I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in his shoes, he had the world on a string, he’s done what no one else has done in the Olympics, he has made sweet amounts of money on endorsement deals and commercials, everyone wants to talk to him and interview him and get his opinion on anything and everything. He has earned a place in sports history that will always be remembered. But….he can’t even take a hit off a bong at a party with his friends, or go to a strip bar, or treat himself to an in-call from an “escort” without the media sharks somehow reporting on it and trying to disgrace him on purpose.
Now understand I’m not saying he even needs to use an escort service for that kind of happiness, I’m sure he has loads of female fans who would love to show him the pleasures of their flesh. But the media and his mother got him covered like a school of hammerheads circling around a diver trying to get back up without getting the bends. I mean he can’t do anything anymore, when you think about it he is really screwed. I can’t speak from a girls perspective but guys…do you remember what it felt like to be an 18 to 25 year old? Well I do and I can tell you that it was the time when you experimented with life, you tried booze, pot, sex. Anything you weren’t allowed to do under the age of eighteen or twenty one for that matter was suddenly declared open season. This is what your supposed to do in your 20’s, live life to the fullest, make mistakes have fun, go crazy at times! Lets face it for once, it’s normal people to do this and to want to do these things.
But as we have seen so many times before now, we exist in a country where we create media stars and then we seek to destroy them, you think I’m exaggerating the point, I tend to differ on that and I’ll tell you why…it’s simple. We as a people love to smear or otherwise dis-credit our hero’s as much as we love to do the same to our family’s, friends and co-workers, as I mentioned in a previous post “To Be A Wannabee, That Is The ?”
There is a book published in 1999, Eric Denzenhall’s “Nail’ Em!: Confronting High Profile Attacks On Celebrities And Businesses” that uncovers the culture of attack that we live in. This is perpetrated by a collection of individuals including the news media; headline-seekers; angry former employees; and those seeking Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame that he assured us is every ones due (I’m still waiting for mine) and others with unfathomable reasons for persecution of others. Now I’ll cop to the fact that people like Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Tom Cruise all deserve everything they get because their behavior warrants controversy but I think it’s sad that our old pal from Doogie Howser: Neil Patrick Harris had to out himself to avoid in his words “this sort of witch hunt brewing” which he spoke about on the Ellen DeGeneres show. The Who’s famed lead guitarist Pete Townsend was accused of accessing child pornography websites and the media had a field day portraying him as a pervert, he was found not guilty because he didn’t download any files. Still, he had to register as a sex offender even though he was doing research on the pain of child abuse for book he was writing, oh and by the way he was himself molested as a child which is why he was writing the book in the first place.
I know that there is a rumor mill in Hollywood and that everyone was right about Clay Aiken from the beginning but duh!, how hard was that after all. The problem is that everyone is gay now, Tom Cruise is gay according to rumor, Robert Plant of all people!!! You must be high, he had more women than I’ve had hot meals! Now it’s LL Cool J who is reportedly gay, so what who cares? Why is it sooo important to talk about it and make people squirm. The sad fact is that people think I’m gay because I’m not married and don’t have a girlfriend. Well some of us who work full time and have a small business on the side, as well as an artistic career in writing and painting, who are also taking care of two aging parents and an unwell brother just don’t have the time to try and find anybody! I mean how much juice do I have in the batteries at the end of the day to go out and where do I go on a weeknight to find love and happiness? How do I afford all the expense of a relationship in this economy when I’m already in debt and struggling? I wouldn’t mind so much but the guys making the gay remarks about me are all married and their wives work, so they have a second income. But they think back to the days when they were single and mommy and daddy were still paying their way and try to apply it to my situation out of ignorance.
The real problem is that we as a people are just not really ready to accept love in all it’s forms, we won’t accept the idea that our hero’s are just people, people who happen to do something really well and get paid for it and that’s all there is to it. Why do we have to make them into gods anyway? I’ll tell you why, because we are not taught by the media to believe in ourselves as people. Instead we are taught to raise others to god-like status so we can worship them and only wish for their fame and fortune. The other side of the coin is that we are taught to spend money on our hero’s products so we can (hopefully) have some of their energy and good vibes rub off on us, if we buy their shoes or makeup or eat the snacks they supposedly like and eat in their own homes, then we will be just like them. This is big business, and the company’s who use celebrity endorsement want us to be hungry for all that bling and fame, so they make us spend money on things we are programmed to want even though it doesn’t do us any real good.
The thing about all of this media hype over Phelps and his bong hit that really gets me ginned up is that I predicted all of this when he won his first bunch of medals! So now after winning again and being raised to the status of the living god, he now has to live in a prison that wasn’t made by him. It was made by the media, and the hordes of people that swallow the often shallow ideas that are thrust upon these celebrities when they hit the scene. So hats off to you Michael, I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next Olympics, no matter what you’ll always be a hero to me, for taking me out of my worries for a week or two and giving me a sense that anything is possible. One more thing Michael, you should have said that you smoked but didn’t inhale… it worked once before for a President, it should work for a swimmer…right?