|the one and only Phil Mcgraw|
Against my convictions, I'm posting about a disturbing trend in North American society. Perhaps it's wrong to blame all of North America. I doubt that many people in Mexico or Central America care much about this new trend. If a person ventures very far north into Canada, the people there probably don't give it much thought, either. I don't think the trend is exactly new, but it seems that the degree to which the media is taking it is more extreme than has ever been done in the past. What I have to say is uncharitable, but I will say it anyway.
Celebrities have probably always existed and have been given publicity -- both negative and positive -- for bad-acting. It's been said, though, that for a celebrity, no publicity is bad publicity. Justin Bieber, Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan . . . and the list could be extended practically infinitely. At least when these people were given publicity, however, they were at least already famous for some ability that could at least be loosely construed as talent.
Maybe the downfall really began with Paris Hilton. Why did anyone care about watching a reality show featuring a person who had nothing to offer the public except her own stupidity? She was born wealthy and was pretty; she otherwise had no claim to fame. Then when she ran afoul of the law and wound up being incarcerated, why did anyone outside her circle of family and friends care about it except to the extent of seeing that justice was served and that a person of extreme wealth was not able to buy her way out of justice? Why did hordes of people wait outside the jail at midnight for her release, and then cheer her as though she either had accomplished some great feat or was a political prisoner?
Then we had or continue to have the train wreck known as the Kardashian family. The Kardashians, Jenners, and others associated with them are at least more or less law-abiding, but what have they done to earn the adulation of the public at large? Why have these people who were already wealthy been made into a financial empire? Why has their fame grown to the point that the younger Jenner daughter, despite having looks and a build every bit as unremarkable as mine, and in possession of even less talent and intelligence than that which I possess, will probably never have to do an honest day's work in her life without having to encroach upon the earnings of her relatives. Why did we as a society enable this?
Before moving to my major concern, allow me to clarify one point. I would not trade places with Kylie Jenner even if I could. I would not want to be so academically inept that I struggled in traditional high school to the extent that I needed to enroll in a marginal home-schooling program so that I could even call myself a high school graduate. The Jenner daughters "had" to miss a great deal of school, then were very stressed when they couldn't keep up with their peers. They're probably not terribly bright in terms of traditional linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence in the first place. They may even be learning disabled; Bruce Jenner claimed to be dyslexic, and dyslexia can be hereditary. Then they were raised by parents whose priorities were sufficinetly screwed up to allow girls who were already floundering academically to take on other pursuits that interfered with their school attendance and time to study. Ultimately, the solution was to enroll in a home school curriculum program that took even less time than did traditional high school, yet allowed them to complete secondary school curriculum and call themselves high school graduates. How can a student who is already behind his or her peers finish a high school curriculum by putting in even less time than his or her peers? The only way is for the curriculum to be curriculum. What parents in their right minds would allow this?
I do not claim to be this generation's answer to Nicolas Tesla, but I could have legitimately graduated from a traditional high school with rigorous academic standards at the age of thirteen after having completed one school year. My parents made me stick it out for the full four, as they felt that sixteen was early enough to go away to college or university. Even had I experienced difficulty in academic areas, however, my parents would have ensured that I received the tutoring I needed to be adequately successful in traditional school. They wouldn't have let me complete a bogus home-school course to call myself a high school graduate. Furthermore, I'm not lamenting that my parents demanded more of me academically than Kylie Jenner's parents demanded of her. Rather, I'm happy that I had choices both in terms of universities I could attend and graduate programs in which I could enroll. It's very possible that the Jenner girls' connections might have gained them acceptance into every university into which I was accepted, but the parenting practices used by my own mother and father gave both my brother and me the skills we needed to make it through undergraduate and graduate programs without any creative mathematics in calculating our grades or without my parents having to donate a new academic building to any school.
I've said all that needs to be said about anyone related to the Kardashians. my very real concern tonight is that the marginal media has developed an infatuation with a thirteen-year-old miscreant and is not only giving her publicity for her despicable behavior, but is actually giving her opportunities to display her horrendous upbringing and flagitious actions for large sums of money. The media should not be censored; the integrity of our government and even of our way of life is dependent in part upon freedom of the press. Nonetheless, the members of our media -- even of our marginal media, as I would describe TMZ,
Elite Daily, The Daily Beast, and other media outlets with questionable discernment and arguably diminished taste, would do well to consider the merits of the stories they choose to report even if there may exist a segment of the lowest common denominator of our society who actually has interest in the questionable stories. Journalists have within them the power to weigh the right to know against both the need to know and the benefit to society. The exploits of this young moron are not genuine news; they are, instead, merely the exploits of a self- and parent-aggrandizing juvenile delinquent.
