Monday, February 16, 2009

Phelps must be destroyed

I've been waiting for a good article on Michael Phelps' irredeemable sin, one that adequately hones in on the prudish voyeurism of it all without devolving into a diatribe on the drug war (this is really a different, if related, issue), and David Sirota finally provides one. I like this section especially:
America is a place where you can destroy millions of lives as a Wall Street executive and still get invited for photo ops at the White House; a land where the Everyman icon -- Joe Six-pack -- is named for his love of shotgunning two quarts of beer at holiday gatherings; a "shining city on a hill" where presidential candidates' previous abuse of alcohol and cocaine is portrayed as positive proof of grittiness and character. And yet, somehow, Phelps is the evildoer of the hour because he went to a party and took a hit off someone’s bong.

As with most explosions of fake outrage, the Phelps affair asks us to feign anger at something we know is commonplace. A nation of tabloid readers is apoplectic that Brad and Jen divorced, even though one out of every two American marriages ends the same way. A country fetishizing “family values” goes ballistic over the immorality of Paris Hilton's sex tape … and then keeps spending billions on pornography. And now we're expected to be indignant about a 23-year-old kid smoking weed, even though studies show that roughly half of us have done the same thing; most of us think pot should be legal in some form; and many of us regularly devour far more toxic substances than marijuana (nicotine, alcohol, reality TV, etc.).

All our illustrious children must be destroyed. It makes us feel better about ourselves, I guess.

1 comment:

TioChuy said...

I'm more upset about male swimmers shaving their legs. Grown men playing dress-up it's disgusting.