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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Super Sunday

I marvel at how much hype can go into a single sporting event, but then again, I’m guilty of feeding the fanaticism. I wanted Kurt to prove the naysayers wrong, but at least it was a great game…

In the midst of watching the pre-game festivities, I caught a glimpse of news tidbits that both disgusted and disillusioned me. My social conscience is easily ired, but the gamut of weekend events startled even me. A homeless man left on the street in D.C. to die while people waltzed to and fro to a grocery store…Michael Phelps caught inhaling. To think that one shopper loaded groceries while Jose Sanchez lay inches away, dying, should raise a never level of disgust in all of us. And yet, the AOL polls admit that most people would’ve done the same thing, most probably wouldn’t have even noticed poor Jose lying there. What have we been reduced to? Because he was homeless, we’re somehow justified in accepting the beating death of this man? I shudder to think what drove him to the streets in the first place, but in the realm of human existence, should it matter?

And then there’s our American hero, Michael Phelps, caught hitting a bong. The gasp from the crowd, the collective jaw dropping, the judgment passing without a conscious forethought. This man captivated the world in a way few ever have. But the media feels compelled to dethrone our heroes, to expose their flaws, and give them their imperfect fifteen minutes. Will it ever stop? Our fear-mongering, idol-crushing, negativity-thriving paparazzi on a quest for all things ratings-worthy?

I wonder. But as long as we hit those websites, watch slanderous news shows, and read the National Enquirer’s of the world, it won’t stop. And neither will they. It’s a vicious cycle and takes one of us at a time to break it. But as much as I want to claim I’m doing my part, here I am admonishing them, after having listened and read and believed.

All I know is that Michael Phelps is a young man who’s not gotten to be a kid for a long time. It takes great sacrifice to achieve greatness, and for many people, that puts a huge target on him to be perfect. If only all of us could be tagged the same…

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