Saturday, February 16, 2008


Apperently I was not the only one who saw something wrong with the whole grammy topic that I had brought up about a week ago. This is a letter to the editor from the local newspaper from this last week.

To the Editor:
Is it just me or are the audio and visual media (TV, movies, radio, magazine) and the various forms of government sending mixed messages? Why do they glorify, idolize and otherwise support recreational drug use and abuse? Why do they give awards to some of the most notorious addicts? Why do we encourage drug abuse in the entertainment industry by rewarding its addicts?

Why do we buy the products and performances from these same addicts and habitual drug abusers?

Why will we absolutely not allow athletes to participate in sports at any level of play (high school to International Olympics to professional) if they use any controlled substance?
Is the difference “art?” If so, why is performing art so much different from athletic art? Do they not both perform for pay? Why do we forgive actors and singers for the same sins for which we penalize athletes? Why does our government forbid entry to the country by known drug addicts yet allow their work to be broadcast over the airwaves which are under government control?

My grandmother used to tell me “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” I guess she was wrong.

I thought I understood. I thought I knew right from wrong. I guess not, but then I’ve been getting mixed messages.

Concerned Citizen
Red Wing

This is exactly what I was trying to say. I probably should not have brought this up again, but I guess I just could not resist.


Chas said...

I am very anti-drug, but I still think this is a ludicrous argument. Comparing a singer who is a drug addict to an athlete who uses steroids is like comparing apples and oranges, to me it shows the intelligence level of whoever wrote this letter. Athletes who use performance enhancing drugs are cheating...these things make them perform in a way that they aren't capable of otherwise. However, shooting up heroine or whatever it is Amy Winehouse does, does not help her enhance her performance, if anything it hurts it. She's not cheating. Also, there are no rules in the music business. If the powers that be were to say "No singer is to do illegal drugs or else they will risk the loss of their career" then I could understand this nonsense.

Also, just because a drug user wins an award does not mean that the entertainment industry encourages drug abuse. I think it's very assuming for this person to even go there. If they start saying "no drug users can win a grammy" then where do they draw the line? You know they've all got their demons. Some of them are probably alcoholics, some adulterers, some addicted to gambling, pornography, etc. Who gets to decide which immoral, non role model-esque deeds are OK for celebrities who win awards? It just can't go there...the people who are talented get the awards, that's what it's about. If they get arrested and put away for life in the meantime for their personal life, so be it.

OhCaptain said...

Again...I LOVE a good argument. I still agree with chas, but let me explain it a little different way.

First. "We" do not give awards to the drug addicts of the Grammys. The Recording Academy did. If you are a voting member of that, your vote counted. If not, you are only a spectator. You did not glorify any one except by your actions of watching the show.

Second. The idea that we do not allow athletes to use controlled substance is spoken as if it was true. There are many athletes that use drugs, they just don't get caught.

This notion that because Amy Winehouse is a drug addict should diminish the quality of the work that garnered the award is the same argument attempted ban heavy metal in the 80's.

The centuries are filled with people that were elevated in society and had something bad stuff in the closet. I'll give you some examples.

Ernest Hemmingway is considered one of America's greatest writers. He is also a grand champion drinker and womanizer.

Wolfgang Amedues Mozart was one of the greatest composers to ever live. His music lives on to this day. Chronic alcoholic.

Sigmund Frued is the founder of modern psychology. Developed much of the foundation of modern thought on mental illness and brain functions. Cocaine addict.

Socrates was one of the original philosopher and is considered the founder of western thought and philosophy. He also loved the young boys. In fact, pedophilia was common and accepted in ancient Greece. The rich and elite would take a boy at first beard for a lover and a symbol of status.

We don't give awards on the awards shows. That usually someone else. We approve of musicians by buying their albums and going to their concerts. If you don't approve, don't go. If you hear them on the radio, turn it off and complain to the station.

Athletes aren't controlled by us either. We don't stop them from performing at any level if the chose to do controlled substances. Athletes are generally governed by some organization. The NFL and MLB are private organizations. They have chosen to test and punish drug users. I don't own a major league baseball team, so I had no say in any of this.

Some where a long the way, people confused we and them. We are individuals living in representive republic. "We" don't do much. We do, however, consume things. In a society based on free enterprise, the products and industries go to where the money. If people were to stop buying albums based on the drug use of an artist, guess who wouldn't be getting contracts.

