"Character is what you do when no one is watching"
Okay. But what about when everyone is watching? Should we expect that people would have even more character than 'usual'?
I love the meaning behind the original quote. There is no shortage of people that act on their best behavior when the light of supervision is on them. But in the shadowy corners of our private lives, when temptation is there, when misbehavior beckons, when we can act up or act out without getting caught....who are we really?
Note: while this concept has been adopted by organized religion, that is decidedly not what I am talking about. Regardless of our religious beliefs, we all still have to walk in our own shoes and look into our own mirror. Can we do that without blinking?
We can't throw a rock these days without hitting a public figure who has stepped on their own proverbial wee-wee over something....and has been over-exposed in the media as a result. Politicians, TV and films stars, business magnates and musicians. Most people that show their ass and the organizations that sponsor them try to cover up, usher away, deny and misdirect the attention. So how odd - how pitifully odd - that the music industry seems to do just the opposite?
The Grammy's have been handed out since 1959 to award "outstanding achievements in the record industry". Detractors largely agree that it is the music industry celebrating the music industry and is a disguise for marketing their music. Hard to disagree with that logic, huh? With sales in the toilet and sustainable, productive artists vanishing without development money, there is not much to celebrate anymore. Unless they lower the bar that is.
This week the music industry's spin doctors will be working over time trying to gussy up their latest two big Grammy winners, Kayne West and Amy Winehouse. They are the new poster children for the recording industry.
Kayne is the imbecile that went off the written script during a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser to spew racist rhetoric like "been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black" and "America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible" and of course "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Nothing heals a nation after a disaster like a mental midget like Kayne. Jeesh. But the music industry loves him and can't promote him enough. I could find ZERO condemnation of Kayne divisive comments by any music industry person anywhere.
Winehouse couldn't attend the Grammy's. The story the industry press sold us was because she was not able to get a work Visa in time. The reality is that she is a drug addicted criminal (she has several notable criminal charges pending in Europe) and the USA would not grant her a Visa to come into our country (a decision that was later overturned after the music industry appealed, by the way). This gal's life is a train wreck of epic proportions and I can't imagine a Grammy will bring help or balance (she left rehab to perform via satellite for the Grammy's for goodness sakes - nothing like priorities, eh?). Ironically, her father begged her fans earlier this year to not buy her records or see her shows because it would only hasten her demise into drugs and her well documented self destruction. Leave it to the music industry to milk that cow dry though.
Speaking of farm animals, we used to call what they're doing dressing the pig. You can make a pig look pretty and even smell pretty....but they are still a pig and they still roll in their own feces.
"Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character." - Henry Clay
Should Pete Rose get into the Hall of Fame for his off-field betting? Should married politicians be re-elected if they lied about being gay (for the lie, not for being gay)? Are their contributions in one arena (sports, politics, music, etc.) separate from their character in the rest of their life? At what point do we hold people responsible for their poor character and banish them instead of celebrate them?