Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Brother, Can You Spare an Endorsement?

DISCLAIMER: Today's topic may prove be too malicious for some of my more sensitive readers, so if you have issues with me bemoaning congenital amputee supermodels, then please go here instead, but just for today. Come back tomorrow though, 'cause we'll be having punch and cookies. Now onto my rant.

So, late November rolls around and I'm making baked goods for the widows and orphans annual jamboree and listening to the TV playing in the living room, which just happens to be tuned to Larry King Live. I hear Larry King gushing over some college teen and repeatedly asking him, his girlfriend and his family where he got such a great, upbeat outlook on life. I gotta get a load of this, so I peek out the doorway and into the living room and see the screen flash on some hunky tater named Kyle Maynard. I learn that he's on the wrestling team at the university he attends and that he is indeed trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Stories have been written about Kyle and his legacy of courage since the age of 11 when he played football on his school's football team. Kyle is now 18 and wrestling on his college wrestling team.

So, as the interview goes on we learn about how Kyle's congenital defect has parlayed him into a celebrity of sorts. Not only is he a football player, wrestler and all-around courageous human being (did I mention he's courageous?), he can now add "model" to his resume, thanks to Vanity Fair and Ambercrombie & Fitch. That's right, our pals at Ambercrombie & Fitch, a company truly dedicated to appealing to the "everyman" in us all, a veritable springboard for the downtrodden, has chosen Kyle to be a prominent model in one of their ad campaigns.

At this point in the interview, I can actually feel my interest plummeting, so I listened a little more, only to be completely turned off when the first of many not-so-subtle hints were repeatedly dropped for someone, anyone (crosses fingers that a major truck manufacturer in search of a gimmick is watching) could provide him with a modified SUV. Specifically a SUV. That's a Sports Utility Vehicle. That's spelled S-U-V. Did I mention he was in search of a SUV? SUV. I was waiting for them to post a phone number across the bottom of the screen, where I could call in and pledge. As I'm about to change the channel, I hear a plug for his website. Oh yeeeeaaah. He's already got his own domain and everythin'. Okay, I'll bite.

Going to his web site, it's just more of the same: courageous stories about a courageous man. Then I see it: "Online Store." I just had to click on the link. Well, you'll be happy to know you can now purchase your very own Kyle Maynard poster, T-shirt and/or motivational CD.

His biography, entitled "No Excuses!" will be hitting the bookstores sometime in 2005. Why not make some money while inspiring others? It's the American way. Just ask endorsement whore Lance Armstrong.

So here's the part where I say things that may or may not piss you off. I'm thinking not, since I didn't receive one single death threat after my Scott Peterson post nor my Jizz For Jewelry post. Here goes: At what point do you cease being the life-affirming, inspirational underdog and cross over into whoring yourself out being the oddity you claim to not want to be labeled as in the first place? Of course I'm not saying that the physical side isn't lamentable. However, I am saying that whoring yourself out for goodies (not unlike Nora Ephron at the recent Ladies' Home Journal Awards) falls into the realm of the Springer crowd.

It all reminds me of the Oprah episodes that everyone seems to find so endearing and inspiring. You know, the ones where she has the latest semen receptacle with fashion sense on the show, who through the "miracle" of chemistry, has just disgorged quintuplets, sextuplets, heptuplets, octuplets, nontuplets and/or decuplets. Take your pick. It all depends on whether it's Sweeps Week or not. And then proceeds to spend the rest of the show "surprising" them with free clothes, cars, food, furniture, appliances, college educations, everything short of nanny service and a new home (and in some cases, even that). It all smacks of exploitation, if you ask me. Color me turned off (and slightly turned on, 'cause Kyle is kinda dreamy), but I'm holding out for the Kyle action figure with Genuine Handout Action! Whatever.


Blogger shells said...

The differently abled (or whatever the pc word is today) folks who actually inspire me are the ones who just live their lives, and don't make a big deal that they can. I guess everyone is really only out for the money.
And those people who get rewarded for having a freaking litter of kids on purpose, plu-lease, don't get me started. They should be left in a cave to raise their pack!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005 1:17:00 PM  
Anonymous missdaze said...

hee hee hee

I especially like your comment on Oprah. I would find it more inspiring listening to woman who accept the fact that they can't have children and move on with their lives or adopt children who need homes rather than add more mouths to feed to this planet.

btw: is that photo by your personal info actually you? It looks like Charlie Pride. hmmm.....

Friday, February 11, 2005 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

I couldn't agree more. The ones who go about their life without fanfare or limelight ARE the real inspiring people.

And again, I SO agree with the whole 'pack' analogy. Friggin' ridiculous that our society put such merit on the act of reproduction. Remember the popularity of the 1989 dolls from Tyco™ called "Quints?" Yeesh!

Exactly! There are so many children out there without homes who grow up being shuffled like so much flotsam from one foster home to another. Very sad when you consider all the childless couples who claim to want a child. Too bad their superficiality and egos are bigger than their hearts.

You have a sharp eye! My "self pic" (which is ever-changing) IS of Charley Pride! It was a tie-in to my blog entry: http://tinyurl.com/6oqod

Thanks for stopping by! I love your blog template! Very Edward Gory!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 5:01:00 AM  

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