What follows is a real-life quote I found in the Boston Metro today and my real-life reaction to it:
"It's an unfortunate thing, but the Pope was very awesome for the world."
- Johnny Damon, speaking with reporters on the passing of Pope John Paul II
[continued stunned silence]
I'm going to add that I saw a sound byte of former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda lauding the Pope as "a tough guy" because he traveled to over 150 countries.
And apparently fought his way through them.
Okay, enough with the pauses-for-effect and time for analysis (ignoring the long and research-heavy topic of whether Catholicism during the late Pope's reign was or was not "very awesome for the world"). Shallow version: baseball players should not be allowed to comment on things other than baseball. Deep version:
Apparently something has convinced Johnny Damon that his voice is necessary - or worse, requisite - in the public forum. Something has also convinced him that his life and career - both barely half over - are worth being recorded in an autobiography. And last, something has made Johnny Damon believe that being an "idiot" should be a sought-after form of human existence. I think that my position on these three issues is quite clear.
Even famous intellectuals are not asked to weigh in on all subjects. When they do, their expertise is often brought into question. So why should Johnny Damon now become the arbiter of all that is awesome, to whatever degree, for the world? He shouldn't.
Here's the greater point: just because people are listening doesn't mean one has to speak. If I ever become famous enough so as to have the opportunity to speak my voice and be widely heard, I hope that I will exercise the self-restraint necessary to maintain at least a facade of respectability.
This post has nothing to do with hip-hop.
track playing: George Clinton, Aint Nuthin' But A Jam, Y'all