Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fish Out of (Bong)Water

Poor Michael Phelps.

The guy just can’t win on land.

After he won those eight (was it nine?) gold medals, I was all like, “Ho-hum, what do you do for an encore?”

And so I was thrilled the other day when he appeared in a photo on the internet with his face stuck into a bong. “Ah-hah! I’m thinking, “Way to go, brother. Works for me, too on bike rides.”

But then, there’s all this controversy: “He’s a role-model, you know, on Wheaties boxes.” And Phelps caves immediately, even though some of his sponsors come out in support of him, and apologizes all over the place.

What does he have to apologize for?

If you fetishize the law, then maybe you’ve got a case that what he did was wrong. But nobody does that; even the Uptight Seattleite sometimes jaywalks.

If you’re worried about the integrity of Olympic sports, not to worry: cannabis isn’t even on the list of performance-enhancing substances banned by the IOOC.

And if he’s somehow let down all his fans who see him as a role model, then so what? He’s probably gained just as many new ones from the photo.

The only potential wrongdoing that I can see in this case would have to be the person who shot the picture and then provided it to (I would assume for money and not just meanness or stupidity) the news media. (Although a much more likely scenario is that cellphone cameras appear wherever Phelps is and that those photos inevitably appear the next day on sharing sites.)

No doubt the same parties and sources that have made this a story are the same ones who inexplicably hold on to our country’s current failed policy on the legal status of cannibis.

Would a picture of Michael Phelps with a can of beer to his lips excited so much controversy and hand-wringing?

Can’t society just admit it’s time for pot-smoking to be accepted…as an Olympic sport?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guanlet for Ye Olde Bong-a-thon appears to have been thrown.

9:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home