Pedestals. We have been putting people on them for years. Little boys start with super heroes and continue into man hood wearing other men's names on their backs. Girls do it with dolls, boy bands, and movie stars. These are not bad habits. We all need heroes. We need people to admire and strive to be like. It can make us better people if we let it.
Social media has given heroes and celebrities more power that they should be able to have. Fans do what their heroes tell them. Sometimes that is a good thing, but most of the time it isn't. Social Media has allowed too many people the wrong voice. We are malicious, see what we want to see, and are usually way off base. We love our heroes, but we love to see the mighty fall. We put them on those pedestals, but look forward to the time that they come down.
Bill Cosby was an icon to a lot of people and not all of them are black. If you grew up watching The Cosby Show, you saw the ideal family. They had problems , but they stayed together and worked out their issues. Cosby taught us to love Jello Pudding and allowed us to enjoy clean humor. He couldn't be a monster. Could he?
Jared Fogel was the fat kid that taught us all a thing about weight loss. His story put a sub franchise on the map and gave normal people everywhere goals. He is awkward, but likable and people related. They bought into what he sold and have been for years! Jared is the mid-western guy next door. He couldn't be a monster. Could he?
In the case of Cosby, was it always there. We just choose not to see it. The people we believe to be good cannot possibly do things that are so bad. We are a nation that turns a blind eye to lots of things. Almost Cosby's words. We forgive domestic violence because a person has talent. We condone drug abuse because we like some one's music. We look past horrible things because we think we know someone. The reality is that we don't know them. We see them, admire them, and make them a part of our lives. We do not know them. They are paid entertainers. They are not always worthy of the place we put them.
Once upon a time, this country believed in the concept of, "innocent until proven guilty." We have successfully reversed that. Now, we must always prove our innocence. I don't know Jared Fogel. I have met him 10 or 20 times and interviewed him a few times here and there. I don't know what he is like behind closed doors. He is caught up in a situation that one of his employees started. I don't know if Jared is guilty. People believe that where there is smoke there is fire. There might be. Time will tell and if the Subway guy is one of the worst kinds of monster, then I truly hope he pays for what he may or may not have done.
Jared is already destroyed. He is cooperating. He hasn't been charged, but he is done. His name is destroyed. The court of social media has pegged him something he may or may not be. He will not be asked to do appearances and whatever good work he might have done is tarnished forever. I wouldn't be shocked if Jared ends up in a very dark place someday soon.
Christian's believe that we shouldn't worship false gods and there is a truth to that. I think that we need heroes. We need someone to try and relate to. I think we need people to show us that we can be more than what we think we can. Those are good things. What we have to remember is the pedestal. The higher we put someone up there, the longer and harder the fall.