Reflections on Athletes and Their Scandals
Lance Armstrong and doping. Marion Jones and steroids. Tanya Harding and a lead pipe. Scandal seems to inevitably follow on the heels of—or, in some cases, preclude—gold medals. So it comes as no surprise that Michael Phelps, currently our quintessential gold medal-er and newest celebrity athelete, should be the next to have some murky information surface about his personal life.
Partially, its the intense scrutiny that develops around Olympians—you would have snapped a picture of Phelps' bong hit, too—but isn't there also some perverse desire on the part of the public to see our athletes fall from grace? After all, we do quite literally put them on pedestals.
So if we assume that Michael Phelps had to step into scandal sooner or later, shouldn't he be congratulated for navigating it so deftly? The blogosphere has already generated a slew of alarmist stories: alleged cover-ups, prosecution, medal-stripping, banishment from 2012. But the reality is that—beyond his three-month suspension and the loss of his Kellogg's contract—Phelps will be spared serious punishment. The tone of his post-scandal interviews says as much; Phelps knows he's the golden boy, and as long as he sticks to depressants and steers clear of performance-enhancers, he'll stay that way.
The only contingent to really suffer in this whole affair? Video-game playing, White Castle-eating stoners everywhere. Oh, and someone should tell Kellogg that cereal is a serious munchie.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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