Monday, April 11, 2011


When I was in prison, one thing that ticked me off was how good behavior was no longer rewarded in any way. The practice of giving someone time off for good behavior no longer exists. But inmates with really bad behavior do get rewarded. They are feared and respected by fellow prisoners and guards alike. They often get into special programs or even special prisons where treatment is more individualized and the food usually better. The fear they generate also often gets them good prison jobs.

I thought all this would change once I got back into the world, but if anything it's worse out here. There always were some benefits to be had by being a bad boy or bad girl, but now it's reached heroic proportions. Charlie Sheen goes on a few rampages, abuses women, openly abuses drugs, and is offered two million dollars a week to play a disreputable character his real self makes like like a boy scout. And now he's filling stadiums with irrational rants that indicate some serious drug damage to his brain. These aren't audiences he's attracting, but enablers. Can't someone figure out how to help this poor out-of-control freak?

Lindsay Lohan, another former well-respected actress who has become a spectator sport. And there's the far less talented Paris Hilton, and overrated Britney Spears, and on and on, including all the felonious NFL and NBA players and steroid abusing baseball players, and adulterous or almost illiterate politicians, and crooked CEO's. When Rome fell, I wonder if they had anywhere close to the sheer numbers of malfeasants in high positions receiving public acclaim.

Now this spouting off is coming to you from a confirmed hedonist. I like my fun, and I even like the idea that there are so many great subjects for ridicule as I start a possible stand-up career. But, on the other hand, it is hard to make fun of someone already doing such stupid things as to make themselves a parody of themselves. Has any of the hundreds of Charlie Sheen comedy riffs or impressions come close to being as laughable as Charlie himself has become? Tiger blood, winning, and trolls indeed!

And I have nothing against excess, as long as it involves total consent and harms no one else physically or emotionally. I'm sort of sorry Hugh Hefner is the butt of so many jokes as an 84 year old man with a 24 year old fiancee, though I think many of the jokes are evoked by envy. Here's a guy who built an empire as an editor with an erotic sensibility, who is highly intelligent and literate, and built a large playpen for himself, the Playboy Mansion, filled it with interesting and entertaining and talented people, including lots of willingly naked ladies, and picks up the bill for all of it from money he legitimately and deservedly earned creating a magazine that, whatever you think of it, changed the culture forever. And to tell the truth, I wouldn't mind being made fun of if I were having such a good time at his age.

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