is correct, because it’s the only way you can be sure you can nominate.

Once we receive nominations from the music community, we calculate the top nominees, and skim the cream—the top nominations—for the public to vote for the musician, band, or recording they think is the best of 2011. Please note: we’re not looking for favorite bands or records. We’re seeking to honor the folks who have really outshone their peers in musical achievement for this year. Once musicians, bands and recordings have been nominated, both musicians and fans can vote on the outcome and the award recipients.

We honor the musicians and bands at our annual event, the Best of The Beat Awards, that’s scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2012 at Generations Hall (get a list of previous winners here plus photos from the 2010 music awards show as well as photos from 2010 music business awards). We not only honor our Lifetime Achievement Award winners at that event (names will be released later this month), and also at another, earlier event on January 25, that’s only open to the music community. We also present our awards to the music business community at the earlier event. These are the people behind the scenes: attorneys, sound engineers, recording studios, instrument retailers, festivals, etc.

Tickets for the January 27 event will go on sale on December 5 at a discounted price, so keep your eye on the Weekly Beat and our Facebook page for more information.