The Follow-Through: Why People Hate Rob Bliss
Last week during a press conference announcing his plan to put a giant waterslide down Lyon St., Rob Bliss was heckled by radio personality (and local ass clown) “Producer Joe” from a ratings-starved local terrestrial radio show. Today I got an invite to join a Facebook group “G.R.A.B.” (Grand Rapids Anti-Bliss). The Grand Rapids Press even stopped to muse about the phenomenon (“Heckling Rob Bliss: Radio station takes it to an art form; online commenters never cease“).
Haters will hate, I guess.
I don’t think I understood why some people succumb to the temptation to hate Rob Bliss until I considered what goes into his events. For example:
- Do you have any idea what kind of red tape nightmare it is to set up a water slide on a public street in a major city?
- Or to raise the money necessary to purchase the world’s largest custom, inflatable water slide?
- Or coordinate thousands of people into a zombified flash mob?
- Or navigate the endless layers of bureaucracy necessary to close down streets, secure an orchestra, and get permission to dump tens of thousands of paper airplanes from city rooftops?
- OR to take on the challenge of any of the above as a 20-something college student?
The thought alone would make most of us recoil in horror.
Not Rob. That’s what separates him from all of the naysayers who deride his events for being simplistic, infantile or unoriginal: they lack the minerals to see their ideas through to fruition. Rob doesn’t. Rather than using him as a screen on which to project all of one’s own shortcomings, he should be an inspiring example to hold oneself to.
Here’s the thing though: Rob doesn’t claim to have been the first (or only) person to have come up with these ideas. If anything, that’s a bit of slothful induction on the part of the media. All Rob has ever asserted is that he likes social experiments and bringing people together. What’s so wrong with that?
So traffic is tied up for a half hour. Big deal. The guy even picks up after himself – coordinating a cleaning crew to pick up the paper planes from his ArtPrize entry (not that they needed to given that overjoyed children picked up most of them trying to collect all of the colors). That’s more than most of the drunken St. Patrick’s day or Pulaski Days revelers can say for themselves. Best of all, Rob frequently incorporates accepting charitable contributions as part of his events.
If you hate Rob and his events – keep it to yourself. Don’t infect the rest of us with the wretched disappointment you have in your own life.
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"...and you shall have no pie."As my parents tell it, when I was an infant my first word wasn't a word - it was an entire sentence. Very little has changed.
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