Sunday, August 24, 2008

Did You Hear THIS Olympic Story?

Yeah, I indulged in a little of the summer olympics. Despite all the negative propaganda about the Chinese government, under-age gymnasts and the computer-enhanced opening ceremonies, you can't deny that watching the games and getting to know a little about the athletes is just plain interesting. And growing up in Baltimore, I'm especially fond of Michael Phelps, I mean, who wouldn't be? The guy is amazing. So it was with a bit of disappointment the other day as I was reading a commentary from Amanda Beard...remember her? Swimming sensation herself from either Athens or Sydney - can't remember, but probably Athens (2004 Games). Anyway, I remember watching her swim and of course, like many Olympic atheletes, hadn't heard another word about her in the mainstream media since then. Until a few days ago.

Amanda Beard just recently posed nude for PETA. Why PETA needs someone to pose nude is beyond the scope of my intellectual capabilities, but I digress. Anyhow, during a subsequent interview, she was questioned about her "dealings" with Michael Phelps. Only being privy to a very short segment of the whole interview, one is led to believe they are talking about romantic dealings, and presumably those that may have occurred during the Athens games. The interviewer asked some pretty personal questions, let's just say the question was as personal as you can get with dealings between a man and a it? Okay, so here's Amanda. I don't know the girl, don't even know much about her. But her response was something akin to "No way. Ewwwww. He's nasty...."

Real nice, Amanda. I mean, sure, not EVERYONE can be Brad Pitt. But let me tell you something, sweetheart, you ain't no Angelina Jolie yourself. So before you go calling someone else "nasty", take a good long look at yourself in the mirror...and not just your looks. Give your character a once-over as well. Because despite how you may feel about someone, it's really not nice to say such things, and trust me, nobody thinks you're cool. About all you accomplished is making yourself look like an ass.

A tip for Amanda: next time, let's try to have a little respect for our peers, shall we? Never know when it's going to come back and bite us in the (bare) butt.


Ohighway said...

Posing nude is an attention getter for PETA, plain and simple. And the PETA slogan is "be comfortable in your own skin" so I guess I can see the connection.

From a guy's point of view I think she looks just fine. Better than Angelina Jolie in some ways (no big surprise for me as I'm not really an Angelina fan)

In the story I heard, the "that's nasty" comment was given in response to holding Phelps hand, nothing more intimate. Still, a simple "no" would have sufficed and been the more mature response.

Rebecca said...

Ummmm, well, actually, the interviewer said "hooked up". I didn't put that in my initial post, but we all know what THAT means. However, I do believe you're right in that the "nasty" comment wasn't in response to hooking up, but rather something else - kissing? Maybe it was holding hands. The "ewwww" and the "nasty" were separate, I joined them together for effect, I admit.

Angelina Jolie? Well, many consider her beautiful - in trying to think of a classically beautiful female, I got stumped. Just not my cup of tea! But it went along well with the Brad Pitt comparison!

BTW - as an update, she retracted all she said and has apologized, saying she and Michael share a "brother-sister" relationship filled with teasing and joking and it was all meant as nothing more than a ham. Still. I think it was mean-spirited and she did nothing for her image. Whatever that means these days!

Ohighway said...

Yeah, well....I spotted another item later that claimed it was about kissing. So who knows? Sounds like none of the media has their facts straight.

I have seen some pix where Angelina looks every bit the classic beauty. But very few. In most (IMHO obviously) she looks kind of slimy and/or creepy. And the slew of tattoos make it even worse. What really killed it for me was when I saw a picture of her and her dad Jon Voight. So now every time I see her I see his face sort of superimposed on hers, and on her body. Talk about EEEEwwwwww. That's more than enough to kill any man's fantasy....

Interesting you mention image, and what it means these days. I just recently posted comments to Capcom and C.S. about "image over substance" .... basically a statement that image seems to be the important thing these days, with --actual-- character/competence/performance/values being FAR less important than the image you project. I think it's one of the great failings of our current society.

Rebecca said...

Well, I agree with you to an extent. But what's your view on this: two people apply for a job, both are equally qualified. One shows up in a tailored suit, tie, haircut, etc..., I think you know where I'm going with this....the other shows up with a purple streak in the hair, nose pierced, flesh exposed. Who gets the job? Is image a failure of society here? Now what if I said the hiring company is a new-age music publication....hmmmmmm, there's a thought. But that's not what I meant. I'm thinking more of your run-of-the-mill brokerage, government agency, whatever. What's more important, freedom of expression, or conservative values? (And what if I told you purple streak was salt-of-the-earth, and Armani-guy turns out to be a world-class embezzler). I think I've argued myself into a corner....time for more thought on this one!

Ohighway said...

Well, this discussion has certianly morphed a bit. I could really go on and on here but will attempt at keeping this of reasonable length.

The image over substance example I'll use is based on a real work story from another blogger. Two women work for a company. An employee and a manager. Employee is incompetent and basically refuses to perform her job. Manager attempts to work with employee to change this. Employee refuses. Manager fires employee. Employee sues company for discrimination. Company, not wanting to be an organization that APPEARS to condone discrimination FIRES manager. So there you have it. Do your job and get fired. All for the sake of appearances. Image over substance.

BTW you're right, in the Purple streak vs. Armani things could go a couple ways. Whether either person seems to be the better choice would depend upon the context of the situation. You nailed that. And yes, either could be the embezzler or the salt. It takes looking beneath the surface to find out. I myself have conducted interviews, and one thing I would look for is how genuinely interested and honest the person in front of me seemed to be. (boy how's that for subjective!) Inexact at best, but at least an attempt to get at something more significant than physical appearances. But then again that whole scenario was something different than what I was thinking of when I made my statement.

To me the key point in the image over substance is the lack of character/honesty/integrity/fairness.... not a personal appearance issue. It's the deliberate attempt to paint a picture that's inaccurate. Trying to make people think something is true, when it really isn't. And not only that but rewarding people for perpetuating the ruse.

Examples, I'm sure you've seen them:

"I'm a $200./hour expert in my field!" (but you probably know more about my field than me)

"I believe in family values!" (but I'm cheating on my husband every chance I get)

"We're an equal opportunity employer!" (but if you're not a minority you won't get hired, even though you're better qualified for the position)

"I'll lower taxes, reduce our depencance upon foreign oil, ....."
(I'll say whatever it takes to get elected, whether I follow through on a promise is irrelevent)

You get the picture.