Friday, February 06, 2009

Everyone Into the Pool

Yeah, I don't think I've had a good rant lately. And no, I'm not going to rant about leading a JokerStars $10+1 HORSE MTT for 3+ hours, only to go out 25th after severe coolers in Razz and Stud...

No, I'm going to rant about that dumbass sack of fishfood, Michael Phelps.

Let me begin by simply saying, I don't have a horse in the pot legalization debate. I don't smoke it, I have no desire to smoke it, but I don't particularly care whether you do or not. I'm a law-abiding citizen, but I also know there are an awful lot of fucked up laws in this country (and in others, to be sure). And yes, the alcohol lobby's got a pretty strong grip on the government that a bunch of green growers do not.

Now that I got that out of the way, Michael Phelps is an idiot, perhaps only exceeded in his idiocy by those who are raving about how all of America should boycott Kellogg's cereals simply because Kellogg's had the temerity to fire Phelps from his endorsement deal. I would submit that most of the people screaming the loudest to boycott, simply can't see through the haze of their own bong smoke far enough to actually grasp why Kellogg's dumped Phelps.

It's as simple as this. People with millions of dollars of endorsements don't get to live their lives in the same fashion as us random anonymous mondos. That's part of what earning those millions of dollars of endorsements is about. That's part of being a star -- you simply are not like the everyday Joe.

I don't care how anyone here feels about pot -- they have to know that there are still millions of parents of young aspiring swimmers out there, who don't want to think about their 8- and 9- year olds growing up on drugs, who will react very badly to learning their role model is a bong hitter.

Is that potentially rather paranoid line of thinking by the parents? That, because Phelps smokes up, and my kids idolize him, they're going to smoke pot? Maybe. In most cases, probably. But that's not the point. The point is that this *is* what the parents of a lot of those kids are thinking. And that's who Kellogg's constituency is, not you the NORML member. Kellogg is a breakfast food company, and has no fiduciary duty to its shareholders to advocate legalization of pot on behalf of one of their former paid endorsers.

And those parents buy a lot of cereal. As a paid endorser, Phelps should have known that. At least, he was paid to behave as if he knew that. He doesn't have to care about whether or not pot is illegal or performance enhancing or anything else, he only has to care about how parents will perceive him. Because that's why he's an endorser, because companies think his presence helps them sell product. His bucket full'o'gold medals is why his sponsors think he'll sell product, but not the direct reason they pay him. All he had to do to earn was simply this -- do not embarrass your employer.

Furthermore, after the 2004 Olympics, Phelps got a DUI driving drunk while underage. He should fucking know better by now.

I say good on Kellogg's for holding their own cereal box heroes to a higher standard. Phelps doesn't have some sort of statutory right to keep his endorsements when he acts in a manner the company finds outside the bounds.

The dude has his entire life after the end of his competitive career and cereal box days to smoke all the weed he could stand. He clearly has not learned that when you live in the public eye, people will be watching. It's not his first transgression.

This isn't even about pot being illegal or not -- it's about setting an example for kids. The only reason he was their star endorser at all is because all those parents saw him as someone to look up to. When he no longer performs that job satisfactorily, it's time to let him go.

Kellogg's isn't screaming for the po-po to arrest Michael Phelps. They're simply firing him for not performing the job he was hired to do, which was to appear to be enough of an example for children such that their parents would buy more Kellogg's products. It's not Kellogg's job to change the perception of millions of parents about pot, and for anyone to argue that they're somehow wrong for not taking on that responsibility is silly. Or stoned. Or both.

In the end, it's all cool. Now that Michael Phelps won't have to make so many of those pesky paid public appearances, he'll have plenty more time to toke it on up. Win/win, I guess.

I've got a suggestion for all those who are up in arms over wanting to boycott Kellogg's for their righteous injustice against Michael Phelps. Why don't you all pool some of your dime bag money together and hire Michael Phelps as an endorser for NORML, and put him on the cover of High Times. Now THAT would be putting your money where your bong pipe is. Maybe enough of you can even replace his entire former sponsorship, and he'll wear hemp trunks to the 2012 Olympics.


Alex said...

Not to defend Phelps, but I would submit that if parents are looking to Michael Phelps (or any other celebrities) to set examples for their kids, perhaps they ought to have chosen a different profession from parenting.

lightning36 said...

It sure has looked like he has been eating up his popularity since the Olympics. Time for him to find out about the other side of fame.

Kudos to Kellogg's for immediately dumping him. I am sure he has enough other sources of income to take away the sting.

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