Saturday, April 23, 2005

Real Men Wear Pink - but I don't think they cheat

The past two days I've watched two movies that I never got around to seeing in the theater. Usually we are avid movie goers especially independent films. I can't remember the last time I saw a blockbuster in the theater.

The two movies I saw were Ray and Ali. Many common themes are shared amongst these movies. Race, adversity, relationships, celebrity, and talent - to name a few. The one that I noticed the most, however, was infidelity.

In both movies the featured characters were worshipped for their talents and charisma and yet cheated HEAVILY on their wives.

Which brings us to the topic of the day - why American society idolizes a man for his craft or talent and not the honesty and integrity of his character?

There are men in every aspect of fame who have been exposed publicly for infidelity. Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Ray Charles, Sinatra, etc etc etc.

Are they really "great men" if they couldn't stay faithful in their marriages? Are they really capable of being honest or having integrity in other aspects of life if they couldn't in the most important bond two humans enter?

My opinion on this is by no means cut and dry. I do believe that despite many republicans efforts to defame him, that Bill Clinton did have two pretty amazing terms as president. I also believe that he helped our foreign policy probably more so than any othe president before him. However if I, as an American believe that our president is supposed to live a life that is representative of our nation's honesty and integrety.... hmmm maybe not so much.

Performers such as Ray Charles and Sinatra are just the two that have jumped to the top of my brain at the current moment but their are several others out there I'm sure I'm forgetting. First let me say that our society puts performers on an insanely high pedestal and creates this hysteria of fame or celebrity that is absolutly un-necessary. Yes, I love the music of both of these men. However, I don't believe that we should be mimicking their behavior in any way just because they can carry a pretty mean tune. That being said, are they still great performers despite their cheating? yes. Are they great men? hmmmmm maybe not so much.

Muhammad Ali is a figure in history that I actually didn't know much about until watching the film. I didn't realize he was so political or that he had the fame that he had. I admire him for his political and religious stances. I admire that he stood against the crowd and said no sir that's not right - about the vietnam war. However, he cheated on his wife in a very public way, and then divorced twice and married 3 times. Does this make him a bad man? the verdict is out.

Maybe we've got it all wrong and humans aren't capable of being monogomous. If that is the case, why do we do it? Christianity? It does seem that men have a tendency to want quantity instead of one steadfast love for the rest of their lives. I realize I'm making generalizations here, but that's what we do when we think about sociological trends and themes.

I have no answer or magical conclusion for this post. I just wanted to write out the conflicting messages that I am receiving in media and life to see if they fall into something comprehensible.


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