Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Michael Phelps Pot-Head

How seriously stupid do you have to be to be this famous and allow your picture to be taken smoking a joint? Forget heroes for the kids. Sports figures stopped being heroes decades ago. There are definitely two schools on how to handle this, but I don't think making excuses such as "everyone does it" really fit the bill. I mean, I didn't get away with that with my parents when I was a kid and I am amazed at home many adults are using it now. I read this on another blog - So we shouldn't have role models in the public eye. Strange. The implication of this statement is that only astute and accomplished ethicists can be role models. Here we see one of the problems with post-modern man’s lust for specialization. The hero can only be a hero in his “field”, and only to those who participate in that “field“. No, Phelps is a role model because of all the things NOT associated with swimming. If it were swimming alone, than any derelict in water would suffice. It is because Phelps is the best swimmer. But it is that which makes him the best swimmer that’s admirable, and those “intangibles” are present in every field, not just in the natatorium. And it is precisely for this reason that his “fall” exists without losing a single race. To be clear, I’m not making a case for or against pot use, or whether or not this act in particular is a “fall“; I’m trying to maintain the notion of “hero-ism” in a world of specialists; the idea that sacrifice looks the same with the plumber as it does with the doctor. And that selfishness smells as bad on the Hollywood socialite as it does on the “serious” politician. Phelps doesn’t need a degree in ethics to be a role model, and I do not need gills to be disappointed. And color me very disappointed.

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