I frankly don't care if the artist or the athlete or actor shoots heroin, does other drugs, drinks too much or sleeps with squid. If you chose to be a moron, I think you have every right to be a moron. Nanny governments are the dream of the ignorant. To think that you are glorifying one trait of an individual by supporting their art seems a bit odd to me. I hope no one judges me on one aspect of my life.

I know of no human that is free from sin, vice or bad thoughts. I don't judge something they do on the basis of this other dimension of their life. Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were to admirable American presidents. They were also suffering from medical conditions that prevented them from walking without help. They feared the public knowing they were suffering in this way. Why? Because people would think they couldn't lead. Somehow, I think history proved they did all right.

Our country tends to be superficial and extremely judgemental. Are these good things? Are these prejudices good for our society in the long run? Are the output of people that have unsavory traits any less valuable? Is anyone reading this free of unsavory traits? Does it really matter?

Give the award to the musician that produces the best music. Live in your own glass house and throw stones all you want. I'll be jammin out to something I like and enjoy free from worry about whether or not the artist did something I don't agree with. Dang! The beat is awesome!

Just a side note: if a drug addict should be shunned for being can it be possible that country music is still on the radio? Many of their themes are both distasteful and unsavory, not to mention just sheer painful to the ear drums. But I digress ;-)

Hmm...I think that went a bit long. Thanks for the venting space! I still like ya!

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

Oh! matter if you use cocaine or anabolic steroids, the possesion and use of either is eqaully illegal by the standards set by our government.

Preformance enhancing or not, they are still equally illegal and equally punishable by law.

Greg said...

I only posted this article to show that it was not just me that had the thought run through my mind. While I did not feel SOOOOOO strong about it to write a letter to the editor, I did need a venting place i.e. my blog. I do find something wrong with the whole situation, both in professional sports, the music industry, and the hollywood scene.

Lohan, Spears, Barry Bonds, most of the NFL, Motley Crue, Poisen, Nirvana, 50 Cent, and many more are all examples of "role models" who are still put on a pedestal when they are publicly known to be on drugs. Like it or not, right or wrong, these same people ARE role models for our kids in todays society.

I do not advocate making celebs role models, nor do I intend to have my daughter treat them as such. E's grandfather, grandmothers, her parents, her aunts and uncles, those are the people I hope are her role models.

The big lesson I have learned though, is that I will think twice about posting about such "contoversial" topics.

I beleive the ol saying goes "agree to disagree".

OhCaptain said...

Don't worry about. This is a fun post. I too hope my children pick good role models. I also hope that I can provide the role model I think my kids should look up to.

I think we agree more than you know. I just look at the situation differently.

In the eyes of the law, they are criminals. They should be treated that way.

I'm probably one of the least star struck people you'll meet. I follow celebrites enough to know who they are. My problem with society is we put these people on pedistals for what? They look good and can act a little? Or they sing? Or they play sports well? My idols growing up were Albert Einstein and Neil Armstrong.

Its not the Grammys that the problem, it society creating role models from the wrong place.

Rachel said...

Greg-you are very compassionate Daddy. Your ladies are lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

WOW... The letter to the editor was, in my opinion, well thought out and to his/her point. This is America and yes it is our right to any opinion we desire. I will say I still see Greg's point of view. What My issue is is that I to understand that many "talented" persons do have problems but I do not think She is a great talent of out times. It is easy to go back in time and compare Mozarts or Hemmingways addictions to Hers but their is one HUGE difference. They were both very talented individuals whose work still inspires persons today. I personnally do not believe that In 25 years we will look back to what I expect will be a one album wonder and say, " Oh how she turned time with her eliqunt words and wisdom." Unfortunately we do live in a different era where the Media has such huge impacts on our lives and Greg I am sure is now looking out to the future of his daughter with worry. Their is only one way for any of us to take a stand...2008...Vote or remain silent.


Nellie said...

G- this is your place, your blog, your space to vent. Say what you wish. Everyone may not agree, but that's life huh.

I happen to agree with you. I have the AW cd (copied from a friends) and listen to it from time to time. She is a good artist, but by no means the best I've ever heard. And I don't think she is going to become a Celine, Cher or Madonna. At the rate she's going she'll be dead in a year.

She is a poor role model. Wether we like it or not she is one. What does that say to impressionalbe kids who see awards are given to a drug abuser? Speaking from personal experience I know someone who internally uses something like this to boost his/her own beliefs that their drug use is more justifiable. Sick. Sad. But that's just my opinion. I respect all yours. Please respect mine.


you know you hit a hot topic when your comments are LONGER than your post hee hee!