Monday, January 21, 2013

The Media Drinks its Own Poison

On the Manti Teo phenomenon. I am sure that you are like I am, tired of the obsession. I have been a Manti fan, while remaining a strong Crimson Tide supporter. I am not at all surprised that Manti was neutralized in the BCS Championship game by all Americans Warmack, Fluker and Barrett. His performance was a result of just flat being out manned by top level talent.

The media side show was an entirely different matter however. The media’s fawning over Johnny “ football “ Manziel ( gag !) up to the awarding of the Heisman was enough to deal with. Then they interject the whole scenario with the schmaltzy saga of Manti’s almost simultaneous loss of his grandmother and his girlfriend. This media driven Heisman circus is at its best nauseating. It seems to highlight America’s schizoid, delusional thinking that football players are Gods on Mt. Olympus. Surprise, they are not.

I know a little about Mormons since I have been one for 50 years. I also have had friends from the Hawaiian and Samoan cultures. Both cultures have a tendency, in my experience, to be driven to spiritual matters and romantic notions on many fronts in a natural fashion. I am not saying that is a bad thing, as I hope a 400 pound Samoan, NFL playing Mormon does not show up at my door. I am just saying that it is a natural sequence for many from that arena.

It is not at all shocking to me that Manti would have a strong affiliation to someone he met online. So much so that he would declare them to be his significant other. You throw in the time constraints and demands on top level division one athletes and you can relate to his limited ability in developing a face to face relationship. So I feel that this girl was as real to him as most other Facebook, Linked-In, My Space, Twitter friends are to the cyber-culture that many people live in. After all is that not the arena that breeds state and federal law related to cyber-bullying?

The matter that is fodder for observation to me is the media itself. In this scenario the media is currently drinking its own poison. The media created the obsession. It is apparent that someone along the way did not perform their due diligence. After the fact  that this girl was the playful, practical joker, dastardly deed of someone else’s creation comes to light, the media does an about face.  They report every nonsensical facet of this peculiar event to us, non stop, whether or not we want to hear it.

May we be spared the constant harangue of the ever present media. The only way to be saved is to save ourselves. Turn off the TV. Disconnect from Facebook. UnTwitterate yourself. Who knows, perhaps your blood pressure will go down a few measures. Choose to read a book, take a walk, call up someone you like and have a nice conversation with them. The only guideline I would suggest is to leave Manti, Johnny football, American Idol and Honey Boo Boo out of the discussion. Otherwise we are all doomed.