My last post was about Ted Williams, “The man with the golden voice”. I wondered if more of America’s talent was wasting away on the streets. Today I want to discuss another phenomenon currently taking place in the Ted Williams story: Why is America so obsessed with building people up and then tearing them down?
At the beginning of the week Ted Williams was on top of the world, the job offers were rolling in and even Oprah was calling. Today, Ted Williams’ world looks a little different; yesterday he was arrested over an altercation with his daughter and today according to Dr. Phil, is on his way to rehab (Dr. Phil’s involvement with this makes me really angry but that is a completely different post). Oh how fast one can fall when lifted so high on a tight rope.
In my last post, I mentioned that many people on the streets suffer from drug and alcohol addictions. Williams himself admitted to suffering from addiction in the past, he apparently also had a rap sheet a mile long. To me it isn’t surprising that his sudden good fortune led to issues, it is often the case when someone experiences a sudden windfall. Many lottery winners run into the same problem.
But I think that there is more to this than a simple surplus of fame and money. I think that America is obsessed with seeing people rise and then watching them fall. Britney Spears is the classic example of that. More recently we’ve seen examples like David Arquette, Demi Lovato and Tiger Woods.
Is it because these people have more money than us that we love to watch them fall flat on their faces? Or is it simply a manifestation of the celebrity obsessed culture? Does it make us feel better that they struggle? Does it make them more human to us? I just find this whole trend of eating up every awful moment of someone’s demise appalling. Then again, these people have opened themselves up to public scrutiny during the good times, why should the bad times be any different?
I especially feel sorry for Ted Williams because he didn’t open himself up to us in the good times; he did so out of desperation. I’m not condoning any drug use or criminal activity by Williams while homeless or otherwise. But I can’t help but ask; would you want everyone rooting against you during your personal struggles? I know I wouldn’t.