With that said, I'm going to pull back the curtain a little bit. Because I read something that kind of got in my head this weekend, and applying it to Idol, I thought it was time for me to come out and say it:
I like you.
I want you to do well.
Even if you don't like me.
There's several conflicts inherent in those statements.
Liking you means liking people who sometimes don't like each other. With the veterans, there is a history there - and heck, this season I personally invited quite a few of you back! With the newbies, I don't know you very well yet. But I'm definitely enjoying getting to know you through your comments and posts!
I've been in far too many communities, over the years, where one group or another takes hold and dicatates how things are going to go for everyone else. There are "factions" in any group. Especially a diverse one like this. Because people aren't going to agree on everything, and when they do, then they mostly argue over *how* to do whatever it is that they want to do! :D
Part of my job is trying to make sure that the balance isn't tipped too far in any direction, and that everyone has the opportunity to have a voice in the conversation.
Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I don't. But the motivation is always to keep that dialogue going, in hopes of people finding common ground.
Wanting you to do well, in a competition, when I'm also rooting for everyone else. Yeah, that's a tricky one. :) It's a good thing that I vote for everyone! Some people are going to do better than others. It's the nature of a competition. But that doesn't mean that we can't feel good about what everyone is able to do, and bring the the table.
It does mean that I try to keep things as even as possible - and when I throw out a twist, it's about as "fair/unfair" to everyone! I try really hard at this, and often get slammed by people when they get riled up as a result. But that's something that I value, that I think often gets overlooked. (I've found that the vast majority of the times, people favor twists that end up benefitting them, or people they like - and dislike the ones that don't. Go figure! :D)
"Even if you don't like me" - that's the one that never fails to have some sort of impact with me. Because, for all the sideshow barkering and death traps, I'm still just a guy on the other side of a series of tubes. Which means some people are going to be like "Gary is the best!" while others are going to be "that guy sucks!" It happens. It's one of the reasons why I try to set everything up beforehand, as much as possible. It's why I vote for everyone. It's why I try to allow people to be adults and settle their own disputes. Because, just by being here, you are saying "I Like Idol" and that's what's important to me. If you like me as well - bonus!! If you end up getting something out of the experience - that's even better.
Over the years, I had to say tell people that I like very much "I can't help you" and allow people who clearly didn't care for me to run their course in the competition (unless they ended up breaking rules). Why? Because if I don't, if I'm interfering too much or just having certain people - then I'm wasting my time. (and Idol takes up A LOT of time!)
If you ask "What does Gary think?" about something, I'll probably try to be as diplomatic as possible. Not because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings - it's usually because I can see more than one side of the issue. (and yes, for those so inclined to such things, I AM a Libra. :D)
Not really sure that I actually said anything, or addressed anything that popped into my head this weekend. But maybe it's the start of a conversation at least. ;)
So um... get the hell off my lawn and get to writing those entries that are due tonight!! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/718214.html