Monday, August 27, 2007

A Note on Role Models

There's a lot of noise on the news right now about Michael Vick and dogfighting, and rightly so. Dogfighting is heinous, and people who can use animals that cruelly need harsh punishment.

But the people who whine about how Vick is supposed to be a role model piss me off.

Vick is a role model, and he's a good one. If the role you need modeled is that of a football quarterback, or that of an athlete, he's far beyond excellent. You couldn't ask for much better.

But if the only role you know Michael Vick in is that of a football player, why would there be an issue with how he acts in other roles? If you want a "whole person" model, you probably need to look somewhere where you know the whole person. If you buttonhole a celebrity who performs one thing admirably as your whole-person model, you're a moron.

And the world needs fewer morons.

Bottom line: Michael Vick is a great role model, but a terrible human being, and, therefore, a terrible choice for a whole-person model.


Mike said...

I don't consider athlete's as role models any more than I consider rock stars as role models. These people are doing what they do best. That does not make them a role model. Role models are parents and teachers.

Nathan said...

It seems as though anyone who enters the public sphere is suddenly drafted into being a "role model" in the ongoing efforts by parents the world over to ditch their responsibilities.

"I had just finished teaching my kid that torturing dogs is not acceptable and then that darn Michael Vick came along! Back to shock treatment, I guess."

We give these celebrities too much credit, in my opinion. No one has a credible sense of ethics/morality/respect for the law and then sees a celebrity do something stupid and follow them. No thinking person actually follows the example of Michael Vick, Britney Spears, or Lindsay Lohan. Anyone who would cannot possess anything resembling an intellect, and they would be just as likely--if not more--to be influenced by irresponsible people around them.

Jason said...

I think you're both right. And I think most rational humans agree with us. It's just the shrill media talking heads who promote the "role model" concept, and the unfortunately mentally-deficient who follow it.