by Kent Sterling
While Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is certainly a pathetic and twisted wretch of self-immersed putrescence, those who find glee in his extended torment are not much better.
Recognizing this glop of walking and talking misery is not worth the self-congratulatory bloviation we are being subjected to in the media and at the water cooler.
Sterling is an idiot created by the lack of consequence afforded to the insanely wealthy.
People with over a billion dollars are a strange lot because they are almost never held accountable for their actions or opinions. Many are surrounded by sycophants who are reluctant in the extreme to honestly communicate disappointment.
The result is a small class of people who eagerly embrace their own perceived infallibility. That belief causes leaps into weirdness that defies societal norms. Eventually, the wobble of their own behavioral orbit becomes impossible for others to ignore.
The most interesting part of the Anderson Cooper interview with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that aired last night had nothing to do with his vitriolic rant about Magic Johnson or his claims that Jews with money take care of their own. It was the bizarre and sad insistence that the Clippers players and sponsors still love him.
Human behavior becomes unbalanced without occasional corrective measures, and in the case of Sterling, consequence came too late. Now he behaves like a rudderless ship because he is being pilloried for doing, saying, and believing the same things that were allowed from the time he scraped together his first $10-million.
It happens. We see it all the time – the look of confusion from the ultra-rich and famous when they are held accountable by the media for their weirdness. And then they whine about the media, and how it hates them.
The truth is that just as associates and employees have nothing to gain by being critical of their rich boss, the media has everything to gain. Nothing compels listenership, viewership, and readership better than peeling back a PR generated facade to show the strange reality of a self-indulgent man.
We have been riveted by the sad travails of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson, and countless others who were granted a pass for their idiocy until it finally caught up with them. And now we stare at Sterling as he crashes and burns.
It would be a giant step forward for our culture if we could shrug at the absurd rants of men like Sterling. They are meaningless non-representative harangues so out of whack with current views on American life that they deserve little notice.
Are we really wiser because of our relentless disdain for Sterling, or are we simply making ourselves feel smarter by pointing to a rich man and shouting “Moron!”
While we correctly drown Sterling in the shame of his ignorance, where have we been over the last 35 years? He’s been a wing nut for decades, and finally we wise up and cast him out. There is some shape in this spectacle for all of us.
This circus surrounding Sterling feels like a business meeting where everyone agrees, and yet it will never end because the participants are so impressed by their own intellectual greatness.
Sterling is an idiot who doesn’t get it, and never will. All agreed, raise your hand. Unanimous. Let’s move on.