The art of complaining

by Nathan Arel

arelna@mnstate.edu

There is a certain beautiful thing about newspaper opinion columns. Usually, opinion writers’ columns cover important events, world news and things that people actually want to hear about. But sometimes opinion articles simply encompass the solitary, single-minded worldview of one narcissistic punk who sees fit that everyone reading the paper should sit and read through all of his complaints. I’m not sure why the paper publishes these types of articles. Perhaps because they are often funny, or because anything is good in moderation. But to me it seems that these articles get published because, often times, people do not care about the news. People do not care about world events, global struggles, or the latest fashion trend. Much of the time, people just love to complain.

I love to complain, as do my friends, family and coworkers. Though some people may find complaining to be the most obnoxious thing God ever invented for man, they feel that way because they have not seen a true complainer at work on his art. Like most things, you get better with practice. When people complain, rant and judge other people and things every day of their lives, most begin to work it like a comedy routine. Complaining becomes the loveliest thing you hear out of that person’s mouth. I have friends that I meet up with every now and again just to hear them talk crap about everyone and everything around them for a few hours. It’s totally free and better than most movies.

Of course I know what others feel when they hate to hear people complain, because some people are simply not good at it. One cannot just moan about any old thing all the time. Complaining, for others, is not about someone’s personal issues. Complaining is about taking something you hate in your life, generalizing it so everyone listening can relate, then spewing off an endless stream of analogies, hyperbole and coarse language to spice up the experience.

When I really started paying attention to what comedians do, I realized they include one part humor and three parts ranting about everything in the world that ticks them off. Comedy and complaining are essentially the same thing. Bad complainers are just bad comedians.

Of course when it comes down to it, somebody like me ranting about whatever he wants in a newspaper seems like a far stretch from what people would pick up a newspaper for. But I’ve gotten mostly positive feedback from exactly two people on campus who read my articles, which I would consider a sweeping success above my expectations. So thank you, anyone else who reads these articles, for not simply being pissed off. I hope the world will spawn a whole new generation of prodigy complainers for all of us to enjoy. A generation of complainers that is of the people, by the people and for the people.

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