It all got started during a winter day walk of Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen in Helsinki. Perhaps it was due to the coldness of the day that they ended up discussing the possibility of transforming the huge energy people put into complaining into something else. Perhaps not directly into heat – but into something powerful anyway.I stumbled upon this in the midst of a cheesy-videos YouTube war between commenters on the Balloon Juice and Sadly, No! blogs. (It's not pretty - one side finds "Macho Man" Randy Savage videos, the other counters with David Hasselhoff, and things go downhill from there.)
In the Finnish vocabulary there is an expression "Valituskuoro". It means "Complaints Choir" and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen thought: "Wouldn´t it be fantastic to take this expression literally and organise a real Complaints Choir!"
The subject matter isn't really work-safe, so be forewarned. For your viewing, listening and griping pleasure, these are my favorites so far (with YouTube embeds behind the LJ-cuts):
Helsingin Valituskuoro (Helsinki Complaints Choir):
Complaints Choir of Birmingham:
Beschwerdechor Wilhelmsburg (Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg Complaints Choir):
ХОР ЖАЛОБЩИКОВ ПЕТЕРБУРГА (Saint Petersburg Complaints Choir):
As It Happens Complaints Choir (from the CBC Radio show):
Gabriola Island Complaints Choir (British Columbia):
(no embed available; see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeO-K_qI2w8)
The numbers appear to be growing; there's a new one from Israel that I didn't link to, primarily because most of their subtitles are unreadable.