Sunday, July 27, 2008

Do We Need To Know Too Much?

In the age of the internet, we have information at our fingertips…at our desks, at homes, even on the go, but when does enough become too much?
It wasn’t too long ago that celebrities had semi-private lives. 45 years ago, a president allegedly had an affair with a movie star and it was hush-hush. 8 years ago we are given the details of a current president staining a dress. Did the celebs of years ago not think or act as presently famous people? Yes, they did but times were different. There was less tolerance for outrageous statements and behavior years ago so people, including famous people, were much more discreet about those statements and behaviors. The fact is that news people have the right (guaranteed by our constitution) to report all newsworthy information. We have the right to decide whether or not to pay attention to that information.We all look at a percentage of celebrities making huge amounts of money and totally screwing up their lives and we say, “Give me a chance to live like that, I’ll show them how to do it right.”
Some of the information we receive is educational, entertaining, or humorous, some is shocking, and some is just unnecessary. Again, we have the right to decide what to watch, listen to, or read.
For example, I detest seeing professional athlete’s salaries in the sports page so I choose to pay no attention to it. When the ridiculous touchdown celebrations begin, CLICK, I make a decision that I have seen enough and it’s time to snow blow the driveway. You have to blame the coaches for allowing this. Can you even imagine a player of Paul Brown or Vince Lombardi taking part in a TD dance?
So currently, there are lots of news items not to pay attention to. Carson Palmer, QB of the Cincinnati Bengals had a major brain fart this week when he stated how much he disliked Ohio State football. Hello! You make your living publicly within 90 minutes of the Scarlet and Gray horseshoe. Does he have a right to make the statement? Sure he does, just as LeBron James had a right to wear a Yankees hat to Jacobs Field last October for an Indians/Yankees playoff game. However, just because someone exercises a right does not translate into exercising their brain.
Was Manny Ramirez physically hurt or faking Friday and Saturday? He certainly had the right to scratch himself from the lineup. He certainly has the right to ask to be traded as he has done today and we will honor his right for Manny to be Manny.
What rights are afforded to Major League Baseball to prevent a player from becoming bigger than a team? Since Collective Bargaining went into affect, sports teams have lost their identity. Players come and go without any loyalty. Can you blame them? Isn’t it like that in the real world as well? When was the last time you heard of someone retiring from a company after 35 years? Loyalty must go both ways, in ownership and in the ranks.
As a kid, I would get very interested in players, especially in baseball. Growing older, I find less interest in the players and more interest in the game of baseball, preserving and respecting it. In that manner, you become torn between CC Sabathia or Casey Blake being traded prior to becoming free agents. You want team identity but you certainly understand the rights of those players to become free agents.
So, as we acquire more technology to get us places faster while saving time on or eliminating some of our everyday tasks, we find that we have more time for the additional information rushing to us. It is our right to decide what to spend our time on; watching, listening, and reading responsibly.

No comments: