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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 The Year The Role Model Died

Once again the year comes to a close. We can all sit back and reflect. Some of us will try to find the resolve to stick to lofty resolutions; some of us will. We can look at our lives and see where we could have zigged instead of zagged.

We can also be reminded of all the surrealistically ridiculous events that managed to captivate us and our shrinking attention spans. Events that seemed designed to distract us from the very reality in which we live. A reality of war, higher and higher fuel, less jobs, slower growth. And did I mention, subprime lenders losing their shirts?

Somehow in the midst of all the real tragedy(war, tanking economy) we were force fed Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse. All young rich and out of control on drugs and alcohol. Sadly the list is longer but I cannot get to everybody.

Each story behind the person/celebrity is a sad series of events publicized by the growing media juggernaut that seems to control our very understanding of the world. However you look at it, regardless of how much glossy packaging and make-up, these are real people with real problems.

Tragic , sad, pitiful are words to describe our cultural demise. We have hit bottom(hopefully). There are no longer any people that we can trust to be beyond reproach.

I must admit I never put much stock in the moral fortitude in any of the aforementioned celebrities nor do I assume anyone else has. That is what baffles me. I want to know why we know anything about these people but nothing about why Scooter Libby is not in jail.

Why dog fighting is worse than treason?

Instead we get up to the minute updates on Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Vick.

There are no more Golden Boys. No more heroes. Honestly I am starting to wonder if there ever were. Yeah, there are everyday heroes who sacrifice day in and day out to make life move on for everyone else. They are called teachers, garbagemen and bus drivers.

Who cares what they do after work? Certainly not The National Enquirer. That is the way it should be. For our entertainers, politicians it is a far different story.

They care.

You care

Your mother cares.

Maybe the lack of privacy, coupled with a technological explosion in the hands of rabid journalist, has rendered secrets a thing of the past? Maybe the incredible influence of Tabloids has altered the landscape of journalism to the point where a boob job is news?

Maybe sometimes the truth just needs to stay a secret.

What will we tell our kids when the next 16yr old Nickelodeon star gets pregnant?

How do we explain the whole baseball mess without creating an instant teenage cynic?

Baseball, Cycling, Track and field a trifecta of American let-down. Roger Clemens, Floyd Landis and Marion Jones. I mention them because they stood apart from the crowd aside from their bulging muscles and bad temperments. Landis adamant about his innocence, Jones coming clean and losing everything. Roger Clemens? Well, he’s Roger- “say it ain’t so Rog”.

Each of these people, Clemens, Landis and Jones, are on posters on some kids wall. A wall of shame. I am cringing in fear Brett Favre ‘s meteoric resurgence this year (at 39) is artificial. But hey , he’s from Mississippi.

Sports was strange enough, however 2007 was full of hard to explain events starting with Anna Nicole Smith and ending with Jamie Lynn Spears all of them trumping the continued loss of young American lives.

It will be far easier to lower my sons expectations in our government, star athletes and celebrities than it will be to explain exactly why his hero is in handcuffs. I will sum it up perfectly for him- ‘nobody is perfect’.

The war? It is far easier to turn on a reality show than it is to explain why we are still fighting .

Here’s to the future.

I am glad it is 2008.

11 comments:

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Dave:

I like this post a lot except for the title. Why wasn't 2006 the year the role model died with Ted Haggard and Mark Foley's scandals? Or whenever River Phoenix OD'd? Or whenever it was that law-and-order zealot Winona Ryder got busted shoplifting? Or when Ty Cobb when into the stands and beat up a guy in a wheelchair? Or why WASN'T 2007 the year of the role model because Scott Weiland is still alive and Brett Favre is still good?

Same story every year. My son asked me about the steroids and baseball and I told him that baseball was big business. It's about making money and winning and whatever edge people think they can get they take. That doesn't mean Barry Bonds isn't the 1st, 2nd or 3rd best player in baseball history. Frank Thomas is maybe the 25th best and he chose not to use steroids because he's naturally big. Same with Ryan Howard. So, what?

I told my son that I LOVE BASEBALL no matter what and while there are some players I like more than others, the only unpardonable sin an athlete can commit in my eyes other than to cheat to LOSE for the purposes of cashing a bet is to be unkind to kids.

Dave, I prefer to think at 7 3/4 YO, Kelso, Jr., is not a cynic, but rather a realist. And still a big fucking METS fan.

I like what you say about real role models: parents, grandparents, working people, teachers. I try my best. I don't always succeed. I tell him how it is in an age-appropriate way but I always emphasize that it's better to lose playing fair than to win cheating, but...there are exceptions. Sometimes not even morally-correct exceptions: like Bill Belichick. You can imagine as a Wesleyan grad and monster Randy Moss fan how excited I am. It's a tough one. My son's very competitive.

I like what you say about the tragedies behind the tabloid gossip. Just like in pro sports, entertainment is big-time business and the pressure is intense. Less than 1/2 of 1% of SAG card-holders have made $1mm in any year.

Dave, I was a good college actor at Wesleyan. In my program were Brad Whitford, Will Garson, Kenny Lonergan and briefly Matthew Broderick. In the film department were Akiva Goldsman, Richard Saperstein, Evan Katz, and Paul Schiff. The drama program there was heavily subsidized by such companies as Exxon and Citibank and individuals like Walter Wriston. I wasn't the best. I wasn't the worst. I held my own and managed to secure 5 lead roles in my 4 years. An NCAA football equivalent of me would be like a starting, but not starring, cornerback at Florida State. I was so afraid of rejection, Dave, that I left drama behind completely after graduating college. Now, imagine what it's like for Lindsay Lohan who has to fight it tooth and nail every day. I don't care how much money she has. The life of an actor is a bitch. I don't blame her for taking solace wherever she needed to.

And it's certainly not Lindsay Lohan or Marion Jones's fault that Bush is fighting two wars and is still pondering a third for his own AMUSEMENT. I don't blame the people for not wanting to confront the possibility that they're elected officials and press are traitors. I don't blame them for not wanting to confront that their clergymen are traitors. But I'm happy laying the blame at the feet of the executive, congress, the press, the church and big business. Not Lindsay Lohan.

David B. Dancy said...

Good stuff Kelso.

I guess I could have chose the year Fonzi jumped the shark. Or when Joe Biden was caught plagiarizing. I could have picked the year 'Cop Rock' debuted and died.
I like your explanation to KJ; I can work with the reality between the lines. What people often fail to acknowledge is the game within the game.

Sometimes, especially in the world without referees, it is not only o.k. but it is suggested to get an edge wherever you can.

I plan on telling Barry Max to simply prepare himself. If the next guy is cheating and you don't like it say something. If you are not in the game don't worry about it.If you are betting on the game, factor the roid's in.

Frank Thomas? I am not sure he is clean. Show me a quote where he disavowed the use of PE's.

I mentioned Favre because he's playing phenomenal after two slumping seasons. I am merely bringing up what every one else is thinking but reluctant to say.

eyemkmootoo said...

I would humbly offer myself as a role model for the youth of America except I don't think any of today's youth would idolize a guy who makes a mediocre salary working ten to twelve hours a day repairing machinery under a blistering Florida sun, dresses in plain clothing, eats simple food, and goes home at night with an aching back and hands, stinking of diesel fuel and motor oil. peace

fairlane said...

"I'm glad it's 2008."

You and me both my brother.

fairlane said...

This code will help straighten up your sidebar.

If you have any problems with it, I'll be around.


href="Insert URL Here">Name of Blog or Website Here


Keep it just like that. Put entire URL between quotation marks (http://dancyscorner.blogspot.com/ for example). Make sure the forward slash (/) is at the end, but only one of them.

The name part is just that- Dancy's Corner. No need for quotes or slashes.

If you do it right it will look like this-

Dancy's Corner

Pamos said...

You are an excellent writer David! You've come a long way. I'm so proud of you. Your writing is very thought provoking. Looking forward to your next posting.

David B. Dancy said...

Wow- is this THE Pamos?

Chicago Pamos?

If it is I am beside myself with joy you have found this place in the ethers.

Pamos said...

Yeah, it's me Dave. Surprise! Gimme your personal email address. We have lots of catching up to do.

David B. Dancy said...

bassdancy@hotmail.com I am soo happy it is you. i cannot believe it. This truly brightens my lovely life; you are right we have a lot of catching up to do.

G.D. said...

dog fighting?

the charges that are going to end Mike Vick's career are the federal gambling charges, not the dog-fighting ones. He ran and bankrolled a gambling ring.

David B. Dancy said...

G.D.
To avoid the whole semantics thing I'll agree-gambling ring that revolved around dog fighting. No one can argue the bulk of publicity surrounding the case put an emphasis on the dogfighting.
Is gambling- making copious amounts of money without Uncle Sam- worse than treason?
Just wonderin.