Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Golden Lamb

Everyone in the media wants to be a part of the Ted Williams thing.  They fought over being able to cover the reunion of he and his mother, to the point of making sure the two didn’t meet until they could cover it on live TV.  It’s a national story where everyone with a talk show can publicly feel happy for some homeless guy who got inundated with publicity and job offers because the media knows that it will get ratings.  That’s all it is.  It hearkens to the desire of American culture to live through fake stories.

You can see it in the way that everyone talks to him.  They love being able to say how happy they are that this guy got a break, because it feeds their own narcissism.  In a way, they are mentally and emotionally masturbating to the way they feel about it all.  That’s what I hate most about these “genuine” human stories.  It’s all bullshit.  Even the genuine feelings that exist are only there because some self-obsessed rich person loves thinking that they are somehow helping out someone less fortunate, when really they are only helping themselves.

Everyone want to give their take on his story, and talk about how happy they are for him, or how his fifteen minutes of fame are going to ruin his life even more.  What everyone misses is that he is just a vehicle for ratings.  Nothing more.  He didn’t get offered a two-year contract because the NFL are generous people.  It’s because they saw a rising cultural story, and wanted to take advantage of it.

It’s another way that the established media reaches into social media, and ends up manipulating it.  I think that it is really a bad development in the larger picture – not because Ted Williams doesn’t deserve a chance to make money or not, but because it just shows how, in the end, everything revolves around what they want it to.  Every hokey feel-good story is really a grotesque example of manipulation.  It feeds into the stereotyped story of winning the lottery, and how everyone in America has a chance to be famous and rich.  It’s all bullshit.

1 comment:

  1. "they think that they are somehow helping out someone less fortunate, when really they are only helping themselves."

    Preach it brother! At least some good came out of it: he's no longer homeless and he found his mother.

    People can do ethical things for unethical reasons, and not all comments are pointless.