Friday, November 16, 2007

Of celebrity moms and other madness

If you’re a gossip hound you probably heard this week that Marie Osmond’s 16-year-old son is currently in rehab for an undisclosed addiction.

Hell, you don’t even have to be a gossip hound to have heard this, so entrenched are the latest indiscretions of celebrities and their spawn in the so-called “mainstream media”.

But that’s a whole other post.

Anyhoo, this is what mommy dearest had to say about it: "My son, Michael, is an amazing young man, shown through his courage in facing his issues. As his mother, I couldn't be more proud of him."

To which I say: “Are you freaking kidding me?”

She couldn’t be more proud of him? Really?

See, if Graham goes to rehab at 16 and I feel compelled to release a statement to the international news media, I think it will go something like this: “My son, Graham, is a collossally screwed-up young man, shown through his inability to face his issues without abusing drugs and alcohol. As his mother, I couldn’t be more riddled with anger and guilt.”

But maybe that’s just me.

And maybe it’s just me, but I think that part of that young man’s problem is probably that he has been steeped in a culture that preaches it’s easier to say sorry later than it is to get permission in the first place.

I’m sick of seeing adulterers, criminals, abusers and drug addicts tearfully admitting their transgressions while Oprah and her ilk nod their heads sympathetically, strike up the applause and praise them for their courage in admitting their moral failings.

You know what takes real courage? Acting in a half-way moral fashion in the first place. Not cheating on your spouse when you need an ego boost. Not breaking the law when you think you can get away with it. Not succumbing to violent urges or drug and alcohol abuse when you crave a release or a quick emotional fix.

I have seen people struggle with addiction, real addiction, that for whatever reason seems to live like a parasite in the very core of their being. Few who seek recovery are inclined to do the press circuit. They are too busy putting their heads down and getting to the very difficult business of getting well.

Without the applause, without the compliments and without the praise which, incidentally, might be more effectively used to flatter people who have nothing they need to tearfully confess.


Do I sound especially pissy today? I am. Remember this little $900 incident with my car? I had another bizarre and costly incident with the other car yesterday. Give. Me. Strength.

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Laura said...

The anger - the truth - great post.

Hang in there...sending you lots of strength and positive vibes.

Tania said...

Just be happy you aren't a celebrity. You'd have no incentive to better yourself.

Crappy about the car.

Leslie said...

Thank-you. Well said -too bad that those who should hear it, won't. I know these celebrities' lives can be trying - but who's life isn't? They're just like the rest of us - they climb into their beds at the end of the day, just like the rest of us and wake the next morning to the same new day. We all need to try hard, all day, everyday.

b*babbler said...

Amen - you speak the truth!

Kayris said...

I can see both sides of the issue. One of my husband's uncle's was a heroin addict for 20 years. He's been clean for about 15 years now and it still amazes some family members that he is alive, not dead in a ditch somewhere. They are proud of him for beating his personal demon and becoming a good and kind, upstanding citizen. However, he doesn't deserve a medal or anything because he is clean and sober. In addition, drug or alcohol addiction and the behavior it causes are in a completely different class that stars like Paris Hilton, who should know better.

Anonymous said...

Here, here!! Thanks for telling it like it is! (Maybe Oprah would like to interview you?)

Jane Roper said...

Amen, sister! I think in general our society is too quick to "heroize" people for the wrong reasons.

On a slightly related note, it's always bugged me when people who triumph over a serious illness are praised to high heaven. Does that mean the people who die screwed up somehow?

Liz Ditz said...

I strongly disagree with your take on Osmond's reply.

Your response (“My son, Graham, is a collossally screwed-up young man, shown through his inability to face his issues without abusing drugs and alcohol. As his mother, I couldn’t be more riddled with anger and guilt.”) may be appropriate in private, to people who know both Marie and her son.

I think what she said was dignified and respected her son's privacy.

And: it does take courage to go into rehab.

Don Mills Diva said...

MommyK - It sounds like your husband's brother has shown courage - living clean for 15 years is a great accomplishment. I am more contemptuous of people who expect praise the day they check into (or even out of) rehab. In my book, they need to prove themselves for a while before they deserve to be held up as a role model.

Liz - The fictional statement I wrote about Graham was done in jest because it's unthinkable to me that a mother would release a statement to the media about her son's addiction. Which is my point - if Ms Osmond wanted to show dignity and respect her son's privacy she wouldn't have had her publicist release a statement to the international media and discussed it on Larry King.

Don Mills Diva said...

Sorry - your husband's uncle I mean MoommyK.

Kayris said...

Uncle, brother...tomato, tomahto. Anyway, because the Osmond's are famous, she probably had to release some sort of statement. I'm sure the papparazzi sit around outside rehab clinics to get the dirt of celeb patients, and she may have been trying to head off any unnessecary publicity. And Liz Ditz is right, it does take courage to face an addiction and go into rehab....BUT that's not courage in the same sense as saving a child from a burning building. Recovery from an addiction requires a lot of support and I think it's great that Marie Osmond is there for her son. But I also agree with you that he wouldn't need that courage if he hadn't become addicted in the first place. We make our own choices.

a kelly said...

Sometimes I ask myself why common sense is so it feels good to see some thoughts on these topics that I agree with. Very wise words.
This is my first visit, great stuff. Always liked Don Mills...
You are a very down to earth diva!
And a prolific blogger...I only post 1-2 times per week!!