Everyone’s a critic
Two historic New York City hotels, the Statler Hilton (now the Hotel Pennsylvania) and the Waldorf-Astoria have a long history which makes quite the interesting Internet read if one ever has the time and wants to put in a little effort. Maybe it’s to our detriment, but what intrigues us about the landmarks isn’t the architecture, or the legacy left behind by philanthropists. It’s that out of all of the beautiful hotels in the world, the names of these two establishments were chosen by American designer Bonnie Erickson when she created two of the world’s most beloved hecklers for the Muppet Show in 1975.
Statler and Waldorf were merciless as they constantly jeered the onstage performers. Their comments were an amusing addition to the show and provided some extra creative entertainment alongside the already innovative and imaginative ideas of Jim Henson.
Statler and Waldorf were willing to speak out and let their feelings be known. They didn’t care who it hurt, whether it was an adorable bear comedian (Fozzy Bear) or some weird (whatever Gonzo was) type being. Most of the time, they were funny. Well, to the audience anyway. From the viewpoint of their target, however, their taunts were humiliating. Despite all the insults, though, to our recollection, they never got up on the stage once. They just sat in their prime area of the theatre and made life terrible for the entertainers who were trying to do their very best to please the crowd.
The talent was trying to make a difference. Statler and Waldorf were trying to steal the spotlight. Of course, this was all staged and part of a script for each show, but it seems that there are a lot of arm chair quarterbacks out there trying to emulate the two old men sitting on the sidelines. We may not be in a formal theatre, but we do have Facebook and we do get to write Letters to the Editor and we all have that one friend who is willing to be the Statler to our Waldorf. Maybe it’s that heavy person who is going to the gym and trying to make a change for the better. Do we really need to comment about how out of shape they are when we could most likely also make a difference to own health in some way that might not seem so obvious?
Maybe our local politicians are doing their best to improve our town in some way. Ourselves, we have to be honest when we say we don’t know the first thing about building a culvert, yet there seems to be a lot of people who seem to all know how to complain about delays and rising costs. Did we miss something? Were we all offered a course on gigantic town restorations that we lost the chance to participate in? Sure, it’s frustrating to lose a lot of parking, and the middle of town definitely looks like a bomb hit it, but despite the overwhelming information being provided to us as the construction is going on (or being delayed), how can we possibly think we could do any better? Do we really think the mayor and our elected councillors don’t care about Uxbridge and are not trying to do their best?
Some local business hours have sort of been a frustration to us lately. Some are taking Mondays off and others want to close their businesses earlier than we can get there. We would love to complain about how inconvenient it is when we want to purchase a product or service, but we have to look at our own martial art and fitness studio and say that we also are trying to do our best to accommodate everyone. Our class times are set based on the majority of people who can attend, as well as on when we have instructors who can teach. There’s really no use in us complaining about other businesses when they’re just trying to do their best job to make everyone happy too. Their “show” isn’t just about us!
Don’t get us started on the LGBTQ bridge or cross walk or whatever is being proposed! Some people are definitely against all ideas. Some people have a different idea and don’t understand why others can’t see the same point of view as them. In the end, everyone, and we do mean everyone, wants a change (or no change) for the better. Who’s right? We’re not voicing our personal opinion. We just want to move forward. We don’t need someone to tell us if we’re wrong. That’s a different column (insert winking smiley emoji here).
For some reason, we as a society love to complain and share our negative thoughts about others, and to us, those same Muppets – Statler and Waldorf – used to be able to put it so eloquently in their lines from the theme song to their show when they sang… “Why do we always come here? I guess we’ll never know. It’s like a kind of torture to have to watch the show.” Maybe we should stop just watching and commenting. Maybe we should consider the other person’s side of things and either keep our mouths shut or help them do their best to make positive changes.
Maybe if we helped get things started; why don’t we get things started? It’s time to get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetsational. This is what we call…Moving Forward.