Friday, January 18

This your fault, and mine [Rant]

This morning, as U.S planes were ferrying hundreds of freed American hostages out of the hands of Islamic militants in Algeria, Congress debated whether our country is more important than their phony-baloney jobs, and our country ponders whether Second Amendment-waving "victims" are more important than dead grade-school children, the lede on CNN was about how Lance Armstrong, under the influence of a mountain of a desperate Oprah Fucking Winfrey's money, is a lying bully. No shit. No news, there, kids. He's always been a dick, and anyone who says otherwise is another one.
Do we suppose that Armstrong, who after years of denying his use of performance-enhancing drugs and kneecapping anyone who insisted otherwise, has suddenly had an epiphany? Do we believe that remorse and humility are the driving forces that caused Armstrong to come semi-clean to the most overrated woman in media history?

No, the people whom he abused and StrongArmed - get it? - blew the whistle on him. The bullying victims, his friends, his teammates, his fellow racers, finally stood up to this worthless piece of shit and started swinging back. Like any schoolyard bully, he had no defense but to roll over and play humble. For money. Anyone who thinks that Oprah didn't lay out a packet for this polished turd has unicorns for house pets. (They poop rainbows, you know.)

We make people like Lance Armstrong and Oprah Fucking Winfrey possible. We pay their way by being less than critical of the crimes they commit, the errors of omission the hurl at us, the sly winks they exchange with one other. We allow the collective media to elevate their status from bike racer to god, from talk-show hack to media goddess. Meanwhile, we think it's okay to debate whether certain gun-control measures are too draconian in nature to save just one six-year-old from a future death at the hands of a nutcase with voices in his head.

This is your fault. This my fault.

Every time someone tells you how fucking hilarious Honey Boo-Boo is, turn and walk away. Never speak to them again until their therapy has rendered them once-again human. Every time someone says that they don't read and poetry is for sissies, walk away. Every time you hear someone express the opinion that art is less important than commerce, run like hell. Every time you hear someone say that they have an absolute right to anything - unlimited access to assault weapons, free speech at any cost, expression at the expense of those who cannot express themselves, consider a change of venue to a more advanced country than the one in which we now find ourselves locked away. Any time you hear some blowhard gasbag go on about how "those people" should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and that we should "let the markets decide", it's perfectly acceptable to douse them with ice-cold water. Then do what you will with them. Tell them you're the market and that you've decided.

Any time you find yourself thinking that someone, anyone, is deserving of media attention for doing things that you yourself could do with the meager gifts of genetics, training and inspiration or the dint of a privileged birth, hang your head in shame. The least of us is more honestly deserving than the best of them.

Thus spake the rabbit.


Tom Parker said...

Eloquently ranted. The only problem I see with your response theory is that very soon you'll have only yourself to speak to. Or with. The human race, and Americans specifically, seem hellbent on dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. We can probably credit television for much of it, right-wing news shows and commentators in particular plus unreal reality programming, evangelical christianity and our increasing lack of civility. Let's face it: we're doomed.

Le Grand Lapin said...

Tom, I envision a sort of post-apocalyptic intellectualism. Mad Max with books and better grammar. Pockets of civilized survivors huddled in isolated outposts will defend themselves against pillaging hordes of reality-show producers and out-of-work D-list celebrities. Hmm, I can almost feel a screenplay forming in my head.

Noble Rot said...

I think you're being unfairly harsh on Armstrong.

Yes, he is a prick.

But that prickishness is a personality hallmark of virtually every person who achieves what he has achieved. In fact, I don't think such achievements are possible without this sort of bullying prickitude.

It's not limited to sports achievements. Think of notoriously douchie Nikola Tesla, or famously assholy Steve Jobs. Achievement on this level requires a singularity of vision,a force of personality and willingness to sacrifice that most of us (rightly) find off putting.

That said, a small part of the blame goes to "right-wing" anything, and more of it goes to the all-too popular notion of "right wing" vs. "left wing" when pretty much both "wings" are taking what then can from those of us to frustrated and too damn tired to even pay attention anymore.

Le Grand Lapin said...

Rot, Thanks for the comment..

I think there comes a time when you and I have to stop making excuses for assholes and stop buying into the low-expectations trap.

The examples you cite are worthy, but the accomplishments of Tesla and Jobs are real and world-changing. The accomplishments of Lance Armstrong, while exceptional, are partly gifts of the gene pool, partly chemically induced and mostly marketing. None of these circumstances is worthy of adoration or pardon.

In the neighborhood where I grew up, assholes often found their attitudes to be corrected by their environments, at the hands of guys who didn't like being made to feel small, inadequate or less than worthy. Assholes got their facial features rearranged until they came to their senses. Lance does that to other people, because he knows they can't retaliate. Lance has hidden behind athletic prowess, his teammates, celebrity and fortune and even his own cancer.

Now that we get to watch him squirm a bit out in the open, we can all see that not only does the king have no clothes, but no spine as well. Screw him.

I don't care if you're left or right. What matters is humanity and the way you treat people. That includes yourself. Richard Bach said, "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."

Janet said...


I'm so sick of both the left and right extremists.

Fuck them. I'm an extreme moderate, tyvm.