(originally posted 1/25/07 : www.myspace.com/chief_reindeer)
First off, let's get this correct right off the bat. Rehab can be a life-altering, saving process. It can change paths. It can redeem souls. Legit, honest to goodness, this-ain't-your Daddy's-addiction-we're-talking-about-here, rehab can work. You need to know I'm not referencing that sort of rehabilitation. Again, rehab can be a good thing.
But what up with everyone checking themselves into a 21-day health spa facility and then expecting us to pony up the forgiveness like Wal-Mart with a no-receipt necessary return policy? Do they really want us to overlook their indecencies and slaps because they talked out their feelings and got an emotional colonic behind closed-doors and in-between seaweed wraps and cocoa baths?
No. I do not know Isaiah Washington. And yes, he probably is a fairly good person, if you overlook his history of anger-issues and see-the-illustration-to-your-left homophobia. What (and I'm quoting from the press releases and media reports here) "behavioral issues" is he looking to address and re-address? Lying? Disrespect? A loss of all senses of appropriateness? And, most unbelievably, a complete and utter disregard for his own career and survival? Isaiah, c'mon dude, do you really expect us to believe you are that dumb? That ignorant of the environment in which you live, breathe, and exist? You called a co-worker an inflammatory, derogatory name. Then said you didn't do it. Then apologized for any misunderstandings and bad feelings. Then, when it was pretty much put to bed, you felt the need to remind us that you didn't use the word in the first place. BY SAYING THE WORD AGAIN. You don't get to offend for demonstrative purposes. And you sure as hell don't do it on national television.
While the issue of homophobia (and if you want an insight into my stance on such things, in this instance my opinion on gay marriage, see my blog Random, Useless Discourse 8: The True Cruelty and Danger of a Gay Marriage Ban… but to save you the trouble, in case you don't know me, I believe it is discrimination and that love is love … all preferences please apply) is at the center of this particular buzz, I am intrigued by the underlying nonchalant reaction we have to the bloated, sugar-coated apologizes and acts of prostration by public figures. These people stand before us, to entertain, to lead, and to influence us , and offer up a promise to really try harder next time, Mom. I swear. And we take in the beauty and the novocaine-tingle of it all. We accept the ease and confidence and shrug our shoulders. How can we get mad when they are so darned cute?
And the non-public figures, the non-celebrities, the you-and-Is, aren't any better. Where is the accountability in our lives? When and where do we draw the line and accept that, yeah, okay, Mom and Dad weren't perfect and they probably fucked us up quite a bit, but honestly, Janet, you fucked yourself up pretty good too. No one put the gun, the needle, or the credit card in your hand and forced you to use it. No one made you drink the whole bottle of vodka. No one made you do the things you did. Yeah, ok, you feel like you had to. Like you had no options. Like you were out of options. I've been there. We've all been there. And we've all made the wrong choice. Even with addictions where you feel you don't have a choice, you do. It's just way fucking harder than anything you've ever faced and, sometimes, you don't have the strength to make the choice. But it is still there. That nasty, pesky, free-will that the Creator seemed fit to shackle us with. Taunting and teasing us. Peddling guilt like a whore looking to make rent. It's there, my friend. Free-will. Choice. Accountability.
Was Lindsay Lohan in need of an intervention? Hell-yes. We all agree with that. She's a fucked up kid. She's only twenty and those years are riding on her hard. Nothing about it has been carefree. But is that always the case? No. Sometimes you have to grab that mike at the Golden Globes, back in the media-tent, and proclaim to the world that, yes, you have a problem. That yes, you are homophobic and you lied and you did in fact call someone a derogatory, hate-filled name. But I guess the other night wasn't the night for that. Wasn't the time for such accountability. Apparently that moment comes a few days later. When a network huddles and publicists rage with frantic spin and Billy Bush puts on his serious-face.
Where are we when our leaders, and what are our celebrities if not our Caesars and our Wildes dictating and define the comments of our society, can't stand themselves? When they can't face their fallacies and faults? When rehabilitation isn't so much of a gasp for life, fingernails digging in, primal and defiant, but more like a weekend sale at Kitson. Something you don't even have to attend. Personal shoppers and assistants stand-in. Paid substitutes for your rehabilitation. JV alternates running the full-court press while the A-squad makes out with the cheerleaders and cock-strut on the sidelines.
And we buy it. Every time. Full-price tickets to watch the freak show. And why? Same old same old. We want it to be us. We want to fake the apology. We want to skip out on doing the time for the crime. We want to be special. Not only do we want it, but we actually fucking believe we have a shot at it. Admit it. You know you do. Like I say, we all want to glitter and glow. A life without accountability. A life without consequences. It defies physics. It defies the laws of nature. We all want to be fucking rock stars. We all want to live in the clouds. And fuck the consequences. Sorry if that offends. Don't worry, though. I'm checking into the SugarPlum and GingerSnaps Wellness Center next week. Right after the weekend. Just as soon as I cut a few more lines.