It all started with Dr. Phil. Phil McGraw somehow found a creature and featured her in a segment on his program. She insulted and threatened Phil McGraw's studio audience, acted as though she would assault her mother, spoke her own sub-idiotic and unintelligible version of a street dialect, and generally behaved in a manner that was barely human if human at all. Dr. Phil sent the young fool to an outdoor rehabilitation program, at which the girl had some alleged measure of success, if short-lived.
At this point, or, more correctly, before airing the initial episode featuring this debacle of limited humanity, Phil McGraw's desire for ratings and for his own publicity came into conflict with his innate sense of right and wrong. Dr. Phil had the power to kill this story, at his own and his company's expense. His production company would have eaten the cost of flying the sub-imbecile and her mother to his studio and back home, as well as the cost of filming and the cost of his own time. Still, this organism would have been denied a platform from which to publicize her uncivility. She likely would have continued her uncouth ways until she ultimately broke enough laws to be put away for good, but I would argue that she is essentially headed in that direction despite Dr. Phil's intervention. She'll make some money in the meantime and she'll probably probably take other clueless young people and their equally clueless parents with her, but she will end up in the same place she would have gone regardless of Phil McGraw's intervention.
The marginal media loves a train wreck. Low-life radio programs and other sources caught up with the quadriped and gave her further air time. YouTube videos of her became popular. Her instagram account went viral. She appeared in a music video. Abundant footage can be found featuring her in vulgar poses. She and her mother had a major altercation on a commercial airliner, fortunately before it left the ground, resulting in her being banned from the airline. She has been involved in bar altercations, which begs the question of why she is allowed, at the age of thirteen, inside of bars in the first place? She commands five- and six-figure appearance fees. According to TMZ she is fielding offers to appear in her own reality show on an unnamed fourth-rate network.
The chordate's mother is allegedly under investigation because of a video currently circulating. In the video, supposedly taken by the thirteen-year-old's friend when she was eleven, shows her mother pinning the provocatively dressed eleven-year-old to the ground, shouting at her, hitting her, and calling her a bitch. The video offers some insight as to how the specimen became the product she is today. It's a pity something wasn't done earlier. Perhaps it would be appropriate for authorities to examine her school attendance and those school employees who came into contact with her, as it's conceivable that at least one employee was derelict in his or her duty as a mandated reporter.
The vertebrate's father, a deputy sheriff in Florida, who has contributed child support but has otherwise largely been absent in her life, is seeking custody according to TMZ. The father reportedly feels that she is being exploited, which isn't a drastic leap from credulity. Granting custody to her father would be a step in the right direction. I'm sufficiently repulsed by her that I really don't have much compassion for her or care what happens to her, but it would seem that society in the form of the government has some obligation to do something to intervene for the sake of her well-being.
All the money she may earn likely cannot save her from herself. Her father, if he's willing, should be given the opportunity to try to redeem her. If he fails, she needs to be charged with the most serious offense applicable each time she breaks a law, and needs to be incarcerated for each offense. She should be closely monitored each time she is relesed from custody, and re-charged and re-sentenced as applicable. We as a society do not need this specimen roaming our streets and creating disturbances everywhere she goes. If she can be rehabilited and can live a productive or at least non-criminal life, she should be allowed to do so. If not, she should be locked away each time she does anything illegal that significantly harms anyone else.
As much as I would like for the government to assert a bit of censorship in terms of coverage of this life form, the rights of the media to report news and to create programming must continue. It would be ideal, nevertheless, if journalists and the Phil McGraws of the world were to exhibit a modicum of news judgment. Not every miscreant needs fame. That, however, will do nothing to rid us of the scourge upon society that Phil McGraw has already unleashed in the pursuit of ratings. My dream solution would be for the cellular mass to which Phil McGraw gave a platform leading her to infamy to live next door to him.