Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Can't Even, Civics

I Can't Even...
by Sara  "Zarine" Jessop 
...Civic Obligations

            It's that time of year again. Time to get out and vote! People proudly wear little pins that exclaim their participation and make sure to tell everyone via the argument board.; Because we all know if you don't post in there, it didn't actually happen right? Residents of the Realms will flock to their local town squares and check off little boxes that can decide the popularity of tens of people! Eventually it will all culminate in the big reveal: The Award Ceremony at the Annual Feast of The Leviathan.

            There is a lot of talk about how voting is a civic obligation. Countless comments have been said  and articles have been written on why it's important to vote, how you should educate yourself on the candidates, and how you should vote for the most deserving candidate regardless of your friendship with them or lack thereof. But thus far very little has been said about important things like what to wear and how to act. Well brace yourselves, dear reader, because you are about to get a educational quickie  in the fine art of voting etiquette.
Note the fancy hat

            Voting isn't just about checking little boxes and campaigning for your chosen candidate. Voting is also a chance to see and be seen! What you choose to wear is just as important as who you vote for. How you interact with your fellow voters is crucial to others perceptions of you. Below you will find some mandatory suggestions to avoid voting faux pas. If you have already committed some of these crimes then I apologize. This article should have been written last week, but I was busy procrastinating.

Just apologize to whomever you may have offended and move on.

            Firstly, campaign politely. Or, preferably, don't campaign at all. Most people already know who they are voting for and don't want your unsolicited opinion. If you feel that you must give your opinion, doing so in a polite and respectful manner will help to ensure a pleasant discourse over tea rather than a bloody duel which while highly entertaining is quite unfashionable.

            Dress up. Voting is an important privilege and you disgrace that privilege with your disheveled appearance at both the polls and the awards ceremony. There is a reason that they give an award to the best dressed and not to the filthiest pleb. We want the View to be fabulous, not desolate.

            Do not wear anything that supports any one candidate when casting your vote. It's boorish and distasteful. Stick to a neutral palette. Black isn't just for funerals, it's also a great way to show how depressing this year's candidates are!

            Don't ask others who they voted for. It is just plain tacky. Choosing a candidate is a private affair. If someone wishes for you to know for whom they have voted they will tell you. Unless they are a vegan, and then they will be too busy telling you about that.

            Don't tell everyone who will listen who you voted for. “But Zarine, I only tell people who care...” The gentleman in line behind you at the market doesn't care who you voted for! You want to talk amongst your close friends, that is acceptable, but most people do not really want to hear about it. Seriously: don't ask, don't tell.

            For the awards ceremony itself:

            Make sure to remain quiet during the announcements. It's rude to be disruptive during any awards ceremony. While you may not actually care who wins a given category, some people might. Mostly the people who were nominated in them. I am sure that you would appreciate everyone being quiet while you were listening to something important to you. Please extend the same courtesy to others.

            Derisive comments should only be loud enough to be heard by people in your immediate vicinity and should not be disruptive. And before you ask, the other side of the room is not the immediate vicinity. 

            Clap politely when people win, even if they in no way deserved it. Just smile and know in your heart that a terrible accident could befall them at any time.

            Lose gracefully. No one likes a sore loser. Or really any kind of loser. Try winning next year instead.

            Win gracefully. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a boastful winner. If there is anything people dislike more than a loser it's a winner. Most people are mediocre at best and want everyone to fall into the same category to make themselves feel better. Don't apologize for being a winner, but don't shove it in people's faces either. Graciously accept it and go eat some dessert. It's easier to prevent yourself from accidentally boasting about yourself if your mouth is full.

            Wondering if you should give an acceptance speech? The answer is no. “But..” No.

            The proper way to congratulate the winner is to say something laudatory in a way that sounds heartfelt while giving them a firm handshake. Alternately if you are close enough to the winner to be on a hugging basis, skip the handshake and embrace away.

            Oh, I almost forgot as this should go without saying, but do try not to kill anyone before, during, or after the ceremony. It's really quite gauche to stab people at a formal event.

            You see, dear reader, it really is quite easy to be courteous and respectful to your fellow voters and candidates. Just use some of that good old uncommon sense.  The View staff is nice(?) enough to put on these awards and we should all try our best to appear civil while fulfilling our obligation of showing up and pretending to be cultured for a few hours.

            See you next Tuesday.


            Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, and has 35 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.

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