“Public Apologies” and Other Utter B.S.
It seems public “sorries” are rampant lately. There was a time in 20th century history (especially early 20th century) when people chose their words carefully, especially when speaking to the press. The lofty sense of self-entitlement that came with one’s sociopolitical status was generally reserved for the homestead and private office parties when the Napoleon brandy got flowing. Words were big news. Now public apologies are the new nod to the debutante…a person’s stepping out party so as to be noticed and ogled.Ever noticed how self-serving these apologies are? If there wasn’t an ulterior motive behind a public apology for a foolishly uttered phrase or idiot behaviour do you suppose the person would ever step up?
The Feb 2010 Rahm Emanuel “blooper” for instance when he used the word “retarded” in a meeting with White House aides. Actually the phrase he used was “fuck—g retarded“, such an appropriate comment for an educated and politically powerful man. read Emanuel steps up his apology The Special Olympics committee wasn’t too impressed. They insisted that his private phone call on the matter to committee head Tim Shriver wasn’t adequate and he [hosted] a delegation of advocates, including two people with mental disabilities, at the White House. Emanuel was asked to take the R-word pledge www.r-word.org (I did – it only takes a second) and to join in the March 3, 2010 Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. Can you picture that? Me neither. Sincerity based on a scale of 1 – 10….0/10
Now here’s the most recent public Canadian tear-jerker from that Olympic hopeful Nathan Kotylak who attempted the ultimate in stupidity: lighting the gas tank of a police cruiser on fire: Youtube Vancouver rioter Nathan Kotylak’s Apology for role in Riot. He wants to atone so he stayed away from his high school graduation, but of course he isn’t looking for sympathy. Admittedly he’s only a teenager and he screwed up, but there’s screwing up and then there’s nearly blowing yourself off the face of the earth whilst engaged in the incredibly stupid mob mentality around you. Meh. He was going to be caught anyway…he was on videotape and clearly recognizable, hence the reason he “turned himself in.” Sincerity rating….5/10
Even big-shot I-would-love-to-kiss-my-own-butt-if-only-I-could-reach-it celebrities are taking centre stage (pun) in their hurry to apologize for impossibly stupid behaviour. Consider singer Kayne West’s b.s. apology on the Jay Leno show for the rude interruption he made during Taylor Swift’s Video Music Award shrieking it should have gone to Beyonce. That escapade was beyond rude. He must have been hopped up. The motive behind his apology is not so much to appease Swift’s fans as it is to assure himself of getting nominated for a VMA down the line….in other words utterly self-serving. Sincerity rating…..1/10 Watch Taylor Swift Moment Ruined by Kanye West
Lori Levine, a Manhattan Entertainment Consultant stated celebrity agendas are “how is this going to affect my bottom line and reputation.” In my opinion they don’t truly care about their reputation with the public…they will still sell CDs and sold-out concerts. They’re not apologizing to us. They’re apologizing to the Big Boys at MTV, William Morris, Paramount Pictures, etc. Sincerity rating … 0/10
Did you see Seinfeld’s Kramer Michael Richard’s Racist Tirade Some time afterward came the feeble Michael Richards Kramer Apologizes Wow talk about deflecting his own racism onto someone else (this country and another nation). It does take guts to apologize via Letterman in front of millions of people so….. Sincerity rating…2/10
One of the only apologies I will ever rate as 10/10 was Captain Kohyai Aso, who, ashamed over his personal error, tragically committed suicide one year after an emergency landing of a DC-8 in just 7 feet of water in spite of the fact that no one on board was injured or killed. (Not stated in the video JAL DC-8-62 WaterLanding SFO”.) True Japanese culture has a long history of tolerance towards suicide but this ultimate display of honour and self-recrimination resonates sharply. Sincerity rating for ….10/10. Capt. Aso, R.I.P.
Do I think everyone should resort to suicide after public blunders? Obviously not. But there are mistakes and then there is stupidity and ignorance. How about thinking before opening your mouth? Reducing the number of forced, public apologies seems like a fair compromise.
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