Michael Phelps=Moron (This is your Gold Medalist on Drugs)

I want to preface this by saying that Michael Phelps–at least for a couple weeks last summer–was the greatest athlete in the world.  The man was amazing, winning something like 42 gold medals (okay, eight).  He was praised as this amazing person in all the ridiculous, sycophantic NBC "profiles," and sold as a great American hero.

Know what? Fine.  I was sick of the guy, honestly, and sick of the hype.  Still, he was spectacular, and after seven years of Dubaya, it was nice to see an American spotlighted who wasn't a complete horror.  Pass six months, and we have this…

A British paper bought and ran a picture of the hero sucking on a bong.

I should say something here.  I have used "cannabis pipes," as the paper called them.  I've used them quite enthusiastically in my day.  I've also rolled and smoked joints, used pipes, one-hitters, made bongs out of toilet-paper tubes, and even fashioned homemade pipes by rolling tinfoil around a pencil, then bending it to create a bowl.  I've smoked primo buds, as well as seeds and stems, even resin when I was in college.  My ex and I even mixed the herb into cheese filling for stuffed shells.

I haven't smoked marijuana in probably 15 years.  This is not because it's illegal or I disapprove, tongue-cluckingly scolding those who do use it.  It's because I didn't really like it, so I chose to specialize in alcohol.  (I should also mention that I found "stoners" to be tedious (note: the total potheads, not people who smoke periodically))

Also, I'm not opposed to decriminalization of marijuana.  It seems kind of stupid to spend all that money and effort fighting something people can grow in their backyards, especially when it's no more heinous a drug than alcohol.

That said, Michael Phelps is a dumbass. 

I won't rail against the damage he could've done to his body, for that would be negligible–he'd have been worse off drinking a bottle of Rumplemintze and smoking a pack of Newports, both of which are legal.  He's a dumbass because he has been selling himself as a near-saint.  People (and marketing companies) have held him up as a sort of wholesome all-American boy who ate his Wheaties and worked hard.  With one bonghit, he destroyed that.

And it wasn't smoking that bowl that was so collossally stupid.  It was doing it in a place where he could be photographed–quite clearly and in good light, too–doing something illegal. 

It reminds me of another stupid Michael, Michael Richards.  Remember him? He was Kramer on "Seinfeld" last decade.  He struggled to find a career post-Seinfeld–alas, Kramer was funny, Michael Richards wasn't–and he was doing stand-up in a comedy club.  He went off on an n-word laden racist tirade, and that ended him.  It wasn't what he said that was the problem, although that was pretty vile.  The problem was that it was captured on somebody's cellphone, then sent out across the Interwebs. 

Michael Phelps and Michael Richards both admitted to making mistakes.  Granted.  They both claim that these behaviors were aberrations, Phelps that he isn't a stoner and Richards that he isn't a racist.  That might even be true, although I tend to doubt their downfalls resulted from their first bonghit or n-word, respectively. 

Somewhere, there is a picture of me, sitting in a chair with a bong next to my hand.  My buddies from Osceola Hall were around me, one of them with a knife to my head.  My eyes were red and slitted, and my grin was loopy.  We were a bunch of dumb college kids, drinking and smoking on a Friday night.  This picture doesn't mean anything, because none of us were selling ourselves as being something superhuman. 

It's not fair, admittedly.  If Babe Ruth, for example, or JFK had faced a world where every person has a camera, they definitely would've lived different lives or perished in the spotlight.  They didn't, though.

Michael Phelps should have known better.  Go hit your bong in a bathroom where there are no cameras.  Then come out and smile and eat your Wheaties or McDonald's or whatever.  Smoking pot wasn't the stupid part.  The stupid part was trusting that none of your "party buds" would sell a picture to an international newspaper.  The stupid part is that you were photographed doing something that endangered your kabillion dollars worth of endorsements.  The swimming part was finished last August.  The "being a hero" part was just six months old.

Even if smoking marijuana were completely legal, the picture of Michael Phelps would've been image-toxic.  I just hope either that he banked enough of his endorsement money to keep him in dope and munchies the rest of his life, or that Zig Zag and The Bong Hut will pony up what he'll lose from Kellogg's and McDonald's. 

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36 Responses to “Michael Phelps=Moron (This is your Gold Medalist on Drugs)”

  1. Bah – I think the whole thing is completely overblown. At the end of the day, he's still just a 23-year old kid. (Is he 23? I'm not really sure and I'm sure as hell not bothering to look it up.) And what 23-year old kid do you know that hasn't made at least one dumb mistake? He's not a moron. He's human. If our former President can admit he did coke, get arrested for DUI, go AWOL during a war and still make it into office, I don't see why Michael Phelps can't overcome this image setback.

  2. I agree it's overblown and stupid, and fair point about Dubaya. The difference is that W did all his dumb stuff years before he was elected president, and Michael Phelps got caught doing his after he'd signed on as a saint. That said, after his election, Dubaya went on to do things so stupid and wrong that they made his DUI, coke blowing, and AWOL adventures seem positively wholesome. Honestly, I hope Aquaman will be able to survive this. I don't think what he did was stupid, just that he did it in a position where he could get caught doing it.

  3. He's 23. And unlike George W., he's getting paid millions in endorsement deals where basically all he has to do is not screw it up. So of course what does he do? He screws it up. He's survived a DUI, so he'll probably survive this too.
    But if you're going to smoke pot, do it in your home and do it by yourself or with friends. Don't go to a college party and do it in front of any idiot who has a cell phone (and by the way, these days that's basically everyone in the room).
    I think he's a complete jackass.

