Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Failed Role Models Ride It Out

The reality in our messed-up world is that notoriety outshines integrity.

That's lousy news for people who genuinely try to be good because, as it turns out, screw-ups reap far juicier rewards. Whether you're a professional golf superstar or the President of the United States, there's no need to strive for good because, first, all will be forgotten and then, all will be forgiven.

Just ride it out.

There's no need for ordinary people to hold themselves up to a higher standard because in our society, sleazeballs like Tiger Woods and Bill Clinton are the role models who set the standard. Not even Michael Jordan is perfect! The excuse is entirely convenient; no one has to be a role model, not Tiger Woods to fans and not fathers to sons.

You ought to be accountable for your actions and choices. Regardless of fame and fortune, full price ought to be paid for transgressions, otherwise, what's the point of choosing good, being decent, aiming high and making reasonable, responsible choices in life?

The degree of disgust may vary, the repentance tends to lack conviction, but there's no shortage of names spewing infinitely from the bowels of society; Sheen, Clinton, Woods, Rose, Bertuzzi, Spitzer, Tillman, Schroeder, Heatley, Simpson, Giscard, Jordan, Berlusconi...

It's a veritable blur!

The reality in our messed-up world is that victims are forgotten long before criminals. I'm hoping dog-lovers have a longer memory than society as a whole.

A story on the wire today reported Michael Vick has signed a one-year contract with the Eagles. On February 15th, he was designated as the team's franchise player. He had his best season with career highs in yards passing, touchdown rushing, completion percentage and passer rating. He was voted Associated Press Player of the Year and, last month, was runner-up to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as the NFL's Most Valuable Player.

He ran an interstate dogfighting ring and routinely tortured, strangled, drowned and electrocuted dogs. Most of the more than forty fighting and bait dogs seized from Vick have been permanently scarred, physically and psychologically.

It certainly sounds like Michael Vick is over it all. Life's good again. Forgetful and indifferent football fans pour on the accolades as Vick expresses hope he'll soon be allowed to own a dog, although he freely admits it's more for his children than for himself.

Is the ex-convict still a sociopath? While he may have learned the difference between legal and illegal, Vick would have to know the difference between right and wrong to be able to answer that question.

In reference to Vick, a Los Angeles Times article suggested cruelty to animals isn't something somebody does, it's something somebody is.

To dog-lovers, our animals are dear friends and family members.

Knowing what dogs have to give to their owners, seeing these delightful creatures abused on television programs or in real life, is a source of unspeakable turmoil to dog-lovers.

I've never been a "forgive and forget" guy. Stink stays with me. Your sizeable crimes are not forgotten and will not be forgiven.

History and nations will agree, the passage of time does not make war crimes any less grotesque, or the pain and suffering they caused any less real, or pertinent.

In my book, Michael Vick equals slime dog.

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