JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Jonas Brother Tells me to Unplug

Photo on 2009-12-14 at 01.46

I was watching TV the other day when one of the Jonas Brothers told me it’s very important that I unplug my cell phone charger when it’s not being used. “You,” the kid said, “can make a difference. It’s really important.”

I admire Junior’s commitment to making a public-service announcement, even though it appeared he was wearing a jacket that almost certainly led to the death of three animals; even though he probably arrived for the PA session in a 14-mpg limo after flying in a private jet.

What I find interesting—and depressing—is the reality of such announcements: Namely, they are 100% untrue. Whether I, Jeff Pearlman, keep my cell charger unplugged makes literally zero impact on tNB07_head_smhe country’s/world’s energy supply. Hell, if 100 of my closest friends keep their cell charges plugged in for the next year, it probably makes no difference. Sad, but true.

It’s the same thing with the whole EVERY VOTE COUNTS movement. Though I consider voting to be an extremely important act, at no point in my life has my vote actually mattered. Meaning, whether I voted for, oh, Hillary Clinton or Rick Lazio mattered not—the election was decided by far more than a single pull. Even Bush-Gore ’00—the closest big-time election on record, wasn’t decided by a single vote. Hell, in my little town, I enthusiastically voted for our mayor, Noam Bramson. Had I written in JIM HENSON, Noam still wins. Big.

Yet we utter this nonsense over and over—You make the difference; Your vote is vital; etc … etc. It’s a dishonest way to inspire a movement. Do 100 votes count? Sometimes, but rarely. Do 1,000 votes count? Possibly. Do 1 million votes count? Almost always.

As for electricity and global warming, well, I refuse to dump my garbage in the Long Island Sound. Yet were I to do so it probably wouldn’t make a big dent. Were everyone to do so, however, the impact would be earth-altering.

It’s 1:45 am. I’m going to bed …