  4. I don't see any matches…PROVE IT!….mebbe he's a glass-blower. *hehe* outta here b4 Tom's reply!

  5. Good point. I totally forgot about the drunk-driving thing. I'm sure I'll have forgotten about this, too, by the time the next Olympics role around (or will he be too old then?)…I'm still trying to figure out a way to get him to hang out my bar. Ha! Not because I'm much of a fan, but because I want the business boost.

  6. BWahahahahah. A glass blower. That's it! Geez, guys he was just blowin' glass!!

  7. I heard Subway is still keepin' him on for munchie attacks.It's overblown. He was stupid. The whole anti-pot thing is crazy. He's been swimming his ass off for years. I figure he can have some fun. But he should have been more careful. The whole world is looking for ways to get a picture and sell it.

  8. meh..I basically would be seriously challenged to care less about this.I'm not much into sports heroes anyway.Not my role models, don't see why they should be anyone's.Don't care what they do/don't do.In any case, don't see what it has to do with his medals or whatever, since no one is exactly arguing that grass enhances performance.Don't think it should be illegal anyway.ANd certainly don't think this personal stoopid stuff is in the same universe, the same galaxy as the world-class, killing hundreds of thousands of people stone dead idiocy of our ex-prez.

  9. Puleeze! B kwhyit! I iz stil try'n a mak pype frum pinsil…

  10. *whispers* bwahahahahahaha ;P

  11. didn't even know about this until reading your post..I can't begin to imagine the pressure on a person in his shoes. The media should fuck off and he should smoke the best herb he can get. – in moderation of course. 😉 (and NOT in front of anyone who's going to sell him out, which is a life lesson he obviously is still in the process of learning)

  12. I didn't have time to read the other comments; I'm running late so hopefully this wasn't touched on.

  13. I do think people need to calm down with the public declarations of disappointment.I agree with what Natalie said about the declarations of disappointment. They gotta stop doing that.And I agree with you Tom. (I hated that the write up about the incident made weed seem like the evil thing again. at least that's how it seemed to me)

  14. *whispers* bwahahahahahaha ;PI HEARD THAT!! You two, stop it now! 😉

  15. I agree: if being a 23 year-old and smoking dope were an executable offense, there wouldn't be any 23 year-olds left to carry on the species. Worse yet, the person who took the photo–along with everyone else there–was probably smoking along with him. The entire point I was making is that he was stupid for being caught. The rules, sadly, are different for him. And I think it's sad that somebody would sell him out.BTW, I thought you lived down a long road that has giant orange paw prints on it? 😉

  16. I agree, kris. If Aquaman wants to smoke every bud he can find, God bless him. The "stupid" part is what I took issue with, and that's allowing himself to be photographed doing it.

  17. Seeee! Goes to prewf it…hafta be kerful who u par'tAy wif! *drops tinfoil behind my back*

  18. No wurries……*hands Car and tom a brownie*Nom nom nom. 😀

  19. No nom noms for tom tom….we can handle these brownies, Lauri…
    Wholey POOT! Would you crush the seeds next time?!?! ack!

  20. I do live down that road. It causes my soul daily pain.

  21. Whut?*picks at teef*

  22. I've driven down that road many times. When I was up 85 a bit at the place with purple Paladin prints only on one tiny part of Poinsette Highway, I drove a buddy of mine down to orange print road so he could visit his girlfriend. Many times. Many, many times. lol

  23. *snaps picture of slit-eyed Lauri and Carlisa dumping illegal substances in brownie mix* *realizes the News of the World won't pay big munnies for such picture. Deletes pictures and steals brownie*

  24. Hey! Did he just call us "slits"???!!!
    *giggles and falls over laffin*
    Hands Tom a half eaten brownie….ppppppbbbbllltttt!
    *giggles again*

  25. *falls over laffin' too*You were going to get my Wheaties endorsement cancelled?!<!<!I am shocked and surprised at you, tom!!

  26. *gives tom the fish eye*Watch who you callin' "slits" yer beeg galoot!!!

  27. Oh phooey…nebber mind THAT…. Go wif Highbiskit Shredded Wheed…

  28. Caaaarleeeeeeeesa…..you are the funniest people I ever did know!!!*sits a brownie on yer head*

  29. Back atcha! We always have fun together!
    I don't know if tom is happy with our threadjacking…
    Well….who cares! *giggles again and splits brownie with Lauri* I'm getting thirsty, how bout you? cott'n mouf?
    *hands Lauri a cold brewsky*

  30. I don't know if tom is happy with our threadjacking…If you two are going to get high, I'd rather you do it here in my blog where you're safe, and not be out driving (or being photographed by opportunistic coeds). XD

  31. You are a good voxer. Friends don't let friends vox high. Ummm…tom?…can i have my mouse back, now? 😉

  32. I took your car keys. For your mouse, you'll need to talk to these two.

  33. Have you read about this?

  34. The sheriff there is supposed to be some sort of rabid anti-drug loon. I sort of picture Rod Steiger in "In the Heat of the Night," although I'm sure that's not quite true. The whole thing is ridiculous. Surely there are real crimes to prosecute in SC. Poker-playing grannies, perhaps, or murderers.

  35. But he's human after all… and having to secretly do stuff in your bathroom all the time and then coming out to eat Wheaties and smile all the time will drive a human insane.

  36. I agree. It's just that he's in essence being paid $22 million simply not to get caught doing something like this. The inconvenience of taking bonghits in the bathroom is far less than being plastered all over the media. I feel sorry for him. He's just a dumb 23 year old, like I was. The difference is, nobody cared when I was stupid.

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