Thursday, December 23, 2010

Here...let me get that out of your eye...

I have spent a few days thinking on this one and really hesitated even posting for fear of offending people that mean a lot to me.  It is a subject I have steered clear of since I discovered how sensitive some people are when it comes to this topic.  I hope that the intent comes through clearly and that the people that I respect and care for so much will realize that I am not talking to them and that I am sensitive to their feelings on this subject.

It is not like me to avoid a topic on my blog.  I have always been a little confrontational on my blog mostly because I use my blog to vent and express myself in ways that I refrain, generally, from doing in my daily interaction with people.  In my pursuit of learning to find the "gray" areas, and in my development as a person in an environment in which people I respect will (and have) challenged the things I say and write, I speak slower and think longer with the understanding that at some juncture I may be forced to defend what I say with more than just an emotional response.  It has made me more of a critical thinker and I am appreciative to them for that (hint hint Mandy, Mom and Will lol.)

I am a football fan.  I say that up front so that it can invalidate everything I am about to say.  I have usually been more into college football than professional but I am pretty much indiscriminate when it comes to football.  I just enjoy watching the game.  I am (as all my friends and family know) a UGA fan and an Atlanta Falcons fan.

I remember when Michael Vick came to Atlanta.  I was a huge fan and excited about the possibilities of making it to the Super Bowl.  He was electric and so much fun to watch.  he had his attitudes and his shortcomings but you come to expect that sometimes from superstars and we just kind of ignored it.  Then came the trial and the revelation that Vick was more than a jackass, he was a sociopath and a psychotic dog killer.  The judge threw the book at him (within the limitations of the law) and Vick went away.  It was a painful point  in time for Atlanta fans and we spent two hours every Sunday for the next two years cursing the name of Michael Vick.  Then Matty "Ice" Ryan came to Atlanta and things started turning around.

But back to Vick.  Vick got out of jail and Philadelphia signed him.  He was playing third string behind McNabb, whom I have never been a big fan of, so I pretty much ignored him and the Eagles.  This year started with the Eagles trading McNabb and Kolb getting injured and all of a sudden Vick is back in the pocket.  And the controversy began in earnest.

I want to make this clear.  This blog post is NOT about Vick and the "Vick Redemption" story.  The thing I have discovered is that when it comes to Vick you either like him or hate him.  I am not going to say that Vick is a changed man.  First, I don't know that he really is a changed man.  I don't know that he isn't.  I don't care, to be honest.  It is not my place to determine whether or not he is a changed man and to be honest, my opinion on the matter doesn't, well, matter.  Second, Vick is playing good football and he is saying and doing all the right things in public that he needs to do to rebuild his career and fortunes.  I am realistic enough to know that the person may not have changed but his behavior may have just adapted to the laws of society in an interest of self preservation.

So this blog is NOT about convincing anybody about the Vick Redemption.  This is not about defending Michael Vick.  What Vick did is indefensible, inexcusable and even unforgivable.  In truth it is unfair that he gets to get out and go back to his life as though it was just an unhappy dream.  If it had been one of us our lives would have been ruined forever.  I agree, it is unfair.  But let's face it, we have been bombarded by music stars, movie stars, sports stars, rich people and politicians that get to get multiple chances for just as horrendous crimes and worse. So it is not exactly a new story or a surprising one.  As a matter of fact, the ONLY surprising part of Vick's story is that he actually served his time.

What this blog IS about is the people that react the strongest to Vick.  I understand passions run deep on this subject and on the Vick story in particular.  I understand and respect the deep hate and vicious dislike for Vick.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and you know what?  Nobody is REQUIRED to like or love ANYBODY in our society.  You don't even have to have a reason to just plain hate somebody.  While I have my personal views on paying a debt to society and at what point a person should get a chance to prove they are a changed person, not everyone shares those views and in the final analysis those are my opinions and views and I respect the views and opinions of others.

What I have found somewhat shocking is the double standard.  Allow me to explain.  The other night at work the medical tech that sits up front at the ER where I work was reading something on her computer about football and muttered, "Fuck you Michael Vick."  I just chuckled and said, "Not a Vick forgiver are we?"  To which she responded, "Let's see, when they bathe him in blood and throw him in to a cage with a pack of rabid hungry dogs, I will be willing to forgive the shreds of meat that are left."  I just sat there shaking my head, I have learned to not respond to that kind of talk, besides, I would be terrified of a person that has that kind of imagination running on in their head!

But it brought the question to mind...are people like that any better than Michael Vick?  The people that propose electrocution as a means of dealing with the Michael Vick situation, are they any better than him?  the people that take pleasure in the thought of torture and violent and mangled and macabre deaths, are they any better then him?  Oh I am sure the answer is, thinking it and not doing is what makes me better than him, and if that is what helps you evade the fact that you take PLEASURE in the thought and helps you sleep at night, then so be it.  But the truth is that a sociopath and psychotic behavior starts in the mind and if you get pleasure out of it then you are no different down deep inside.

As I considered this subject I found a rather disturbing and twisted irony.  Politically and ideologically many of the people that are the most vocal against Vick are the same people that protest water boarding as a means of getting information from war criminals and are the most vocal against the death penalty.   Don't you find it delightfully twisted that the same people that would propose electrocuting Vick for no other purpose than to make him feel how it feels would be against water boarding to get information that it's proponents argue would save lives?  Or deliciously ironic that the same people that would love to see Vick die a violent death would protest a person being killed for killing another person?  Just something to think about...

As unusual as it is for me to refer to the Bible or quote it, most people would agree that there are some valuable lessons that can be drawn from it...so consider these words...

Matthew 7:1-5

 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

1 comments:

lesleehorner said...

I've never felt any of that hatred toward Vick, but it just drives me nuts that he gets to go back to a career that is the same or better than the one he had before his crime. My hubby was also a bit disappointed that it was his team (The Eagles) that took Vick. Being an Eagles fan these days is something you have to be more quiet about.

 

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