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Monday, May 2, 2016

From the Midway: Falling off the pedestal

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Have you ever noticed how we in this country love to build up a hero, be it athletes, police officers, firefighters, military veterans, actors, or what have you, just to relish in their misery when they show their humanistic flaws that we all have?

We build these people up only so we can see them get knocked down.

I'm referring to last week's story of Olympian Michael Phelps. Just a few months ago he was America's golden boy but this week the judgmental pendulum swung the other way. Pictures of Phelps surfaced of him partaking in what looks like a big old bong hit of marijuana.

Good for him. He had just earned eight gold medals in swimming during the last Olympics; he deserves to relax a little. The guy has been swimming in a pool since he was 10-years old. Give him a break.

So he got caught smoking some wacky tobacky. Now everyone wants to throw the book at him. Please, he was not doing anything any other kids his age might do in their early 20's.

We have to get over this sandal-clad society that we live in. It really isn't any of our business when people that we idolize show their human faults. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and your son or daughter was in the same situation? How would you feel when their name is plastered of the network news with pictures no less?

I don't blame Phelps, I blame the person who took the picture of Phelps and probably sold them for a chunk of cash.

While we the media provide the need for such behavior by purchasing such photos, it doesn't end on just Phelps. Remember Britney, Paris or any other celebrity who gets caught in a bad situation. The more the picture says about a how bad a celebrity's behavior is, the more money its worth. Perp walks, mug shots or a celebrity's intoxicated state are always golden.

Sadly, this cycle of kicking our heroes while they're down will only continue until we in society stop buying this junk.

No, I don't think that Phelps is a victim in this situation, he met it half way. He must learn that if you choose to partake in such activity there are consequences and I mean real consequences, not just worrying about who has a camera or not but choosing to take part in an illegal activity.

I think it's silly that you can get in trouble for smoking the green but after all, pot is a currently illegal. So, until the laws regarding pot are changed, a person has to take their lumps when caught.

Phelps may have future legal and image troubles, but that is his business not yours or mine.

Let's try talking about how we can get the economy going the next time we're around the water cooler. We need some of that kind of talk right about now.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway