« May 17, 2013: Efflorescence | Main | April 26, 2013: News Cleanse »

May 2, 2013: Skin in the Game

I am well aware that this column constitutes that most remote of intersections; that is, the lonely corner where a thinking writer and a receptive audience meet. I know all too vividly just how glamorous my career as one of the Internet’s rising thought leaders must look to you. An abiding, sui generis talent I may possess, yes – I will concede that much. But saddled as I am by my deeply ingrained sense of honor (I am a Southerner with a strong belief in fair play), I cannot capitalize on my considerable talents in the ways accorded to most of my colleagues. As much as I’d like to cash a twenty thousand dollar check for aiding in the valiant fight against Social Security, coward conscience forbids me.

Writing is a bunch of codswallop without skin in that game. Ninety percent of my meager income comes from tracking down delinquent borrowers and deadbeat dads all over the Great Lakes region. But while principled journalism and skip-tracing may not appear to be related fields, both professions have bludgeoned the same curt moral into my neural plate: evildoers are rarely punished, and never for the right reasons. As the great, late George Jones sang, “there’s no justice in this world anymore.”

Americans rightly look to sports for an artificial type of justice. But aside from the glorious immolation of the Lakers, and the deterioration of Kobe Bryant’s Achilles tendon into Laffy Taffy, there hasn’t been much to cheer. The anthropomorphized family of Troll dolls that owns the Sacramento Kings, having finally exhausted their gambling fortune on Rohyphnol refills, is preparing to deprive a serious basketball town of their team. The play itself is, well, increasingly frustrating. And even this week’s feel-good story about Wizards big man Jason Collins, the first active NBA player to come out as gay, couldn’t pass without journalistic scandal.

CBS sports meathead Tim Brando was the first to notably spew bullshit, whining that Collins did not meet Brando’s exacting definition of “hero,” as some had called the NBA center. In the ensuing backlash, Brando, who reserves the sanctified title of “hero” exclusively for golfersRed Sox announcer Curt Gowdy, and middle-aged non-gay Christ lovers, chose not to double down on that pussy Jackie Robinson. Instead, Brando dug in his heels, scolding the venomous Internet for its small-mindedness, and finding solace in the glad tidings of ex-Clinton hack Lanny Davis, an international criminal who belongs in an airless dungeon.

No justice for Brando, who heroically survived his homosexual nightmare. Yet, even when a deserving party gets punished these days, it’s always for the wrong reason. Just ask Howie Kurtz, the “Uncle Frank” of CNN Sundays, who thought he’d nailed Collins when he noted the NBA player’s omission of a broken engagement to a woman from his Sports Illustrated tell-all. There was only one problem: Collins explicitly mentioned his broken engagement to a woman in the same Sports Illustrated tell-all. Then, Kurtz released, then scrubbed, a video of himself crudely joking about Collins.

Well, I may be old-fashioned, but we still have a watchdog media that must police itself when necessary. Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, long a sterling judge of moral character , summarily fired Kurtz from his job as Washington bureau chief for his inexcusable error. It was good to see such accountability mandated by the employer of, among others:



But I’m quibbling – what’s a few hundred thousand dead among friends? Good job, Tina, on sending the right message to any rogue wedding planners seeking to leak spurious intel. Top-notch ombudswoman-ing.

Of course, the flip side of having no villains is we also have no heroes, even when they’re staring us in the face. Just ask the cowards at San Francisco Pride, organizers of the annual gay pride parade. One of their organizers had it in his or her head to honor a certain whistleblower for his disclosure of mass murder, corruption, and corrupt international bargaining to the American public. Can’t have that! That would be an “insult” to gay soldiers everywhere, claimed SF Pride’s Lisa Williams. Better to keep cashing checks from Pride Celebration underwriter Wells-Fargo, a flag-waving all-American firm busted for illegally foreclosing on hundreds of veterans’ homes .

And now, as I drift into sleep, my eyes glazed, I see another honest person has been killed for staying honest.

Ah, well. I should stick to my more honorable profession. I think the deadbeat dad I’m hunting is somewhere in Wisconsin.

General Gandhi

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | Subscribe by e-mail