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Bad boys, bad boys – watcha gonna do?

It’s been an awesome month for men misbehavin’. First Tiger comes out of his self-imposed Woods of Silence and (kind of) apologizes for being a lying cheater; then John Mayer weighs in on the many ways he isn’t black  (“my d!%k is like a white supremacist”); then US Olympian Scotty Lago snowboards home in shame after the emergence of “racy pictures” featuring a girl kissing his bronze medal (that was fastened on his jeans in front of his much smaller, naturally occurring hanging appendage). It’s almost enough to make Bill Clinton blush. Almost.

I watched and tsk-tsked my way along with the rest of America at Tiger’s half-assed apology, then shook my head in amazement at the verbal diarrhea erupting from one of the most brilliant songwriters of my generation. What on earth were they thinking? I was midway into a tirade about how the modern man can’t seem to keep anything in the right place – their tongues in their mouths or their pudenda in their pants – when my fiance made the point that if he had been caught on tape talking to any of his friends on any given day about any given topic, and that tape was released to the public, he too would probably be labeled a racist, oversexed douchebag.

Obviously, as I am marrying the guy, I don’t consider my fiance to be any of those things.  But I see what he means. Just the other day we were joking about Sarah Palin and the use of the word “retard,” which brought on a short but very funny exchange of “retard” sounds (and fond memories of notable retards in movies – Forrest Gump, Derek Zoolander, and Zach Galfinakis from The Hangover, who pronounced retard as “re-TARD”). If Sarah had her paranoid ears open I’m sure she would have field dressed us then and there. The point is, it was funny. And I don’t think we were bad people with bad hearts for making light of the situation.

In fact, I don’t think anyone in America thinks it’s particularly terrible to laugh at racist jokes,  OR sexual comments OR inappropriate behavior – as long as the people saying the jokes and doing the behavior are performing when they do so. The Hangover was one of the most successful and critically acclaimed movies of 2009, and it featured (among many other things) a naked Chinese man attacking people both verbally and physically, calling them “gay boys” and telling them to “suck my little Chinese balls.” I just watched an interview with Tracy Morgan on Jon Stewart’s show looking into the audience lasciviously and saying “someone gon’ get pregnant TONIGHT.” Audience response? Cheers, laughter and thunderous applause. Why no applause for Jon Mayer? Because you think he wasn’t joking? Do you think Tracy Morgan is joking when he puts on his horny act or do you think he’s really horny?

Do we love our gross-out (Jackass), super-sexed (Jersey Shore), potty mouthed (Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Judd Apatow) art because we are actually all prim, proper and polite on the inside? Or because, in our everyday lives, we actually are watered down versions of what we enjoy to hear and watch?

Beyond the usual debates on whether or not celebrities are or should be role models, is the simple fact that these guys are made of the same stuff as all the rest of us – hormones, needs, desires. An extra dose of talent doesn’t make them any less vulnerable to the temptations that plague us – although when they do succumb and are caught, like Tiger, they tend to go in spectacular, Icarus-like fashion (while we’re on the subject of Tiger, thecommich humbly submits that she would MUCH rather be going out with a John Mayer, whose nonstop, insanely un-PC mouth gets him in trouble in the media, than a man like Tiger whose $1B a year facade was just an elaborate mask to cover up the dollar-hooker kinda guy he actually is).

And while one must surely comport oneself with dignity upon receiving an Olympic bronze, who can blame a kid for going out to a bar afterward, with every snow bunny in a 10 mile radius tripping over themselves to “kiss his medal?”  Same argument with Michael Phelps and his infamous bong rip. If that dude can win 8 Olympic Golds for his country, for God’s sake let him have some green!

Maybe the problem is not so much the behavior of these boys (Tiger Woods excepted; that dude was MARRIED WITH KIDS, yo!) as the fact that in the age of Tweetpics and insta-blogs, we feel it is our business – indeed, our duty –  to know what famous people are saying and doing every second of the day. And expect them to perform as if we are watching them, because we are.  If that is our new standard of excellence, thecommich predicts utter failure for every famous man, woman and child on this planet. Even President Obama has his off moments (remember him comparing his bowling to the Special Olympics?). Maybe we should let the Michael Phelpses and Scotty Lagos of the world have their time to be kids – smoking wacky tobaccy and making good with the girls – so that when they grow up, they won’t feel the need to hire a consultancy firm to hide their inevitable imperfections.

1 Comment

  1. blarmey
    March 2, 2010

    Excellent. And a great rejoinder to your twitter blasting Mayer when the Playboy interview first broke. I was tempted–TEMPTED–to stand up for him on the basis of my favorite Commich Cannon, thou shalt be controversial, but didn't for fear of being labeled Gayer for Mayer, which, let's be honest, we ALL kinda are. Right? RIGHT? right?

    And thanks for the news roundup. I didn't realize how normal I was compared to these jagoffs, especially after last night.

    Your avid fan,

    ps: Sarah Palin is fucking retarded.