Re: Highjacked, tangential post inspired by Zilla's thread
posted at 3/11/2014 12:59 PM EDT
In response to yogafriend's comment:
Let's call these 'value dealbreakers' of some sort or variety.
What happens if you don't pay attention to 'sensational' news (some of us avoid it), b/c it's often ridiculous and/or about 'celebrities' we don't care about, and in some cases, have never heard of? What if you're blissfully ignorant? The news fell through the cracks somehow.
Then, one day a friend tells you, or you hear, out of the blue, that one of your favorite musicians did ... what?! Of course I'd be troubled, as would you, but would I stop listening to the old albums that were produced long before the crime was commited? I don't see any reason to do that, and don't think it means I condone the newly reported crime. But then again, I've never been put in that position.
On the other hand, these dealbreakers happen all the time in politics, sports, and all manner of disciplines where a person or institution may be in the public eye. There are medical mistakes resulting in irreversible damage (oops, the wrong organ was removed with a medical record mix-up).
What about sports? There is a new (not the first) book on Pete Rose called, "Pete Rose: An American Dilemma" by Kostya Kennedy. Is Pete Rose "dead to you" because of what he did 25 years ago, or does he deserve to be given credit for his remarkable career? Here's a short excerpt from the book review (for those interested):
"Kostya Kennedy, assistant managing editor of Sports Illustrated and author of the superb “56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports,’’ wastes no time in getting to the point: “Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame?” he asks on the first page of “Pete Rose: An American Dilemma.’’
It’s now been nearly a quarter-century since Rose was banned for life from Major League Baseball for betting on games, a span nearly as long as the 24 seasons he spent in the majors starting in 1963.
But the controversy surrounding him remains an open sore in the sport. “[A] moral conundrum,” as Kennedy puts it, “that over the course of its long and changing life has burrowed through every level of the game and expanded far beyond sports talk.”
There have been numerous books on Rose since his banishment, most notably James Reston Jr.’s 1991 “Collision at Home Plate’’ and Michael Sokolove’s 1990 “Hustle: The Myth, Life and Lies of Pete Rose,’’ but “An American Dilemma’’ brings Rose’s story up to date, laying out the cases for and against him better than any
previous account. Looking at Rose as a player, Kennedy presents an air-tight case for his worthiness in the Hall of Fame "
Now, is there a difference because, using the Pete Rose example, his crime was inside baseball, his profession, as opposed to let's say, he was arrested for domestic violence and revealed as a wife beater?
Deal breakers are very hard to pin down.
(as for the book, if you're interested, I read about it in the Globe, but you can find write-ups elsewhere; it's hot off the press, out today):
As a player based on performance on the field, Rose does belong in the Hall of Fame. But there are other criteria that are keeping him out of it. That has to do with how the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is run. Like Shoeless Joe Jackson before him, Rose got caught and was banned from Major League Baseball. Jackson is one of the all-time greatest players in the history of professional baseball. If Shoeless Joe can't get in, (although some question if he was really guilty) than neither can Rose. Halls of fame can use any rules and criteria they want. It doesn't have to be purely about on the field performance. Are there cheaters in the MLB HoF? Sure, there are. Maybe they didn't get caught. Maybe the voters looked the other way. A lot of it is arbitrary. But once you are caught and your guilt is decided on it is a done deal. It doesn't have to be fair.
As to music, some people won't listen to music based mainly on their personal distaste for a performer, let alone for any wrongs they might have done. Such polarizing figure include Bono, Sting, and Springsteen. Sometimes we have trouble separating the art form the artist for shallow reasons, forget about moral judgement. I think we decide to overlook terrible things when we enjoy something so much we can't do without it. Many of the products we purchase come from immoral sources that we may not really want to know about. If we did, we may have trouble being able to afford food and clothing. Moral purity may not be a goal any of us really want to pursue at the cost of our comfort. I don't know that many people could really live that way.