The other day I was flipping channels and I see Dennis Rodman on my television screen, yelling about something. All I could wonder is, why?
Why is this guy still on my TV? Why is he news? He hasn’t played in the NBA in a decade. He isn’t relevant. His clownish antics are tired and annoying. So why am I still enduring him?
For clicks, of course. And TV viewers. Put any ol’ sideshow freak up on the boob tube and the Internet, as long as it gets people clicking and viewing. And talking. And reposting and retweeting and whatever else it is that people do that bean counters then turn into the nebulous stats known as ratings and web traffic.
Rodman is a nut. Oh, how I wished we lived in a world in which people like him got pulled from public view to get the treatment they need instead of pushed into view with a pat on the back and someone shouting, “Now really go for crazy this time!”
Green hair. Wedding dress. Being a 20-something tyrant’s plaything. Attention, attention, ATTENTION! LOOK AT ME! he screams.
Rodman is no different than the Charlie Sheens and Lindsay Lohans. Or the Miley Cyruses.
And Cyrus may be worse. Rodman dishonors the imprisoned and the executed who’ve fought against North Korea’s oppresive regime with each “basketball diplomacy” trip. But little girls look up to Cyrus. Some want to act like her.
You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to figure out that all these train wrecks have damaged psyches. Does anyone think Rodman feels loved and accepted? Does anyone think Cyrus is well-adjusted, that she kept her sense of self intact as the child star of a star? No reasonable person does.
I just don’t understand why we have to keep being subjected to some of these people’s inability to work out their own issues.
Well, maybe I do. Sort of. Cyrus has new music. She’s a “now” thing. So, of course, everyone is going to keep putting her face everywhere.
But Dennis Rodman is just a crazy old basketball player who had finally, thankfully, faded from view. Until he started making trips to jump through hoops — and at them — for Kim Jong Un. And now he’s on my television screen again, screaming about what a noble thing it is he is doing. Sheen — everyone’s idea of the voice of reason — inserted himself in the “Duck Dynasty” debacle. Lohan can’t go five minutes without breaking something, somebody or the law, and then she’s on TV again.
Why? Why do we have to hear about it every single time? 1) It’s because these people don’t know how to live out of the spotlight, and 2) No one who pushes the buttons at these media outlets has the restraint to say, “No, we’re not putting that clown on our channel or website.” Ratings reign. Clicks are King.
Thankfully, there is one fail-safe though: Changing the channel. Clicking on something else. For now, at least, no one is wiring our eyeballs open like Malcom McDowell’s in “A Clockwork Orange,” to force this nonsense into our brains.
Let’s give it a try. Maybe if enough of us don’t watch or click we can get some of these nutjobs out of the limelight.
Yeah, I didn’t believe that last sentence when I wrote it either.
Email Nate McCullough at email@example.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.