Sunday, June 25, 2006

Say It Ain't So, Oz

Given that this site is in large part dedicated to the celebration of hip hop music and culture, it might be reasonable to assume that the handle I'm using, OG, stands for Original Gangsta. From that assumption, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to conclude that I am a tool, by rule of context; to echo a sentiment voiced by the Geto Boys, real gangstas don't blog (with apologies to Chuck D).

It's therefore worth noting, for the sake of the almighty image, that I did not pick this handle because I see myself as holding shit down with the old heads 'round the block, regulating this Internet since the beginning like I'm some thuggish Al Gore. As acknowledged, that would be a little silly. So let's be clear: OG stands for Ozzie Guillen. He's the former shortstop and current manager for my favorite professional sports franchise of all time, the Chicago White Sox.

Oh, yeah, that handle makes a lot more sense... The acceptable conclusion now is that I'm not so much a tool, but more of a moron. Yet let me explain: I launched my blogging career with a site about sports, and so the pseudonym fit at the time. I've since made a transition, but you dance with who brought you, and I feel no need to discontinue paying homage to one of my childhood idols... although the situation has recently required a reevaluation, for a different reason.

It may have slipped your notice, but my cyber-namesake is in a little hot water these days. This past week, the Blizzard of Oz called local sports reporter Jay Mariotti a fag. Both the local and national media have called for his suspension, the league will force him to undergo sensitivity training, and White Sox general manager Ken Williams has even broached the subject of firing Guillen. I don't feel the need to add to this maelstorm here (although I'd like to give a nod to this eloquent take elsewhere in the blogosphere). Rather, I figure I'd use the opportunity to ask what we are to do when the people we look up to do the wrong thing.

It may be a cynical thing to say, but I feel like I've reached the point where I expect to be disappointed by pretty much any public figure who I respect. It almost seems like to arrive at any kind of achievement that results in wide-spread adoration, a person has to have a hidden immorality, one which is inextricably linked to the drive that propels him or her to success. The prime examples that spring to my mind are Bill Clinton and Michael Jordan, both charismatic and talented men whose voracious motivation led them to seize greatness while ignoring those tethers of the super-ego that bind other individuals to normality. Either that, or we all have our private ugliness, but it's just that those who stride out into the limelight are more likely to have theirs exposed.

Regardless, the question remains. Just because you anticipated that your hero has flaws doesn't mean you've figured out a way to deal with having confirmation. Unfortunately, it's late, and I need to get some sleep, so I'm going to cop out and leave you to answer it.



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