Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Society's Definition Of Courage

I was going to let all the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner nonsense pass without comment. I figure it's none of my business. That's his/her decision. I don't really care about it one way or the other, aside from hoping that things work out well for him/her. (I'm not being snarky with 'him/her.' I'm honestly not sure which pronoun to use.)

But then I ran across this story, and couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a bad joke.
The legal battles that Caitlyn Jenner faces over a deadly car crash in Malibu are still mounting.

Jenner, who has been sued by the stepchildren of Kim Howe, who was killed in the Feburary crash, is now being sued by a third driver involved in the collision.
Note that the accident occurred before he had the gender reassignment surgery and came out as a 'womyn.'

It all makes sense now. Even back then, he drove like a woman...


Like I said, I could care less about what Bruce/Caitlyn does. But there are a few factors that keep him - sorry, her (it's a hard habit to break) - in the public eye. For example, ESPN is giving Jenner some sort of award for courage. Hey, it's their network, and they can give whatever they want to whoever they want. Again, I don't care.

But I do think one thing worth pointing out is ESPN's, and by extension the entire media's, misplaced sense of priorities.
You'd hate to think that ESPN's decision to honor the newly minted Caitlyn Jenner with the ESPY's Arthur Ashe Courage Award was anything other than altruistic. Bruce becoming Caitlyn was a courageous act that will benefit all who face similar circumstances.

The fact that Jenner was instantly recognizable before her announcement last month didn't have anything to do with the sports network's decision to honor her, did it? Did it?

Jenner is tabloid manna. Jenner is ratings gold. People who never before watched the ESPYs – people who didn't know the ESPYs from ESP – now will tune in to perform the TV version of rubbernecking. On Wednesday, E! Entertainment released the first promo video for Caitlyn's upcoming reality show, "I Am Cait''.

A reality show, for Caitlyn Jenner? Ya don't say.
Just what we need. More Kardashians and their kin on TV.

Now compare what ESPN deems courageous - a decision to have elective plastic surgery - with a teenager's fight for life against cancer.
Lauren Hill was just a kid who died. She was just an earth angel, whose poise and selflessness provided everyone in America with a road map to grace...

(Lauren Hill was a college basketball player who courageously battled brain cancer while living her dream of play on the university team. The 19-year-old lost her fight against cancer on April 10.)

We didn't see Lauren putting on lipstick and saying, "You start learning the pressure women are under all the time about their appearance," as Caitlyn says. We heard Lauren saying after a basketball game, "Today has been the best day I've ever had.''

A month or so before she died, Lauren said this:
"I ask God for a cure for cancer and that my family will be fine when and if I'm gone. They are who I worry about. My family and my friends.''
I don't know about you, but that's pretty damn courageous in my opinion.

Another example:

Noah Galloway is a U.S. Army veteran who lost his left arm and left leg in an IED attack while serving in Iraq. He persevered through a painful recovery and rehabilitation that most of us will never (thankfully) be able to comprehend. Today he is a long distance runner, personal trainer, motivational speaker, and “Dancing with the Stars” competitor.

The point of this is not to mock Jenner. It's to express my dismay, disgust, and frustration with the media and the public's insatiable desire to focus on the trivial while ignoring much more serious matters. But such is the world we live in.


As if that's not bad enough, it now turns out that this whole sordid affair is raising a series of questions.

Do street names need to be changed?
After Caitlyn Jenner asked the world to “Call me Caitlyn” on the cover of Vanity Fair, residents of Bruce Jenner Lane in Austin, Texas, are now wondering if they should do just that by changing the name of the street.
“Should we put both [names] on there? Tape one underneath it?” resident Ray Briggs told ABC affiliate KVUE. “I thought about doing that myself."
Briggs and dozens of other homeowners are part of Olympic Heights, a South Austin neighborhood with streets all named after famous Olympians.
Some residents remain reluctant to change the name of the street even though they support Jenner's transition.
“I don’t care what [she] did with [her] life because that’s [her] personal choice,” one resident told ABC News. “But I’d rather not change the street name. That’s just a lot of paperwork, you know?”
I've lived through a couple of street name changes. It's a gigantic pain in the butt. 
But that pales in comparison to what his poor kids are going through.
She’s Caitlyn Jenner to the world, but her children will still call her “Dad” — for now.
“[Caitlyn] spoke to each of the kids separately and told them to take their time in getting used to this,” a friend of the family told People on Thursday. “She would prefer not to be called ‘Bruce,’ but told the kids that they could still call her 'Dad,’ at least for now.”
Further complications: 
It’s a critical moment for people who are transgender. Their issues have been top of mind since Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to the world last week in a highly publicized Vanity Fair story.

But it’s easy to overlook an everyday point of stress for many transgender folks — which bathroom to use.

Now, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is aiming to fix that. The agency has issued guidelines stating that private businesses should allow employees to use the designated restroom for the gender with which they identify.
I disagree. People should use the restroom that corresponds to their physical equipment. External plumbing = Men; internal = Women.

I wonder how the head of OSHA would feel about having to explain to his six-year-old daughter why some guy's package is flopping around in the women's locker room.

The thing that I find most appalling, however, is that this whole thing reeks of a massive pre-planned publicity stunt.
The media campaign surrounding Bruce Jenner’s public transformation into Caitlyn Jenner has been nothing short of masterful, from the substance of Diane Sawyer’s two-hour “20/20” interview special in April to the sizzle of this week’s Vanity Fair cover reveal of Caitlyn in a bustier.

The person guiding the strategy behind the scenes has been Alan Nierob, a seasoned showbiz publicist and longtime exec at Rogers & Cowan. Last fall Jenner hired Nierob, who’s done crisis PR for some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson, for help in guiding him through a storm of media attention as he came out as transgender.

Work on the campaign to explain Jenner’s transformation began late last fall when Nierob reached out to Diane Sawyer for what he knew would be a landmark TV moment for public awareness of the transgender community...

After the April 24 “20/20” interview generated rave reviews and 17 million viewers, the first promotion for Jenner’s upcoming E! docu-series, which was officially announced during Sawyer’s interview, began to hit.

The June 1 release of the Vanity Fair cover, which revealed Jenner’s new name and look, coincided with the launch of her @Caitlyn_Jenner twitter account. Jenner racked up more than 1 million followers in a few hours, a new Twitter record, and had more than 2 million as of Friday.

On Tuesday ESPN announced that Jenner would receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the July 15 ESPY Awards. That will be followed by the July 26 premiere of E!’s “I Am Cait,” which runs eight episodes. The series will chronicle Jenner’s transformation over the past few months...
Meanwhile, China is aggressively expanding its sphere of influence, the situation in the Middle East is getting worse, Russia is asserting itself in Ukraine, Iran is edging closer to nuclear weapons, racial relations here at home are spiraling downward, and the San Antonio Spurs are out of the playoffs. But America remains transfixed by the trans-Jenner saga.

Thank goodness for Shiner...


Bag Blog said...

It's a good thang Hollywood and the Media have taken on the role of politically correct teacher. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to think, 'cause I'm just a dumb, bigoted Tex-Mex Okie.

Old NFO said...

MSM BS to keep us from paying attention to the REAL problems... sigh

Well Seasoned Fool said...

+1 NFO.

CenTexTim said...

BB - I don't know what we'd do without the MSM to tell us what to think.

NFO and WSF - you got that right.