Friday, February 6, 2009
Michael Phelps caught smoking from a bong
There is a lot I would add to this discussion, but apparently, there are many professional journalists saying pretty much the same thing. Note a few of the headlines of the Related Blogs section from the page linked above (I will add my comments in 's):
- "Why Are We Condemning Michael Phelps' Pot Use? Add decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to the growing list of successful Americans who happens to indulge in marijuana during his down time." [Or: they will be otherwise successful until they get found out.]
- "If Kellogg's Dumps Phelps, We Dump Kellogg's Tens of millions of Americans think that the public condemnation of Phelps is a farce. We're sick and tired of the public outings, and forced apologies and recantations, which perpetuate this shameless hypocrisy."
- " Michael Phelps, Hypocrisy, and American Drug Policy Today, public figures justify past drug use as "youthful indiscretions" and the matter is dropped. But the reality of drug arrests creates a justified perception economic and racial bias." [Let's face it, the drug laws are in place -- and unevenly enforced-- as a method of social control, to keep (groups of) people who are different, either in skin color, culture, or lifestyle choices on the defensive.]
- " Marijuana Blues: If All Americans Had Phelps' Press Experience, The Drug War Would Be Over Imagine how the economy would grind to (even more of!) a halt if we tried to arrest and incarcerate all of the people who had ever smoked pot." [Well, the privatized prison economy (complete with its sub-minimum-wage SLAVE labor) would continue to grow, until we can't find the tax money to pay for a dead-end prison system that destroys the lives of not only inmates, but also the guards/employees, and the towns they are in. Wackenhut is not hurting for earnings, however.]
- " Quit Crying Double-Standard Over Phelps America gives its marketable, talented and wealthy weed-smokers the Santonio Holmes treatment. We forgive and quickly forget." [This writer, Jason Whitlock, and I agree on my bracketed statement above: 'America's war on drugs is a scam to lock up poor people, a prop to advance political careers and an easy way for corrupt police and politicians to funnel millions of untraceable dollars into their own pockets.']
- " Petition to Boycott Kellogg's for Treatment of Michael Phelps Kellogg's has decided to end their relationship with Phelps after a photo of him surfaced doing exactly what most Kellogg's customers do right before enjoying a bowl of Rice Krispies with an Eggo on top." [LOL. But seriously, if there is an organized boycott of Kellogg's by all those who stand against our nation's drug policy and the continued insistence that the context of marijuana be one of criminality, it would be interesting to watch how deeply their margins are affected.]
- " Michael Phelps In Good Company According to a 2002 Time/CNN poll, 47% of Americans have smoked marijuana. Here's a list of famous users and advocates of the plant." [Includes Laura Bush, Donna Shalala, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sarah Palin, George Soros! President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, President James Madison, President John Kennedy, President Thomas Jefferson, President Andrew Jackson, President Franklin Pierce, Future California governor Brad Pitt (come on, if Reagan and Schwarzenegger can do it...), William F. Buckley, Jr, Jennifer Aniston, Utilitarian ethicist Jon Stuart Mill... Seriously, where have our values come to if we are willing to continue to use legislation and law enforcement to subjugate the lifestyles of large parts of our population?]
- " Excuses, Excuses: The Real Problem With Michael Phelps I flashed back to 2004 when Phelps was arrested for a DUI. He was 19, fresh off Athens and the magazine where I worked was honoring him for being a role model for young people." [Um... drinking and driving -- that IS a bad thing for which there should be negative repercussions, and which our society should find ways to make more difficult, and more unnecessary (more designated drivers, more taxis, better mass-transit...)]
- " Bong Hits for Phelps: No Apology Needed Phelps struck another blow to the myth that marijuana smokers are lazy. Successful and honorable people who have smoked some pot are all around us, from President Obama to Mayor Bloomberg." [True. When you start having more and more successful people stepping up being "exceptions to the rule," eventually it becomes clear that the rule is unsubstantiated.]
The simple way of saying this is that the context is being presented as if Michael Phelps spending some of his downtime in an altered state of consciousness cannot be allowed as a part of our worldview. For Christ's sake -- and I do mean that literally -- shaman and spiritual guides have been smoking and snorting herbs and such for thousands of years. When can we get real about drug policy, and get real about having a system of laws based on a deep and grounded ethical morality, and put people (and the planet) before ideologies?
agape to all,